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Insurance

April 26, 1993|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Riot Victims Plan Lawsuit: More than 100 small-business owners plan a class-action lawsuit to recover $3.5 million to $5 million in unpaid insurance claims from last year's Los Angeles riots. The suit will target unlicensed insurance carriers as well as brokers, adjusters and others involved in selling commercial policies that proved worthless when claims were filed. The suit is to be filed on the business owners' behalf by a public and private coalition including the law firm of Brobeck, Phlegler & Harrison, the Asian Pacific American Legal Center and Public Counsel. Al Osterloh, insurance adviser to Rebuild L.A., said the coalition believes that the insurance firms--most based in the Caribbean--were either outright frauds or so undercapitalized that they were incapable of paying claims. The specially-licensed brokers who sold the policies are included in the suit, Osterloh said, because they knew or should have known that the insurance coverage was worthless.

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