All British American Insurance Company Limited (BAICO) policyholders seeking to be a part of a discrimination suit against the government of Trinidad and Tobago have until tomorrow to do so.
The Annuity Holders of BAICO Antigua Advocacy Group Inc. was formed to piggyback on the action to be filed in the Caribbean Court of Justice under the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas by a similar advocacy group in Grenada.
Kevin Branker, a board member with the local non-profit entity, said yesterday that March 15 is the deadline to sign up to be part of the litigation that already has 250 plus policyholders bringing a case against the government of Trinidad and Tobago.
“BAICO policyholders are being requested to come in as soon as possible because after the 15th we stop,” Branker told OBSERVER Am.
At least $50,000 is needed to proceed with the litigation.
Branker said that based on interest in the matter, he anticipates the target would be met.
“The lawsuit is definitely progressing. I had discussion with the team from Grenada [Monday night] and everything should be proceeding by the end of April, and they are extremely upbeat about our chances of success,” he said.
Branker said a decision is expected within a year.
Caribbean Life or CL Financial was the largest privately held conglomerate in Trinidad and Tobago and one of the largest privately held corporations in the entire Caribbean, with BAICO being one of its subsidiaries.
In 2009, BAICO encountered a major liquidity crisis and subsequent bailout. When the company collapsed, people in Antigua and Barbuda collectively lost more than $300 million that they had invested in annuities and other policies with the company.
Policyholders in Trinidad and Tobago received all the monies owed to them when the government took control of the company. However, BAICO policy holders throughout the region, apart from Trinidad and Tobago, have not been paid in full.
Only partial payments have been made to Antiguan policy holders.
The Annuity Holders of BAICO Antigua Advocacy Group Inc. is seeking to recoup the monies owed to BAICO’s local policy holders.
Anguilla and Montserrat have also expressed interest in joining the class action litigation.