Costa Rica News – It seems the the INS of Costa Rica was hoping that the court system in the USA was as lenient as the one in Costa Rica in regards to Costa Rican government entities breaking contracts. We have seen various contracts that the Costa Rican government has formed over the past years like the Crucitas mining project that have been disregarded although they were signed.
Under the leadership of Guillermo Constenla, the Instituto Nacional de Seguros (INS) recklessly cost Costa Rica’s tax-payers in excess of $4 million in legal fees in it’s failed crusade to sue Miami-based, Hemispheric Reinsurance Group (HRG), and London based reinsurance broker, Howden Insurance Brokers, Ltd. in the United States on questionable legal theories in relation to the broker’s placement of reinsurance for INS on their insurance policy covering the assets of the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE), the largest single entity in the Costa Rica.
In addition to losing it’s lawsuit against HRG and Howden, Dade Circuit Court Judge ordered INS to pay damages in excess $990,000 including interest to Hemispheric Reinsurance Group (HRG) for breaching INS’ contract with HRG.
Guillermo Constenla refused to accept a reasonable settlement offer from Hemispheric Reinsurance Group (HRG) and Howden, requiring further litigation and incurring unnecessary legal fees on INS’ part as well as on HRG and Howden’s part to defend themselves.
Costa Rica’s Instituto Nacional de Seguros (INS) abused their power as a government entity and prematurely breached it’s contract with Hemispheric Reinsurance Group (HRG) and Howden Insurance Brokers Ltd., by failing to pay them as agreed, in spite of the fact that HRG and Howden complied fully with their contractual obligations.
On July 8, 2009 Hemispheric Reinsurance Group (HRG) appealed INS’ decision to improperly terminate contract, which INS ignored, in violation of Costa Rican Law.
The INS used the unpaid contractual portion of the monies due HRG and Howden, to hire Chicago-based Willis Re only to complete the remaining payment obligations to reinsurers as per the contract, in spite of the fact that Willis Re was not involved in the reinsurance placement, and they paid Willis Re HRG and Howden’s remaining commission.
Almost three years to the date from INS’ initiation of suit against HRG and Howden, attorney, Robert Newton Harris of Miami based Harris Law Firm Group, P.A., successfully won the case for Hemispheric Reinsurance Group in a landmark victory against the Costa Rican government’s Instituto Nacional de Seguros (INS), represented by the major International New York law firm, Hogan Lovells.
When it comes to legal binding contracts the Costa Rican government needs to understand they cannot use the “my bad” excuse that works in the Costa Rican court system everywhere in the world.