VANCOUVER, B.C. (CN) – Former British Columbia Premier Bill Vander Zalm sued Lloyd’s insurance, claiming it has to pay his legal bills in a defamation case he lost involving statements in his self-published politician’s autobiography.
Vander Zalm sued Lloyd’s Underwriters in B.C. Supreme Court.
He claims Lloyd’s has to pick up the tab for a $60,000 judgment awarded to Ted Hughes.
Hughes, a former judge, was British Columbia’s conflict of interest commissioner. He issued a report in 1991 that found Vander Zalm had breached conflict of interest guidelines in a business deal involving the sale of a theme park.
In Vander Zalm’s self-published book, “For the People,” he accused Hughes of conducting an unfair inquiry, which led to Vander Zalm’s resignation.
Hughes sued Vander Zalm in October 2010 as the former politician was back in the media spotlight, leading the charge against the B.C. government’s ill-fated attempt to harmonize its provincial sales tax with the federal government’s goods and services tax. A jury awarded Hughes $60,000 plus costs.
Vander Zalm claims that his “Personal Umbrella Liability” policy with Lloyd’s insured him for up to $5 million for any “personal injury” related claims, including libel, slander or defamation of character. He says Lloyd’s denied the claim in April.
Vander Zalm is represented by F.G. Potts, with Lindsay Kenney LLP.