Connecticut S.C. upholds ruling in Lloyd's of London lawsuit

Drew Smith Oct. 27, 2008, 2:39pm

HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) -- The Connecticut Supreme Court has upheld a lower court rulings in two cases in which Lloyd's of London was seeking restitution from a convicted felon.

The lawsuit stems from a 1992 incident in which Steven Cooperman staged the theft of two paintings, -- "Nude Before a Mirro" by Pablo
Picasso and "The Customs Officer's Cabin at Pourville" by Claude Monet
-- both of which were insured by Lloyd's for $5 million and $7.5
million, respectively.

Cooperman ultimately filed a claim for the art but was denied. He sued
and was ultimately awarded $17.5 million in a settlement.

In 1999, Cooperman was convicted of insurance fraud and tax. In order to pay restitution to the plaintiffs, he sold assets to his wife, Nancy.

In the lawsuit, Lloyd's claims he intentionally undervalued the assets
he conveyed to his wife. The company was also seeking to recover the
insurance proceeds and property she allegedly acquired from the sale
of the assets.

The trial court found that the sale of assets wasn't a fraudulent
transfer and that the statute of limitations prevented the plaintiffs
from their claims for equitable relief against Nancy Cooperman.

In a unanimous ruling, the Connecticut Supreme Court upheld the
previous court's findings, stating that "the plaintiffs had not proved
that the 2001 sale of assets constituted statutory theft or conversion."

The ruling went on to affirm that the statute of limitations had
indeed expired in the matter of Nancy Cooperman's assets.

In the decision, the court held that the plaintiffs did not "explain
why...the statute of limitations did not begin to run at the time she
received that interest."

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