Fairlead Group Empowers the Maritime Industry
Fairlead Group Empowers the Maritime Industry to Fight Back Against Fraudulent and Exaggerated Personal Injury Claims.
The personal injury landscape in the United States is unique. Any foreign flagged Shipowner or operator who has been unfortunate enough to get caught up in litigation in the US will agree. The uplift in a claim estimate for an injury claim in the US versus anywhere else in the world can be difficult for a claims handler to explain to a foreign shipowner or operator. A variety of factors, from a sophisticated plaintiff’s bar, the right to a jury, plaintiff-friendly statutory law and an absence of a cap on general damages, has created an exposure to high awards in the United States. Add to the mix the inevitable add-ons; (TBI) Traumatic Brain Injury, (PTSD) Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and ED (Erectile Dysfunction), sometimes even questionable surgeries, and the estimate can skyrocket to dizzying heights.
To give credit where credit is due. The plaintiff bar has figured out how to come together to drive up the value of their client’s claims. The industry has devised psychology-based theories to tap into a jury’s emotions. They have developed an ecosystem of experts and partners in support of the plaintiff industry.
The Fairlead Group
Fairlead Group, a new private investigation platform which has been tailored to the specific needs of the maritime industry, has been launched to help take the maritime defense industry to the next level in its ability to investigate and defend personal injury claims in the US. Fairlead Group has digitized the private investigation experience through the development of a bespoke web-based system to manage the process of assigning and obtaining investigative services, and generating streamlined interactive reports. The Fairlead platform consolidates the investigative process in a secure case management system, allowing users to store their entire case-load, and utilize their claims data to spot trends, develop global strategies and produce claims management and mitigation reports for senior management/shareholders.
Fairlead Group was developed by the Thomas Miller America’s claims team, who, after seeing years of inconsistencies in the quality and relevance of the existing private investigation offering, decided to take matters into their own hands. Thomas Miller America’s spent two years vetting the capabilities of the non-marine industry, looking at the methods used by corporate America to mitigate their exposure to speculative suit in the US.
“We saw what the big US corporations were doing, the investment they were putting into developing their own in-house bespoke platforms to thoroughly investigate all claims in a systematic way. The results were undeniable. Not just in terms of defending the big claims. Just as important to us was the ability to use the results of these early investigations to come up with a fully informed defense strategy. If the claim has merit, we use the report to reach an early resolution. If the claim is not meritorious, or the demand is unreasonable, now we have better tools to fight.” Leanne O’Loughlin, President Fairlead Group.
The Thomas Miller/Fairlead Group team acknowledged that most ship and terminal owners and operators, even the big ones, probably can’t justify investing in their own bespoke systems. They recognized an opportunity to develop a system tailored to the collective needs of the maritime and marine transport industry with operations in the US.
Fairlead Group partnered with Scout to develop the integrated platform. The system intuits the needs of a claims handler or manager in the marine transport industry. The system can be accessed through the Fairlead Group website.
Fairlead Group also entered into an exclusive partnership with The Robison Group, a national agency of professional investigators, to provide the investigative services. The Robison Group was established 23 years ago and has 270 permanent employees operating in all 50 US states, plus a network of pre-vetted consultant partners in non-US jurisdictions including the Caribbean and Central and South America.
The overall message is simple. Investigate early. Investigate often. Investigate efficiently. Experienced claims and operations professionals know very early on which incidents are going to develop into a claim. A seasoned claims professional will recognize a change in language, some new or suspicious allegations of injury or even an online post by a potential claimant, witness, co-worker or family member. Fairlead suggests that this is when users should carry out their preliminary online sweep. Catch that information as early as possible after an incident occurs, long before an attorney schools their client in how to sanitize their online presence. This ammunition could be worth thousands, even hundreds of thousands down the line if the case proceeds to litigation.
Fairlead Group aims to disrupt the existing personal injury landscape in the US. The service is available to the entire maritime and transport industry, and their insurers.
“Shipowners and operators, and their insurers, need to unite in collectively pushing back against dubious litigation and the attorneys and other professionals who are profiting from it. There are way too many deserving claimants out there, people with real injuries and who would gladly give the money back if they could give back the injury with it. It isn’t fair that the bad actors profit and cast doubt over all the wider industry.” Leanne O’Loughlin, President of Fairlead Group.