Gunned down cameraman in new battle

Roger Pearson says insurance giant Royal & Sun Alliance is set to defend itself against claims made by a man shot four times.

High-profile insurance company the Royal & Sun Alliance is heading for a High Court confrontation over its refusal to meet a damages claim by a TV news cameraman who has been unable to work since he was gunned down while filming a riot in Gaza in the Middle East.

Majdi Alarabid, who lives in Gaza, was working for the World Television News Corporation when he was hit by bullets as he filmed a con frontation between Palestinian police and Israeli snipers on 26 September 1996.

His lawyers London-based Leigh Day believe medical reports prove he is incapable of working. Solicitor Daniel Bennett says his insurers deny he is permanently injured.

The Royal & Sun Alliance is contesting its liability to pay out under the policy. It is set to strongly defend the claim.

A spokesman said; "We strongly refute any allegation that we resist paying out on legitimate claims.

Alarabid worked full time from 1989 for World Television and had been shot four times previously during the course of his work.

In 1991 he was hit in his right leg, in 1992 he was shot in his left leg and in 1993 he was hit twice, both times in his left leg.

However, he never claimed insurance for any of those injuries. He finally made a claim after the latest bullet wounds rendered him incapable of work.

He was hit by an exploding Israeli "dum dum" bullet in the wrist. After he fell he was then hit by three more bullets, one in his right hip, another in his back and the third in his forearm.

According to Alarabid, after he made the insurance claim, he was flown to London for medical consultations in Harley Street.

He says the doctors told him there was nothing that could be done to enable him to work again as a cameraman.