IvI Exclusion’s Carve-Back Preserves Coverage for Entire Claim

The insured vs. insured exclusion is a standard exclusion in most management liability insurance policies. The exclusion precludes coverage for claims brought by one insured against another. The IvI exclusions in most management liability insurance policies typically include a number of exceptions to the exclusion preserving coverage for claims that otherwise would be excluded. In a recent decision, a Texas intermediate appellate court found that the IvI exclusion in an investment management firm’s policy did not preclude coverage for an arbitration award because the underlying dispute arose out of an employment practices claim and therefore the dispute – including even the derivative claims the claimant asserted in the arbitration – came within the exclusion’s coverage carve-back for wrongful employment practices claims. As discussed below, the court’s opinion has a number of interesting features. Continue Reading

Environmental Liability-Related Securities Suit Filed against DuPont Spin-off Chemours

As I have previously noted on this blog, one recurring source of securities class action litigation exposure for publicly traded companies is the companies’ underlying environmental liabilities. In the latest example of this type of litigation, a plaintiff shareholder has now filed a securities suit against The Chemours Company, a chemical company that spun out of E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (“DuPont”) in July 2015. One of the extraordinary things about the new securities suit is that it draws heavily on allegations Chemours itself raised in a 2019 Delaware Chancery Court lawsuit it filed against DuPont, in which, among other things, Chemours alleges that when DuPont spun out the company, its environmental liabilities reserves were “spectacularly” inadequate. A copy of the on October 8, 2019 securities class action complaint filed in the District of Delaware against Chemours, its CEO, and its CFO can be found here. Continue Reading

Guest Post: India: The Consumer Protection Act, 2019 – Exposures & Liability Insurance Protection

Umesh Pratapa

In the following guest post, Umesh Pratapa takes a look at the new Indian Consumer Protection Act, 2019. As Umesh discusses below, the Act not only has important implications for the rights of consumers, but it also has important liability insurance, product liability insurance, and professional liability insurance implications in Indian as well. Umesh’s article was originally published in BimaQuest September 2019 issue.  Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher, National Insurance Academy, Pune, India. I would like to thank Umesh for his willingness to allow me to publish his article as a guest post on this site. I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to this blog’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is Umesh’s article. Continue Reading

News Flash: Insurer That Paid Full Policy Limits Did not Breach the Policy or Act in Bad Faith

D&O insurance policyholders sometimes bridle when the insurers take steps to try to rein in burgeoning defense expense. In that situation, the D&O insurers will often try to remind the policyholder that because defense expense erodes the limit of liability, it is in everyone’s interest for defense expense to be monitored closely. An unusual coverage action in the Western District of New York reversed the usual concerns about insurer defense cost control. The policyholder sued its D&O insurer for breach of contract, bad faith, and intentional infliction of emotional distress not for failing to pay defense costs or full defense costs, but rather for allowing the policyholder’s defense expenses incurred in an underlying criminal action to exhaust the applicable limit of liability. While it is hardly a surprise that a court concluded that an insurer that paid out its full limits cannot be held liable for breach of contract – much less bad faith or infliction of emotional distress –there are still a number of interesting aspects to this dispute and to the court’s ruling.   Continue Reading

Caremark Duties Include Duty Not Only to Establish Oversight Processes but Also to Monitor Them

Earlier this year, in Marchand v. Barnhill, the Delaware Supreme Court underscored that boards that fail to establish oversight procedures for their company’s mission critical functions can be held liable for breach of their Caremark duties. In an October 1, 2019 decision in the Clovis Oncology Derivative Litigation, the Delaware Chancery Court provided further perspective on directors’ potential liability for breaches of the duty of oversight. The Chancery court held, citing Marchand,  that boards not only must be able to show that they have made good faith efforts to implement an oversight system, but that also that they monitor the system – particularly when a company operates in a highly regulated industry.  The Chancery Court’s October 1, 2019 decision in the Clovis Oncology Derivative Litigation can be found here. Continue Reading

Plaintiffs’ Lawyers, Merger Objection Litigation, and Mootness Fees

In a prior post, I noted recent academic research detailing the rise of mootness fee dismissals in federal court merger objection litigation. In these merger-related lawsuits, the plaintiffs agree to dismiss their suit based on the defendants’ agreement to make changes to the merger documents – thus, making the merger suit moot – and to pay the plaintiffs’ attorneys a mootness fee. An October 4, 2019 Law 360 article entitled “Plaintiffs Firms Follow Easy Merger Money to Federal Court” (here, subscription required) takes a look at the small group of plaintiffs’ law firms that the most active in filings these kinds of cases and obtaining mootness fees, in a process that at least one federal district judge has characterized as no better than a “racket.” Continue Reading

Data Breach-Related Securities Suit Filed Against Capital One

In the latest securities class action lawsuit to be filed against a company that has experienced a data breach or other cybersecurity incident, a plaintiff shareholder has filed a securities suit against Capital One in connection with the company’s recent massive data breach. While there have been a number of data breach-related securities suits before, there are some unique features of the Capital One situation that make it distinctive and interesting, as discussed below. The plaintiff shareholder’s October 2, 2019 complaint can be found here. Continue Reading

Guest Post: Can a Fully Executed Contract be Unenforceable?

Richie Leisner

In the following guest post, Richard M. Leisner, a Senior Member in the Trenam law firm in Tampa, takes a look at an unusual and interesting recent decision from the Delaware Chancery Court, Stacey Kotler v. Shipman Associates, LLC (here). Regardless of where you sit, this decision is worth consideration, as the parties had a fully executed stock purchase agreement yet as a result of the court’s decision the intended beneficiary came up empty. As Richie points out, there are some important lessons from this decision. I would like to thank Richie for allowing me to publish his article as a guest post on this site. I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to this site’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to publish a guest post. Here is Richie’s article. Continue Reading

Facebook Privacy-Related Securities Suit Dismissed Without Prejudice

Two of the most prominent examples of the rise of privacy-related securities class action lawsuits are the Cambridge Analytica scandal-related suit filed against Facebook in March 2018, and the Earnings Miss/GDPR-readiness and compliance-related securities suit filed against Facebook in July 2018. These two lawsuits were ultimately consolidated. In an interesting and detailed September 25, 2019 order (here), Northern District of California Edward J. Davila granted without prejudice the defendants’ motions to dismiss the consolidated lawsuit, finding that the plaintiffs had failed to adequately plead falsity and scienter. There are a number of interesting features to Judge Davila’s ruling, as discussed below. Continue Reading

Percentage of Securities Suits Involving Opt-Outs Increased in Most Recent Years

Opt-outs “remain a small yet significant part of the overall securities class action landscape,” according to a recently updated Cornerstone Research report written in conjunction with the Latham & Watkins law firm. The report, entitled “Opt-Out Cases in Securities Class Action Settlements” (here) notes that the opt-out rate has more than doubled in the most-recent four year period and that opt-outs remain more likely in larger dollar settlements. Cornerstone Research’s September 25, 2019 press release about the report can be found here. Continue Reading

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