Archives: D & O Insurance

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D&O Insurer’s Withholding of Settlement Consent Held Reasonable

D&O insurance policies typically specify that the insurer’s written consent is required for a policyholder to settle a claim, such consent not to be unreasonably withheld. This consent-to-settlement clause is the not infrequent source of coverage disputes, usually involving circumstances where the policyholder has gone ahead and settled a claim without seeking the requisite consent. … Continue Reading

D&O Insurance Coverage and the Rise of Appraisal Litigation

As I have detailed on this blog (most recently here), due to two Delaware court decisions — the Delaware Supreme Court’s 2015 decision in Corwin v. KKR Financial Holdings LLC  (here) and the Delaware Chancery Court’s January 2016 court decision in the In re Trulia Shareholder litigation (here)—deal litigation that in the past would have been filed in Delaware … Continue Reading

D&O Insurance and Insured Capacity

The insurance available under a D&O insurance policy does not protect insured individuals for all of their activities; rather, the policy protects the individuals only for their actions undertaken in their capacities as officer or directors of the insured organization. The policy does not protect the individuals for actions undertaken in their personal capacity or … Continue Reading

Ongoing SEC Investigation is a “Claim” Sufficient to Trigger Prior Claim Exclusion

In an insurance coverage dispute arising out of the high-profile and long-running SEC investigation of and enforcement action against the investment firm Patriarch Partners and its CEO Lynn Tilton, a federal district court judge has ruled that coverage under Patriarch’s excess D&O insurance policy is precluded under the policy’s “Pending and Prior Claim” exclusion, because … Continue Reading

D&O Insurer Must Continue Defense Expense Reimbursement Post-Merger

An acquired bank’s D&O insurer’s defense cost obligation to the bank’s directors and officers in connection with merger-related litigation continued after the merger transaction closed and was owed to the acquiring bank, a federal district court judge has held, rejecting the policy-based arguments on which the insurer relied to contend that its payment obligations ceased … Continue Reading

Insurance Coverage for Subpoena Response Costs

One of the perennial D&O insurance coverage questions is the issue of whether or not the D&O policy provides coverage for costs incurred in responding to a subpoena, as I have discussed in prior posts (refer here and here). Increasingly these days, policies expressly address the issue through language specifying that a subpoena is a … Continue Reading

D&O Insurance: Antitrust Verdict Does Not Trigger Policy’s Improper Profit Exclusion

In a unpublished August 30, 2017 opinion (here), the Ninth Circuit affirmed a district court ruling that a trial court verdict that a hospital system had violated the antitrust laws was not an adjudication sufficient to trigger the improper profit exclusion in the hospital system’s D&O insurance policy, and therefore that the hospital system was … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Affirms That Invasion of Privacy Exclusion Precludes D&O Insurance Coverage for TCPA Claim

As litigation under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) has proliferated in recent years, one of the recurring questions has been whether the defendants have insurance coverage for these kinds of claims. The insurance questions have in turn generated insurance coverage litigation, primarily with respect to the defendants’ CGL insurance policies, but also with respect … Continue Reading

D&O Insurance: Securing Coverage for Books and Records Requests

The right of shareholders to demand inspection of companies’ books and records is of course nothing new. What is new is the increased frequency of books and records demands, often as a result of courts’ requirement for prospective shareholder claimants to investigate alleged misconduct of corporate executives before filing a lawsuit. The scope of the … Continue Reading

Professional Services Exclusion Precludes Coverage for All Insureds, Not Just Those Performing Services

If a D&O insurance policy exclusion precludes coverage for loss arising out of the performance of professional services, does the exclusion preclude coverage for all insureds or just the insureds who performed the services? In a July 5, 2017 opinion (here), the Eleventh Circuit, applying Florida law in a case related to the Rothstein law … Continue Reading

Guest Post: The D&O Cramdown: Triggering Side A DIC Coverage When an Underlying D&O Carrier Declines Coverage

In the following guest post, Peter Gillon and Eric Gold of the Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman law firm take a look at one of important drop down features of Side A DIC insurance coverage, the coverage that is triggered when an underlying carrier denies coverage. I would like to thank Peter and Eric for their … Continue Reading

Though Fraudulent Transfers Took Place During the Policy Period, Past Acts Exclusion Still Precludes Coverage

A prior acts exclusion in a bank holding company’s D&O insurance policy precludes coverage for claims based on allegedly fraudulent transfers made to a banking subsidiary during the policy period, because the transfers arose out of wrongful acts that occurred prior to the policy’s past acts date, according to a recent decision by the Eleventh … Continue Reading

Eighth Circuit: Notice Provided During the Policy Period But After Seven Month Delay Not “As Soon as Practicable”

If an insured give notice of claim to its insurer during the policy period but seven months after a lawsuit is filed, has it provided notice “as soon as practicable” as required under the policy? Not according to a May 25, 2017 decision by the Eighth Circuit. The appellate court, applying Minnesota law, affirmed the … Continue Reading

D&O Insurance is Important for Private Companies, Too

Executives at companies whose securities are publicly traded typically don’t need to be persuaded that their company needs D&O insurance. They understand that the exposures public companies face make D&O insurance indispensable. However, the view of some private company managers may be different, particularly for officials at companies whose shares are very closely held. These … Continue Reading

Important D&O Insurance Program Structure Concerns

Most D&O insurance buyers understand the critical importance of limits selection – that is, deciding how much insurance to buy. But an equally important question involves the issue of program structure – that is, how the insurance program is put together. Many insurance buyers understand that, in order to be able to purchase an insurance … Continue Reading

In Long-Running Bear Stearns Dispute, N.Y. Court Rejects Insurers’ Remaining Coverage Defenses

In what seems like the culminating trial court clash in the long-running effort of J.P. Morgan, as successor in interest to Bear Stearns, to try to obtain insurance coverage for amounts Bear Stearns paid to settle charges that it had facilitated market timing and late trading, New York (New York County) Supreme Court Judge Charles … Continue Reading

Policyholder Group Supports Appeal Involving Professional Services Exclusion

Regular readers know that one of my hobby-horse issues is what I perceive as insurers’ overbroad application of the professional services exclusion typically found in private company D&O insurance policies, particularly with respect to policyholders in services businesses. Because of this long-standing concern, I was interested to see that a policyholders’ rights group has filed … Continue Reading

D&O Insurance: When Is a Claim a “Securities Claim”?

Public company D&O insurance policies typically provide coverage for the corporate entity only for “Securities Claims.” A recent case in the Delaware Superior Court involved the question of whether a bankruptcy trustee’s claim related to Verizon’s multi-billion dollar spinoff of its electronic directories business was a “Securities Claim.” In an interesting and detailed opinion dated … Continue Reading

D&O Insurance: Prior and Pending Litigation Exclusion Doesn’t Preclude Coverage, Late Notice Does

A recent summary judgment ruling in a D&O insurance coverage lawsuit in the District of Connecticut addressed several potentially preclusive coverage issues. In her February 28, 2017 opinion (here), Judge Vanessa Bryant, applying Connecticut law, ultimately held that coverage for the underlying claim was precluded due to the insured’s late provision of notice of claim, … Continue Reading

D&O Insurance: Convictions, Appeals, and the Conduct Exclusion

Most D&O insurance policies have conduct exclusions precluding coverage for fraudulent, criminal, or willful misconduct. However, mere allegations are insufficient to trigger this exclusion. If allegations alone were enough, then many claims that would otherwise be covered under the policy would be precluded from coverage, because many D&O claims involve allegations of fraudulent, criminal, or … Continue Reading
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