Archives: D & O Insurance

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Prior Acts Exclusion Does Not Preclude Coverage Where Subsequent Claim Independent from Alleged Prior Acts

In a January 23, 2018 unpublished decision (here), the Eleventh Circuit held that a D&O insurance policy’s prior acts exclusion does not preclude coverage where the subsequent claim against insured persons is “independent” from the alleged wrongful acts that occurred prior to the policy period. The appellate court’s opinion, in which it affirmed a district … Continue Reading

Second Circuit: Professional Services Exclusion Precludes D&O Coverage for NASDAQ’s Facebook IPO Claims

A recurring D&O insurance issue is the question of whether or not coverage for a particular claim is precluded under the relevant policy’s professional services exclusion. A recent decision by the Second Circuit addressed questions concerning the applicability of a professional services exclusion in a D&O insurance coverage dispute arising out of the mistake-plagued Facebook … Continue Reading

D&O Policy Rescission Upheld Despite Poorly Written Application Question and Arguably Correct Answer

Insurance policies are of course written documents, dependent upon standard conventions of grammar and usage in order to establish their meaning. A recent unpublished opinion from the Ninth Circuit wrestled with the grammar rules involved when an insurance application’s question and answer created a double negative. Even though a literal reading of the application question … Continue Reading

D&O Insurance: Coverage Carve-Backs in the Insured vs. Insured Exclusion

A standard exclusion found in most private company directors and officers insurance policies precludes coverage for claims brought by one insured against another insured – the so-called Insured vs. Insured exclusion. The exclusion typically includes several coverage carve-backs preserving coverage for certain types of claims for which the exclusion would otherwise preclude coverage. One relatively … Continue Reading

Claims Made Policies: The Problem of Pre-Policy Period Dispute Communications

Most professional liability insurance policies are written on a claims-made basis – that is, they cover only claims first made during the applicable policy period. A recurring issue under these kinds of policies is the question of when a claim was first made. This question can be particularly complicated if there were pre-policy period communications … Continue Reading

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