Photo of Kevin LaCroix

Kevin M. LaCroix is an attorney and Executive Vice President, RT ProExec, a division of R-T Specialty, LLC. RT ProExec is an insurance intermediary focused exclusively on management liability issues.

A federal district court, applying Virginia law, has held that the “Bump-Up” exclusion in a D&O insurance policy does not unambiguously apply to preclude coverage for the settlements of underlying actions relating to the 2016 merger of Towers Watson and Willis. The court construed the exclusion narrowly and based on a reasonable interpretation most favorable to the insured, Towers Watson, determined that the settlements  were not excluded from the definition of Loss under the Bump-Up exclusion.  A copy of the court’s October 5, 2021 opinion can be found here.
Continue Reading Court Holds Bump-Up Exclusion Does Not Unambiguously Preclude Coverage

As I discussed in a post at the time (here), in August 2021 the SEC brought an cybersecurity-related disclosure enforcement action against UK educational publishing firm Pearson plc. In the following guest post, Paul Ferrillo, Daphne Morduchowitz and James Billings-Kang take a detailed look at the Pearson enforcement action and discuss the action’s implications. Paul and Daphne are partners and James is an associate at the Seyfarth Shaw law firm. I would like to thank the authors for allowing me to publish their 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 the authors’ article.
Continue Reading SEC Ramps Up Its Cyber-Security Enforcement in Pearson Matter

Hyzon Motors, a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle development company that merged with a SPAC in July 2021 and that was the subject of a recent scathing short seller report, has been hit with a securities class action lawsuit. The defendants in the lawsuit include two former officers of the SPAC with which Hyzon merged. A copy of the September 30, 2021 complaint filed against Hyzon can be found here.
Continue Reading Fuel Cell Vehicle Company Hit With SPAC-Related Securities Suit Following Short Seller Report

In the latest dismissal motion ruling in a COVID-19-related securities class action lawsuit, the federal judge presiding over the securities suit filed against private prison company The GEO Group has granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss with respect to the plaintiff’s coronavirus-related allegations, while denying the motion with respect to certain of the plaintiff’s allegations unrelated to COVID-19. A copy of the court’s September 23, 2021 order can be found here.
Continue Reading COVID-19-Related Securities Claims Against Private Prison Company Dismissed

Jeffrey Lubitz
Duncan Paterson

In the following guest post, Jeffrey Lubitz and Duncan Paterson take a look at the increasing numbers of class action lawsuits being filed against non-U.S. companies, and in particular how ESG issues may be the driving factor in multi-country cases. Jeff is the Executive Director of ISS Securities Class Action Services and Duncan Paterson is the Head of ESG Thought Leadership Program, ISS ESG. A complete copy of this article is available on the ISS Securities Class Action Services website, here. I would like to thank Jeff and Duncan for allowing me to publish their 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 Jeff and Duncan’s article.
Continue Reading Guest Post: Growing Number of Non-U.S. Companies Facing Class Actions

In the latest SPAC-related securities class action lawsuit filing, a plaintiff shareholder has initiated a securities suit against Agtech company AppHarvest, alleging material misrepresentations after the company recently experienced a stock price drop. A copy of the plaintiff’s September 24, 2021 securities class action lawsuit complaint can be found here.
Continue Reading AgTech Company Hit with SPAC-Related Securities Lawsuit

In an interesting development, the U.S. District Court Judge overseeing the cybersecurity-related securities class action lawsuit pending against title insurance company First American Financial Corp. has granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss. The dismissal in the case is interesting because the company had in June 2021 agreed with the SEC to enter a cease-and-desist order and to pay a modest civil penalty to settle charges related to the same cybersecurity incident. The dismissal is also interesting because it shows how plaintiffs’ lawyers have struggled to get traction with cybersecurity-related securities suits. A copy of the Court’s September 22, 2021 order granting the motion to dismiss in the First American securities suit can be found here.
Continue Reading Cybersecurity-Related Securities Suit Dismissed

In a development that unquestionably raises the heat on SPACs and SPAC sponsors, a group of four Democrat senators has sent each of six serial SPAC creators a letter raising questions about the creators’ SPAC-related activities and financial rewards. The letters’ purpose ostensibly is to allow the Senators to “understand what sort of Congressional or regulatory action may be necessary to better protect investors and market integrity.” Copies of the Senators’ September 22, 2021 letters can be found here. Senator Elizabeth Warren’s September 22, 2021 press release about the letters can be found here.
Continue Reading Senators’ Letters Raise the Heat on SPACs, Sponsors

Museo del Prado

The Museo del Prado in Madrid is one of the world’s great art museums. Its walls are lined with the works of some of the world’s best known and most revered painters, including not only the works of Spanish masters such as Valasquez, Goya, Tiepolo, and El Greco, but others of the great artists, including Raphael, Titian, and Bosch. Even amongst all the other works of the great masters the most interesting art in the museum is in a small gallery on the ground floor containing the collection of 14 paintings by Francisco Goya now known as the Pinturas Negras (Black Paintings). These fascinating paintings, some disturbing and all uniquely compelling, are among the most arresting art works I have ever seen. The inevitable question for anyone who sees them is what they mean, a question that has drawn me in since my first visit to the Prado many years ago.
Continue Reading Sunday Arts: Pinturas Negras