Director and officer liability

Over the last few years, I have posted numerous items citing examples were sexual misconduct allegations or a hostile workplace environment have led to D&O claims. Many of these kinds of suits followed in the wake of the #MeToo movement. The fact that these kinds of allegations can lead to D&O claims is well understood in the D&O insurance industry. However, I know from recent conversations that some in the industry believe that the risk of these kinds of D&O claims has diminished as the #MeToo movement has evolved. However, recent events at the gaming company Activision Blizzard shows that unfortunately the kinds of underlying allegations that have led to claims are not a thing of the past; as discussed below, Activision Blizzard has now been hit with a securities suit based on underlying sexual misconduct and discrimination allegations.
Continue Reading Sexual Discrimination and Harassment Allegations Lead to Securities Suit

Sarah M. Abrams, Esq.

An important corporate governance topic – but a subject that I frankly have not addressed frequently this site – is the topic of executive compensation. In the following guest post,  Sarah Abrams, Director, Management Liability Claims at Markel, examines the recent rise in D&O litigation involving executive compensation. I would like to thank Sarah for allowing me to publish her article 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 Sarah’s article.
Continue Reading Guest Post: As Equity Markets Surge, Carriers Need to Examine D&O Governance Exposure

In prior posts on this site, I have identified privacy-related issues as a potentially important source of future D&O claims. In making these projections, one thing I had in mind was the possibility of claims as a result of the enforcement of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, which went into effect in May 2018. There have in fact already been GDPR-related securities class action lawsuits filed in the U.S., including the securities suit filed in August 2018 against U.K.-incorporated media tracking company Nielsen Holdings. In a January 4, 2021 opinion, Southern District of New York Judge Jesse Freeman granted in part and denied in part the defendants’ motion to dismiss the Nielsen Holdings lawsuit. Of significance to the questions concerning privacy-related claims, the plaintiff’s allegations concerning defendants’ statements after GDPR went into effect about the GDPR’s impact on the company survived the dismissal motion. A copy of Judge Furman’s opinion can be found here.
Continue Reading GDPR-Related Securities Suit Against Nielsen Holdings in Part Survives Dismissal Motion

In the following guest post, Umesh Pratapa takes a look at directors’ liability issues under Indian law, and also examines the protections that are available for directors as well. Umesh is a Consultant – Liability Insurance, in India. Umesh’s article was originally published in the July 2020 issue of “Director Today”, a monthly journal of the Institute of Directors (IOD), India. Reproduced with the kind permission of the publisher, Institute of Directors, India. I would like to thank Umesh 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 submit a guest post. Here is Umesh’s article.
Continue Reading Guest Post: Director’s Liabilities: Prevention and Protection – Ports of Call for Relief

Francis Kean

As long time readers know, I have long been warning that climate change-related issues could have a significant impact on directors and officers liability exposures. In the following guest post, Francis Kean provides a summary outline of the specific litigation exposures that corporate directors and officers may face as a result of emerging climate change-related concerns. Francis is Executive Director FINEX Willis Towers Watson. Francis will be joining McGill and Partners in early spring 2020. I would like to thank Francis 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 blog’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is Francis’s article.
Continue Reading Guest Post: Climate Change Litigation Threats to Directors and Officers

John Reed Stark

The news of the recent massive data breach at Capital One made the front pages of the business sections of newspapers across the country. The hack has drawn attention not just because of the magnitude of the hack, but also because the hackers apparently managed to steal data from The Cloud. The Capital Data breach represents a “wake-up call” for boards of directors, according to the following guest post from John Reed Stark. John is President of John Reed Stark Consulting and former Chief of the SEC’s Office of Internet Enforcement. A version of this article originally appeared on Securities Docket. My thanks to John for allowing me to publish his article 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 John’s article.
Continue Reading Guest Post: What the Capital One Hack Means for Board of Directors

In the following guest post, Deepshikha Dutt, Douglas B.B. Stewart,of and Frank E.P. Bowman of the Dentons law firm review and analyze a recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice relating to the liabilities of directors and officers under Ontario statutory law for misrepresentations in offering statements. This article is republished here with permission from Dentons. I would like to thank Deepshikha, Douglas, and Frank for allowing me to publish their article here. 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 an article. Here is Deepshikha,  Douglas, and Frank’s article.
Continue Reading Guest Post: Court Dismisses Statutory Misrepresentation Claim against Credit Union Board in Landmark Decision

As I have noted in recent posts, the #MeToo movement has led to a number of D&O lawsuits as the accountability process has led not only to claims against the wrongdoers but also against the wrongdoers’ company and other company executives for turning a blind eye or failing to disclose the problems. On August 30, 2018, in the latest of these D&O claims arising out of revelations of sexual misconduct, investors filed a securities class action lawsuit against Papa John’s International, following news reports of sexual harassment at the company involving the company’s founder and former CEO and Chairman, John H. Schantter, as well as other executives at the company.
Continue Reading Yet Another D&O Claim Arising out of Revelations of Sexual Misconduct

Commentators (including me) have long speculated about the possible future direction of data breach-related litigation. There have of course been a number of very high profile data breach-related consumer class action suits, but so far relatively few data breach related D&O lawsuits. Of course, more recently investors filed a securities class action lawsuit involving the high-profile data breach at Equifax. Now investors have filed another data breach securities class action lawsuit, in this case involving PayPal Holdings.
Continue Reading Investors File Data Breach-Related Securities Suit Against PayPal