Commercial insurance policies often are contractually complex. Many insurance policies include multiple endorsements modifying provisions of the base insurance policy form. Interpreting the way that the various parts of the policy work together is an important part of determining insurance coverage. When it is unclear how the parts relate uncertainty results. In a recent decision, the Eighth Circuit found that where multiple policy endorsements modified the same policy exclusion, the net effect of the endorsements was ambiguity, resulting in the conclusion that the exclusion did not apply at all. The appellate court’s decision is a cautionary tale for anyone involved in the insurance placement process.
Continue Reading Multiple Endorsements Modifying Same Exclusion Render Policy Ambiguous, Negating Exclusion’s Applicability

Tim Hoeffner
Paul Ferrillo

In the following guest post, Tim Hoeffner and Paul Ferrillo of the McDermott Will & Emery law firm take a look at the Eighth Circuit’s April 10, 2020 decision in the Target Corporation securities class action lawsuit, in which the appellate court affirmed the lower court’s dismissal of the case. I would like to thank Tim and Paul for allowing me the opportunity 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 Tim and Paul’s article.
Continue Reading Guest Post: Eighth Circuit on Target on Appeal

eighth circuitYou know that the Insured vs. Insured Exclusion is a frequent source of D&O insurance coverage disputes when on consecutive days two federal appellate courts issue opinions interpreting and applying the provision. As I noted yesterday, on January 10, 2017, it was the Ninth Circuit’s turn; the next day, it was the Eighth Circuit’s turn. On January 11, 2017, the Eighth Circuit affirmed a district court’s holding that the Insured vs. Insured exclusion in a grocery store chain’s D&O insurance policy precluded coverage for claims brought by the chain’s founder’s daughter, who had served briefly as a director of the company. The appellate court also affirmed the district court’s holding that the exclusion precluded coverage not just for the daughter’s claims, but also for the claims of her two children, who were shareholders but not directors of the company. The court, applying Minnesota law, held that the exclusion precluded coverage for both the claims of the daughter (who was an insured person) and those of the children (who were not). The Eighth Circuit’s opinion can be found here.
Continue Reading Eighth Circuit: Insured vs. Insured Exclusion Precludes Coverage for Claims Brought by Both Insured and Non-Insured Persons

eighth circuitOne of the bedrock principles of our legal system is that criminal liability attaches only to those who act with intent or knowledge – that is, as the legal scholars say, with mens rea (or a guilty mind). The “responsible corporate officer doctrine” sits uneasily with these notions, imposing liability as it does on corporate officers not for their involvement in or even awareness of wrongdoing, but simply for their status as persons responsible for the company involved. A recent decision from the Eighth Circuit, in which each judge on the three-judge panel that heard the case wrote a separate opinion, underscores the tensions the responsible corporate officer doctrine presents within our system of justice, and potentially sets the stage for further consideration of these issues. The Eighth Circuit’s July 6, 2016 opinion in U.S. v. DeCoster can be found here.
Continue Reading Eighth Circuit Split Spotlights Tensions with the Responsible Corporate Officer Doctrine