If the underlying insurers have paid their limits, you would generally expect that the next-in-line excess insurer would also have to pay its limit as well for losses within its layer. However, in an appellate decision with what is arguably an unexpected twist, an appellate court has held – in reliance on express policy language – that an upper layer excess carrier is relieved of its obligation to pay because the underlying carriers, all of whom paid their full limit, did not admit liability. The Third Circuit’s January 19, 2024, decision, marked “not precedential,” can be found here. A January 21, 2024, LinkedIn post about the decision by Paul Curley of the Kaufman, Borgeest & Ryan law firm can be found here.Continue Reading Excess D&O Insurance Coverage Barred Because Underlying Insurers Didn’t Admit Liability
In the latest development in Pfizer’s long-running efforts to recover from its D&O insurers amounts the company paid in defense and settlement of prior securities litigation (the “Morabito Action”), a Delaware Superior Court Judge, applying Delaware law, has held that the company’s settlement with a lower level excess insurer for less than that insurer’s policy limit did not create a gap relieving an upper layer excess insurer of its payment obligations. The court also found that the company’s earlier notice of a different securities litigation did not trigger the policy’s Prior Notice exclusion. The court’s August 28, 2020 opinion can be found here.
Continue Reading Excess Insurer Cannot Avoid Payment Where Underlying Insurer Settled With Policyholder for Less Than Full Policy Limits
An issue that frequently comes up when companies are in bankruptcy or in other forms of receivership is whether the companies’ D&O insurer can advance payment of individuals’ defense costs over the receiver’s objections. In a recent case, a Northern District of Texas judge has ruled that the individual defendants in an SEC enforcement action are entitled to have their defense expenses advanced notwithstanding the asset stay in the proceeding and despite the receiver’s objections. However the policy’s limits of liability are all but exhausted, which raises its own set of issues, as discussed below. Northern District of Texas Judge Sydney Fitzwater’s June 6, 2018 opinion in the case can be found here.
Continue Reading D&O Insurance: Company in Receivership, Insurer Can Advance Defense Expense, But Limits Exhausted?
As part of The D&O Diary’s ongoing efforts to keep abreast of important D&O insurance developments around the world, I am pleased to present the following guest post regarding D&O issues in Spain. In his guest post, Jorge Angell, the senior partner at the Madrid law firm of LC Rodrigo Abogados, takes a look at certain features of the criminal liability system in Spain and reviews the implications for D&O insurance. I would like to thank Jorge for his willingness to publish his article as a guest post on my 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 an article. Here is Jorge’s guest post.
Continue Reading Guest Post: The Impact of a Recent Criminal Case in Spain on D&O Insurance