The coronavirus pandemic poses a host of threats and challenges for every organization. The outbreak also presents a number of serious challenges for boards of directors as well. In the following guest post, Paul Ferrillo, a partner in the McDermott, Will & Emery law firm, considers the challenges that boards are facing and the litigation threats that may arise as a result. I would like to thank Paul 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 Paul’s article.
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John F. McCarrick

As I have noted in prior posts, among the many implications from the current coronavirus outbreak is the possibility that the pandemic might result in D&O claims. This possibility in turn has a number of D&O insurance underwriting implications. In the following guest post, John F. McCarrick, a partner in the White & Williams law firm, takes a look at these possible underwriting implications. A version of this article previously was published as a White & Williams client alert. I would like to thank John 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.
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After I published a post last week suggesting that there could be D&O claims arising out of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, several people suggested to me that I was being alarmist and expressed deep skepticism about the possibility of coronavirus-related claims. After all, they said, there were no D&O claims filed in connection with the SARS, MERS or Ebola outbreaks. Well, there may well have been no D&O claims related to those prior outbreaks. However, it looks like in this context as in many others, the COVID-19 outbreak is going to be different. On March 12, 2020, a plaintiff shareholder filed a securities class action lawsuit against Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, Ltd. alleging that the company was employing misleading sales tactics related to the outbreak. A copy of the plaintiff shareholder’s complaint can be found here.
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On March 10, 2020, as part of a Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS) series of recorded discussions on the possible professional liability insurance implications of the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak, I participated in a short conversation on the viral outbreak’s D&O insurance implications. Joining me for the conversation were my good friends Carl Metzger of the