Executive Summary Blog

Executive Summary Blog

Legal developments affecting professional liability insurers

Tag Archives: Delaware

Computer Fraud Claim Triggers Insurer’s Duty to Pay Defense Costs Despite “Gravamen” of Litigation Involving Excluded Misappropriation Claims

Posted in Allocation
The Superior Court of the State of Delaware, applying Delaware and Kansas law, has held that an insurer owed a duty to pay defense costs under a directors and officers liability policy for a lawsuit primarily alleging the misappropriation of trade secrets, despite a misappropriation exclusion, on the basis that the underlying complaint asserted a… Continue Reading

No Legal Fees for M&A Objector Where Transaction Resulted in Loss of Standing to Object

Posted in Corporate Considerations
The Delaware Chancery Court has dismissed an action brought by three plaintiffs’ law firms seeking legal fees in connection with merger litigation that was initially successful, but which ultimately failed on appeal when the transaction closed and the objector lost standing.  Bragar Eagel & Squire, PC, et al. v. Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, LP, et… Continue Reading

No Second Bite for Derivative Plaintiffs: Delaware Supreme Court Rebuffs Invitation to Undermine Preclusive Effect of Prior Unsuccessful Derivative Action

Posted in Corporate Considerations
The Delaware Supreme Court, once again addressing questions of issue preclusion in the context of shareholder derivative litigation, has rejected suggestions by the Chancery Court that giving preclusive effect to initial, unsuccessful efforts to litigate demand futility violates the Due Process rights of shareholders attempting to bring a subsequent action elsewhere. California State Teachers’ Retirement… Continue Reading

No Coverage for $3.5 Million in Pre-Notice Defense Expenses Where Notice Was a Year Late

Posted in Consent to settle/incur defense costs, Defense Costs, Notice of Claim
Applying Delaware law, a federal court in New York has held that where an insured waited more than a year to report a lawsuit to its insurer and during that period incurred more $3.5 million in legal fees, the insurer had no obligation to pay pre-tender defense costs, without regard to whether the insurer could… Continue Reading

Inviting a Second Bite at the Apple: Delaware Chancery Court Suggests New Approach to Evaluating Preclusive Effect of Prior Unsuccessful Derivative Litigation

Posted in Corporate Considerations
In response to the Delaware Supreme Court’s question in connection with remand, the Delaware Chancery Court has suggested reevaluation of its prior willingness to dismiss subsequent derivative litigation where an earlier derivative action has been dismissed due to demand futility.  In re Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Delaware Derivative Litigation, C.A. No. 7455-CB (consol.), supp. op. (Del.… Continue Reading

Specific Litigation Exclusion Bars Coverage When Claim Arises “At Least in Part” From Excluded Litigation

Posted in Related Claims and associated exclusions
An Illinois district court, applying Delaware law, has held that a specific litigation exclusion in a company’s directors and officers insurance policy bars coverage for a claim arising “at least in part” from the litigation referenced in the exclusion.  RSUI Indem. Co. v. Worldwide Wagering, Inc, 2017 WL 3023748 (N.D. Ill. Jul. 17, 2017).… Continue Reading

No “Final Adjudication” Where Parties Settled After Court Issued Opinion But Prior to Judgment

Posted in Dishonesty Exclusion
The Delaware Superior Court, purporting to apply Delaware and California law, has held that there was no “final adjudication” for purposes of triggering a conduct exclusion where the parties to the underlying action settled after the court issued an interlocutory memorandum opinion containing findings of fraud.  Arch Ins. Co. v. Murdock, 2016 WL 7414218 (Del.… Continue Reading

Settlement of Class Actions for Allegedly Withheld Profits Not Disgorgement

Posted in Defense Costs, Loss, Public Policy prohibition on insurance
Applying New York and Delaware law, the Superior Court of Delaware has held that a retirement benefits provider’s settlement of three class actions seeking payment of alleged profits did not constitute disgorgement and was insurable under the provider’s professional liability policies.  TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Servs. LLC v. Illinois Nat’l Ins. Co., 2016 WL 6534271… Continue Reading

Absent Prejudice, Untimely Notice Does Not Preclude Coverage if Notice Provided During Renewal Policy Period

Posted in “Claim”, Notice of Claim
The Delaware Superior Court, applying Delaware law, has held that an insured’s failure to provide timely notice of a claim during the applicable claims-made policy period does not preclude coverage when the insured renewed the policy and provided notice of the claim during the renewal policy period, unless the insurer can prove prejudice as a… Continue Reading

Insured v. Insured Exclusion, Allocation Do Not Apply to Related Claims

Posted in Allocation, Collusion, Insured v. Insured Exclusion
A Delaware trial court has affirmed its ruling that an Insured v. Insured exclusion does not apply to a shareholder derivative demand brought by a director of the company because the demand constitutes a single Claim with an earlier demand made by the same individual before he became a director. Ameritrans Capital Corp. v. XL… Continue Reading