Biggest Specialty Lines Rulings in the First Half of 2022
The first six months of 2022 saw policyholders notch a pair of huge-money wins in cyber coverage disputes, directors and officers insurers do uncharacteristically well in corporate-friendly Delaware and the Ninth Circuit joins other appellate courts in finding coverage for social engineering wire fraud.
Here, Law360’s Insurance Authority breaks down the most important specialty lines rulings so far this year.
Yet some attorneys who represent policyholders said the state high court’s willingness to take up Insurers Gain Ground With Delaware D&O Decisions
A pair of Delaware Supreme Court decisions finding no coverage under directors and officers policies counted as much-needed wins for insurers in a state long considered friendly to corporate policyholders, although attorneys disagree as to the rulings’ applicability to future disputes.
In First Solar Inc. v. National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh, the Delaware Supreme Court in March upheld a lower court’s ruling that a solar panel company can’t get D&O coverage for a shareholder suit accusing it of concealing production defects. The underlying shareholder suit was too similar to an earlier class action that insurers already covered, triggering the policy’s related claims exclusion, the Delaware high court found.
Justin Lavella, an insurance recovery partner at Blank Rome LLP, said the fundamentally identical standard wasn’t being used by the Delaware Supreme Court to prove interrelatedness before the First Solar decision, so the high court’s refusal to adopt it should be of limited precedential impact.
“The opinion is very clear that it is not upsetting, changing, modifying or altering in any way the existing Delaware law on interrelatedness,” Lavella said.
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“Biggest Specialty Lines Rulings in the First Half of 2022,” by Josh Liberatore, was published in Law360 on July 8, 2022.