Friday, December 11, 2009

First Circuit holds that D and O policy does not provide coverage where directors and officers are not defendants

In Medical Mut. Ins. Co. v. Indian Harbor Ins. Co., 583 F.3d 57 (1st Cir. 2009) the United States Court of Appeals held that under Maine law a Director and Officer ("D & O") liability policy did not provide coverage where only a company, and not its officers and directors, was the defendant--even though the allegations included wrongful conduct on the part of the officers and directors.

Judge Selya held:

D & 0 polices exist to fund indemnification covenants that protect corporate directors and officers from personal liability, not to protect the corporation by which they are employed. The position advanced by the company in this case - extending coverage to situations in which the directors and officers are not themselves the actual targets of the claims made - would if accepted transmogrify D & 0 policies into comprehensive corporate general liability policies. Because such a tansmogrification is contrary to both the letter and the spirit of the D & O policy at issue here, we affirm the district court's entry of summary judgment in favor of the insurer.

No comments: