Professional Liability

News & Analysis as of

Architects and Design Professionals Can Be Held Liable for Defects Based On Third Party Claims

A homeowners association, on behalf of its members, sued a condominium developer and various other parties for construction design defects that allegedly made their homes unsafe and uninhabitable for a significant portion of...more

Mind Your Ds and Os: Policy Language Proves Determinative in Director and Officer Insurance Coverage

A recent pair of opinions from New York and Pennsylvania shows the importance of evaluating all parts of director and officer (D&O) insurance coverage, down to each definition. These cases, one holding for the insured and one...more

Practicing Defensive Lawyering: Leaving No Stone Unturned In the Land Where the Unicorn is the National Symbol

It’s easy to criticize medical professionals when we believe they are engaged in “defensive medicine”. The fear of legal liability in a future malpractice action sometimes drives medical professionals to order tests or take...more

Land of Confusion: Insurance Coverage for Pre-Suit FCPA Investigation Costs under D&O liability Policies

Bloomberg recently reported that Walmart spent $439 Million in the past two years related to a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) investigation . Moreover, Walmart predicts that it will spend an additional $200 Million to...more

The Corporate Representative’s Deposition Bill Of Rights (And Wrongs)

Your company’s general counsel just “voluntold” you that you’re going to be deposed as the company’s representative in a court case that you’ve never heard of. What in the world is she talking about, and what will you have to...more

Three New Weapons to Combat Shareholder Litigation

Over the past several years there has been an overwhelming abundance of class action shareholder litigation. A study by Cornerstone Research found that in 2013 alone, 94% of mergers and acquisitions worth over $100 million...more

Insured Not Justified in Ignoring Claims-Made-and-Reporting Requirements

An insured’s attempt to circumvent the claims-made-and-reporting requirements of its professional liabilty policy, by arguing that the doctrine of promissory estoppel applied, was thwarted when a court ordered summary...more

Federal Judge Concludes Restitution May Be Covered Under Commonly Used Professional Liability Policy Language

A federal judge in Minnesota recently held that “restitution” paid to settle a class action lawsuit was covered under the terms of a professional liability policy. The court in U.S. Bank National Ass’n et al. v. Indian Harbor...more

SEC Can’t Pass On Pot Stock Puffery

Corporations facing federal securities suits can sometimes avoid liability by claiming that their forward-looking statements were so vague or indefinite that they could not have affected the company’s stock price and are...more

Massachusetts Court Holds No Coverage Under Lawyers’ Malpractice Policy for 93A Claim

In its recent decision in Am. Guar. & Liab. Ins. Co. v. Lamond, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103117 (D. Mass. July 29, 2014), the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts had occasion to consider what portion...more

This Court’s Ruling Puts The Opinion In Auditor’s Internal Control Opinion

A brief ruling issued this week by U.S. District Court Judge James C. Mahan makes it clear that an auditor isn’t always liable even when a subsequent auditor uncovers fraud. In Oaktree Capital Mgmt., L.P. v. KPMG, 2014 U.S....more

Avoid the “Insolvency Exclusion” Trap in E&O Policies: Tennessee Federal Court Confirms That Insolvency Exclusion Does Not Apply...

As the wave of litigation spawned by the 2008 financial crisis begins to ebb, insurance-coverage litigation arising out of the credit crisis continues unabated. Financial institutions have successfully pursued insurance...more

Creditors: Delete a discharged debt from a credit report or face possible liability

A typical lender is often managing tens of thousands of accounts of all different types and in various states of financial health. So what happens when a lender, for whatever reason, fails to update credit reporting agencies...more

Your D&O Insurance Policy Post-Halliburton

In its recent, highly anticipated decision in Halliburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund, the U.S. Supreme Court declined an invitation to overturn the so-called “fraud on the market” presumption applicable to securities class...more

Texas Court Holds Insured Failed to Timely Report Claim

In its recent decision in Netspend Corp. v. AXIS Ins. Co., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97656 (W.D. Tex. July 18, 2014), the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas had occasion to consider what constitutes a...more

California Dividend Statutes Found To Preempt Common Law Claims

Chapter 5 of the California Corporations Code imposes specific limitations on “distributions to shareholders”, a term defined in Corporations Code section 166. Directors who approve the making of any distribution to...more

Roitelman: Director Not Liable Where Employee Engages In Deceit

The Tax Court of Canada recently considered whether a director could establish a due diligence defence with respect to unremitted source deductions where the responsibility for remittance lay with an employee in Roitelman v....more

Principal Architects on Residential Projects Liable for Construction Defects Outside Their Control; Developers and Owners May Pay...

On July 3, 2014, the California Supreme Court decided the much watched case Beacon Residential Community Assoc. v. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP. The court held that the “principal architect” “owes a duty of care to future...more

The California Supreme Court Decides In Favor Of Homeowners In Disputes With California’s Architects

In the case of Beacon Residential Community Association v. Skidmore Owings and Merrill et. al. (July 3, 2014, S208173) Cal.4th, a condominium homeowners association, sued the developer of the project and the project architect...more

Telemedicine and Mobile Health Innovations Amid Increasing Regulatory Oversight

The growing mobile health market is rapidly transforming health care delivery. More than 80 percent of physicians use mobile technology to provide patient care, and more than 25 percent of commercially insured patients use...more

SEC Charges Auditor of PRC Firm With Unprofessional Conduct

The Commission filed another proceeding against an audit firm and its partners arising out of the audit of a PRC issuer. Unlike earlier actions involving audit firms for Chinese issuers, in this case the difficulties did not...more

California Court Limits Liability for Loss of Certain Patient Information under CMIA

California appellate courts are clarifying potential liability under California’s Confidentiality of Medical Information Act, Cal. Civ. Code § 56 et seq. (“CMIA”) of health care providers, health plans, pharmaceutical...more

Is Your Design Professional Construction Contract Too Friendly? (Law Note)

My husband often travels the back roads between Chapel Hill and Fuquay Varina to visit friends. En route (a circuitous route that goes past Sharon Harris Nuclear Power Plant, among other places), he passes by the “Friendly...more

California Supreme Court Upholds Design Professionals' Duty to Future Residential Purchasers

Design professionals, such as architects and engineers, often seek to avoid liability to third party property purchasers for their negligence by arguing that their role in preparing plans was too remote for a duty to be...more

Torts – Standard for Elder Abuse v. Professional Negligence

Gregory Worsham v. O’Connor Hospital, et. al. - Court of Appeal, Sixth District (May 20, 2014) - The Elder Abuse Act (“Act”) does not apply to simple or gross negligence by health care providers. This case...more

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