The Eighth Circuit brought relief today to directors and officers who face civil or criminal peril for the way they performed (or didn’t perform) their business responsibilities.  Applying Arkansas law, the court overturned a summary judgment against a former bank director who sought recovery from the bank’s D&O insurance carrier.  The court rejected the carrier’s narrow construction of "solely" in the policy, holding that coverage extended not only to claims arising from a former director’s "status" as a director but also to claims concerning the director’s conduct as a director.  McAninch v. Wintermute, No. 05/2798/05-2938 (8th Cir. Mar. 6, 2007).

The difference between a "status" claim and a "conduct" claim seems a tad metaphysical to Blawgletter, but such distinctions make the D&O coverage world go around for our friends who specialize in that field.  Bless them.

Barry Barnett

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