Professional liability insurance carriers have experienced a surge in claims in recent years. They rely on the steady advice and skilled representation provided by Robinson+Cole's Insurance + Reinsurance Group on complex and high-value claims. Our representation in these matters covers many categories of professionals in an expansive range of disciplines, including directors and officers coverage, directors and officers liability defense, disciplinary and licensing activities, professional liability coverage, and professional liability defense.
Robinson+Cole lawyers practice in myriad disciplines, including environmental, employment, tax, real estate, bankruptcy, and trusts and estates, and our strong base of experience informs and enriches our representation on the substantive legal areas of any particular dispute. We use the considerable resources at our disposal in providing coverage advice and representation and in defending liability claims against professionals, including claims against:
• insurance agents and brokers
• real estate agents, brokers, and appraisers
• environmental consultants and engineers
• claims adjusters
• third-party administrators
• media entities
Directors and Officers Insurance
We advise and represent insurers on directors and officers (D&O) coverage issues involving disputes arising in:
• white-collar crime
• securities, statutory, and common law claims against corporate entities
• adversary proceedings in bankruptcy litigation
We have litigated D&O coverage disputes involving:
• the insured versus insured exclusion
• the availability of rescission remedies
• the treatment of policy proceeds as an asset of a bankruptcy estate
• the allocation between insured and noninsured defendants and claims
• "prior and pending" and/or "related-claim" provisions
• late notice defenses
We also defend directors and officers in various industries under D&O policies, including directors and officers of small and large private companies, banks, and holding companies, who have been accused of:
• breach of fiduciary duties
Given the recent wave of employment-related claims, many insurers offer D&O coverage for employment practices. Robinson+Cole defends claims in both state and federal court for:
• wrongful termination
• sexual harassment
• unfair hiring practices
Disciplinary and Licensing Activities
Robinson+Cole lawyers defend disciplinary and grievance complaints brought against various professionals, including lawyers and accountants, in local, state, and federal forums. We have been involved in some of the most significant attorney grievance proceedings in Connecticut and have represented clients in the following circumstances, among others:
• real estate agents accused of unethical conduct in the listing and sale of real estate before the Department of Consumer Protection, Real Estate Division
• insurance brokers accused of improper handling of escrow funds before the Insurance Commission
• other professionals before the State Architectural Licensing Board, the State Board of Examiners for Professional Engineers, the Banking Commissioner, and the State Board of Examiners for Nursing
We regularly provide advice and representation to insurers on professional liability and errors and omissions coverage claims against:
• investment companies and investment advisors
• securities brokers/dealers
• insurance claims administration operations
• educational institutions
• insurance agents/brokers
• public officials
• architect/engineer/design professionals
Our lawyers also regularly defend professional clients against claims of errors and omissions in a variety of subject matter areas and industries.
Represented London and domestic insurers in coverage action involving claims under professional liability policies arising out of multiple class actions alleging improper closing fees on second mortgage loans.
Represented D&O insurer in coverage litigation concerning six underlying actions alleging death spiral financing and fraud and concerning the applicability of late notice/prejudice issues, prior and pending litigation and prior knowledge exclusions, interrelated wrongful acts interpretation, and disputes regarding allocation of defense expenses among covered and uncovered parties and claims.
Represented EPL insurer in coverage proceedings concerning insurability of large punitive damages award entered against employer charged with sexual harassment and retaliation under statutory public policy prohibition against insuring deliberate wrongdoing.
Represented Lawyers Professional Liability insurer in coverage disputes regarding whether allegations against law firm involved billing practices of firm or the rendering of professional services.
Advised educators' professional liability insurer in disputes ranging from allocation of defense and indemnity costs among multiple parties to application of prior knowledge exclusion to multimillion dollar claims by investors group following insured's declaration of insolvency.
Advised employment practices liability insurer concerning application of prior notice and other coverage defenses against Equal Employment Opportunity Commission demand that insured contribute to multimillion dollar relief fund to avoid threatened class action on behalf of alleged victims of widespread sexual harassment.
Advised insurer regarding application of EPL and D&O provisions of hospital's professional liability policy to lengthy peer review proceedings under the hospital's Health Care Quality Immunity Act policy and related administrative agency and state court wrongful discharge and age discrimination claims brought by former physician, in Massachusetts.
Defended insurance agency in defense of errors and omissions claim that agent confirmed the existence of coverage by issuing Certificate of Insurance to contractor when coverage had been terminated.
Defended lender in putative class action in federal court alleging that lender charged excessive interest rates on defaulted loans and engaged in illegal discrimination with respect to student loans.
Defended law firm in putative class action in federal court against firm and lenders alleging improper assignment of mortgages in foreclosure.
Defended state government in a class action brought by a proposed class of state employees who were insured under group insurance policies.
Defended a managed care organization against a member class action (100,000+ class members) challenging prompt provision of services and notification of denied and terminated benefits.
Defended a world-wide leader in electronics against a class action brought by thousands of claimants alleging consumer fraud and unfair trade practices arising out of the sale of allegedly defective DVD players.
Defended a leading manufacturer of office equipment in a class action alleging consumer fraud and violations of state unfair trade practices statute stemming from sales of desktop inkjet printers.
Defended one of the world’s largest HVAC manufacturers in a class action alleging fraud arising out of the sale of allegedly defective furnaces.
Defended banking institution against class allegations that the bank artificially overstated earnings by under-reserving for real estate losses.
Defended manufacturer against class securities fraud claims that company fraudulently misrepresented business prospects in order to attract and maintain investors.
Defended a municipality in a class action tax appeal challenging the legality of the revaluation of 2500 class members’ real property in a condominium development.
Defended board of directors and certain current and former officers of a public company in shareholder derivative action alleging breach of fiduciary duty, waste of corporate assets, and misappropriation of corporate information.
Defended a major chemical manufacturer in antitrust class action relating to allegations of price-fixing in the rubber chemicals industry.
Defended hospitals against a consumer class action alleging that medical records billing policies and practices violated state regulatory law and unfair trade practices.
Defended major regional bank in defending class action alleging assessment of improper late charges regarding open-ended credit agreements.
Defended a law firm in a class action regarding the firm's handling of a large share of foreclosures in Massachusetts.