D&O Policy’s Professional Services Exclusion And Contract Exclusion Do Not Bar Coverage For Claims Arising from Trade Show Cancellation

 Wednesday, November 10, 2021

 JD Supra

Applying Illinois law, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois has held that a D&O policy’s professional services and contract exclusions do not bar coverage for lawsuits seeking damages for fees and expenses paid to the insured in connection with a cancelled trade show. Fed. Ins. Co. v. Healthcare Info. & Mgmt. Sys. Soc’y, Inc., 2021 WL 4864142 (N.D. Ill. October 19, 2021).

While finding that the insurer had a duty to defend, the court also held that the insured did not adequately plead a cause of action for bad faith against the insurer.

The insured, a non-profit health information systems advisory firm, was sued in two lawsuits for repayment of non-refundable fees, travel expenses, and other expenses incurred by exhibitors after the insured cancelled its annual global conference due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first lawsuit sought return of fees and damages for expenses incurred in connection with the cancelled conference.

The second lawsuit, a putative class action, alleged that the insured breached contracts with the putative class members by refusing to refund fees under force majeure clauses in the contracts.
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