Ronald P. Schiller, head of the Insurance Coverage Practice and Chair of the firm, recently argued on behalf of client Zurich American Insurance Company in In Re TIAA-CREF Insurance Appeals. Pension fund goliath TIAA-CREF sought approximately $57 million (plus an estimated $14 million in total interest) from its professional liability insurance carriers, including Zurich American Insurance Company, for TIAA-CREF’s settlement of three underlying ERISA class actions arising from its alleged failure to pay investors the money they were owed (but which TIAA-CREF kept) for gains incurred when TIAA closed out individual retirement accounts. After summary judgment disposed of some issues, the Court set trial between TIAA-CREF and Zurich, Arch and AIG on several coverage issues, including Zurich’s contention that the insured never sought consent and never properly notified Zurich of the claim, which are both conditions precedent under the Zurich policy.

In December 2016, the Hangley Aronchick team, which also included Daniel J. Layden, secured a defense verdict for our client Zurich, with the jury agreeing that TIAA-CREF’s claim failed, removing Zurich’s $15 million policy from exposure. Then, in June 2017, the Court denied all post-trial motions, leaving Zurich’s defense verdict intact.

The other insurers and TIAA-CREF appealed to the Delaware Supreme Court, with TIAA-CREF urging the Supreme Court to reverse the judgment in favor of Zurich. Schiller argued the appeal for Zurich on June 6, 2018. Click the link below to watch the full argument.

Watch the full argument