A Crack in the Shield? Malpractice Coverage at Risk
Bench and Bar of Minnesota, Vol. 63, p. 26, 2006
7 Pages Posted: 8 Oct 2006
A recent, unreported opinion of the Minnesota Court of Appeals has opened up a major hole in the liability shield of professional firms. Continental Casualty Co. v Duckson-Carlson, LLC, misapplies the doctrine of equitable estoppel, misinterprets the Minnesota Professional Firms Act, ignores the fundamental distinction between an entity and its owners, and sub silentio turns the law of third party beneficiaries on its head. From a practical perspective, the decision should trouble every lawyer, doctor, accountant, and other "319B" professional in the state and, moreover, has serious implications for individuals covered by D&O insurance.
Keywords: liability insurance, malpractice, attorney lawyer, professional firm, third party beneficiary, separate legal person
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