By: Scott B. Riddle, Esq.
Francis Pileggi at the Delaware Litigation Blog has posted a summary of comments made by Delaware Supreme Court Chief Justice Myron Steele at the Spring meeting of the American Bar Association, concerning developments in Delaware corporate law and recent Delaware Supreme Court cases. Francis credits Mark Saltzburg with the summary of the speech. I have included only a short excerpt here:
First, Chief Justice Steele noted that the Delaware Supreme Court had just heard argument in the Trenwick America Litigation Trust litigation that may result in a decision on whether creditors may bring a cause of action for violation of fiduciary duty where a company deepens its insolvency in a way that further damages creditors after any residual interest of shareholders is out of the picture. Typically, fiduciary duties are only owed by directors to shareholders and not to creditors. Steele noted, however, that in an earlier decision by former Delaware Court of Chancery Chancellor William Allen in the Credit Lyonnais case, the court commented that directors may owe creditors a fiduciary duty where a company is in the vicinity of insolvency.
Professor Bainbridge has followed up with his commentary on the issue.
I have previously discussed another opinion in the Trenwick America Litigation Trust case: Deepening Insolvency Is Not A Valid Cause Of Action, Or A "Coherent Concept," Under Delaware Law.