The financial collapse of Reciprocal of America, an insurer and reinsurer, resulted in a number of lawsuits, including a series of lawsuits by policyholders and state Insurance Commissioners in Alabama and in other states against the company's officers and directors. When two officers pleaded guilty to criminal charges relating to the operation of the company, the company's D&O insurer filed a declaratory judgment action, seeking rescission of the policies it had issued. While the actions filed by the policyholders and Insurance Commissioners were granted MDL status, the MDL Panel declined to add the D&O insurer's action to that proceeding. The District Court dismissed the D&O insurer's action, on the basis that it would abstain from hearing the claims in deference to the parallel state court actions. The Fourth Circuit reversed, vacating the decision, finding that the requirements for abstention were not present, and that the rescission action should go forward. Great American Ins. Co. v. Gross, Case No. 05-2069 (4th Cir. Oct. 30, 2006).
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