“Insurance neutrality” is a common law bankruptcy standing doctrine that bars insurers from interjecting in chapter 11 plan proceedings. However, as James P. Bobotek and Andrew V. Alfano explain in “The ‘Insurance Neutrality’ Doctrine is Heading to SCOTUS,” in an appeal of the Fourth Circuit’s decision in Kaiser Gypsum, the Supreme Court will determine “[w]hether an insurer with financial responsibility for a bankruptcy claim is a ‘party in interest’ that may object to a Chapter 11 plan of reorganization.”
Late in June, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in Liu v. SEC, a closely watched case in which the Court in an 8-1 opinion curtailed the authority of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to seek disgorgement of profits from private parties in judicial enforcement proceedings. The Court articulated restrictions on the SEC’s disgorgement power, including (1) limiting disgorgement amounts to the net profits from wrongdoing, (2) limiting the SEC’s ability to seek disgorgement of profits on a joint and several basis, and (3) directing the SEC to return disgorged monies to aggrieved investors rather than depositing them in the U.S. Treasury. Although it does not address insurance issues directly, the Court’s analysis of the disgorgement remedy is bound to revive discussion of the issue of insurability of losses suffered as a result of settlements or judgments characterized as disgorgement.