The COVID-19 pandemic has sent massive shockwaves throughout the global economy. This crises requires business leaders to confront a host of deleterious effects on an emergency basis – the likes of which many companies have never experienced. Boards of directors must remain cognizant of their oversight responsibilities in these trying times. This post offers guidance to directors of Delaware companies for addressing emergency circumstances occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Board Oversight – Lessons from Marchand V. Barnhill
Directors should consider the lessons learned from the recent Delaware Supreme Court case Marchand v. Barnhill, a ruling we addressed in a previous blog post, when considering board oversight during the COVID-19 pandemic. Marchand centered on a lawsuit brought by shareholders in an ice cream manufacturing company against the company’s board of directors. The shareholders claimed that the directors violated their duty of loyalty to the company when they failed to provide sufficient oversight and compliance-monitoring during a listeria outbreak that led the company to recall all products, temporarily cease product production at all plants and lay off more than one-third of the company’s workforce.
Reprinted courtesy of White and Williams LLP attorneys Marc Casarino, Lori Smith and Gwenn Barney
Mr. Casarino may be contacted at email@example.com
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