$9.7M Settlement For Insurance Class Action
Older Individuals Nationwide Purchased Annuities
The plaintiff asserted claims on behalf of a class of persons that the defendant insurance company misled primarily older individuals into purchasing annuities with discriminatorily low benefits.
The plaintiff alleged that the defendant sold products known as “bonus annuities” that come with a “bonus” — a higher interest rate during the first year of the annuity.
However, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant allowed its agents to offer different sized bonuses to different purchasers of identical annuities, and that the defendant guaranteed the agents that the smaller the “bonus” accepted by the purchaser, the larger the commission the defendant would pay the agent.
The case was settled for $9.7 million on behalf of a national class of approximately 28,000 purchasers of the allegedly discriminatory annuities.
Type of action: Consumer insurance class action
Name of case: Johnson, et al. v. National Western Life Insurance Company
Court/case no./date: Oakland County Circuit Court; #01-032012-CP; Feb. 18, 2004
Name of judge: Michael Warren
Settlement amount: $9.7 million
Attorneys for the plaintiff: E. Powell Miller, Marc L. Newman, Kevin Love and Richard Joffe
Attorney for the defendant: Withheld