Eighth Circuit Affirms $34.3M Jury Verdict Against State Farm Life Insurance Co.

June 29, 2020

June 26, 2020 — Miller Schirger LLC and co-counsel Stueve Siegel Hanson LLP secured a victory at the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals with affirmance of a $34.3 million jury verdict against State Farm Life Insurance Co. for overcharges on life insurance policies.  John Schirger, Matt Lytle and Joe Feierabend were the attorneys at Miller Schirger who handled both the trial and appeal on behalf of plaintiff and the class.  The Eighth Circuit Opinion in Michael Vogt vs. State Farm Life Insurance Company can be read <here>.

The case was filed in June 2016, in the Western District of Missouri on behalf of Michael Vogt and other individuals who owned flexible premium adjustable whole life insurance policies issued on State Farm Policy Form 94030.  The suit alleged that State Farm breached the policies by overcharging policyholders for cost of insurance and expense charges. The suit further alleged these breaches caused the policies to lose value and in many cases lapse, and many policyholders were without life insurance.  State Farm denied all liability or wrongdoing.

The trial commenced June 1, 2018 and the jury awarded $34.3 million to approximately 24,000 Missouri policyholders on June 6, 2018.  State Farm appealed asserting various errors with respect to summary judgment, class certification and evidentiary rulings, and Vogt cross-appealed on a pre-judgment interest issue.  Vogt prevailed on appeal on all issues, and the case was remanded to determine a pre-judgment interest amount.

Miller Schirger has a successful record prosecuting class action cases alleging policy overcharges against the life insurance industry.  In May 2018, Miller Schirger and co-counsel finalized a $59.75 million class action settlement in California of approximately 103,000 policyholders of a Flex-V policy sold by John Hancock Life Insurance Company (U.S.A.).  In March 2016, Miller Schirger and co-counsel announced that an Indiana court granted final approval of a nationwide class action settlement valued at approximately $2.25 billion against The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company.

 

Miller Schirger LLC is a Kansas City, Missouri based law firm focused on resolving complex disputes on behalf of businesses and individuals nationwide. The firm has a proven track record of success representing plaintiffs and defendants in state and federal trial and appellate courts, before administrative and regulatory tribunals, and in arbitration and other alternative dispute resolution proceedings nationwide.  www.millerschirger.com.

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