For the third consecutive year, John J. Schirger has been named to Missouri Lawyers Media’s Power List for Commercial and Consumer Litigation. The Power List recognizes attorneys who have distinguished themselves through notable jury trial outcomes, significant settlements (both in class action suits and individual claims) and set forth critical precedents. The selection process by Missouri Lawyers Media of the 30 most powerful commercial and consumer attorneys in Missouri is honed through research on verdicts and settlements, and interviews of attorneys and other leaders around the state. Commercial and Consumer attorneys often champion the underdog and, in some cases, the individual’s claim becomes a class action which can effect prominent change for the masses.
For over 30 years, John has represented businesses and individuals nationwide in cases involving business and commercial disputes, securities litigation matters and class actions.
Third class action trial triumph over the insurer, starting with the $28.4 million verdict in December 2022.
On September 21, 2023, a Jackson County, Missouri jury awarded damages totaling $9.5 million to a class of 535 Kansas City Life Insurance Company policyholders after less than three hours of deliberations. The verdict awarded full compensatory damages to class members on each of three claims of breach of contract (awarding $4.1 million, $4.1 million, and $1.3 million on each of the class’s three claims respectively). The judgment will be for $4.1 million to account for duplicative damages.
The class action, Sheldon v. Kansas City Life Insurance Company, was brought on behalf of current and former policy owners of Century II Variable Universal Life policy issued in the state of Missouri. The class alleged that the insurer overcharged policyholders for their life insurance through inflated monthly cost of insurance deductions it took from policyholders.
The substantial verdict follows favorable verdicts for plaintiff classes on other Kansas City Life Insurance products in May 2023, and in December 2022.
“We are happy that the Missouri class had their day in court, and the jury determined these policyholders, who have dutifully paid premiums for decades, should get full compensatory damages for Kansas City Life’s undisclosed overcharges,” Joseph Feierabend, trial counsel for the policyholders. ”
Stueve Siegel Hanson and Miller Schirger are prosecuting several other cases on behalf of life insurance policyholders alleged to have been overcharged. The firms have lawsuits against Kansas City Life Insurance Company pending in California and Maryland.