Life Insurance Class Action Settles for $59.75 Million

August 01, 2018

Miller Schirger LLC and co-counsel Stueve Siegel Hanson LLP have settled a nationwide class action lawsuit against John Hancock Life Insurance Company (U.S.A.) over alleged life insurance policy overcharges. The settlement was approved by the court on May 8, 2018 and provides that John Hancock will pay $59.75 million (less fees and expenses) in cash compensation to approximately 103,000 policyholders who own or owned a Flex V-II variable whole life insurance policy sold and administered by John Hancock over the last several decades. 

The case is Barbara Larson vs. John Hancock Life Insurance Company (U.S.A.) and was filed in April 2016 in the Superior Court of California, Alameda County on behalf of Barbara Larson and other individuals who own or owned the Flex V-II policy. The suit alleged that John Hancock breached the policies by overcharging policyholders through cost of insurance and expense charges within the policies and failed to reduce certain charges despite improving expectations of future mortality, causing the policies to lose value and in many cases lapse, leaving many without life insurance. John Hancock denied all liability or wrongdoing.

Miller Schirger has a successful record prosecuting class action cases alleging policy overcharges against the life insurance industry. In June 2018, Miller Schirger obtained a jury verdict of $34.3 million on behalf of a Missouri class of policyholders against State Farm Life Insurance Company. Trial was held in the Western District of Missouri, Central Division before the Honorable Judge Nanette Laughrey. In March 2016, Miller Schirger 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.

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