KANSAS CITY, Mo. (December 12, 2022) – A unanimous Jackson County, Missouri jury awarded $28.4 million to a class of more than 8,000 Missouri owners of universal life insurance products issued by the Defendant, Kansas City Life Insurance Company. Universal life insurance is a type of life insurance that includes an interest-bearing savings account, or cash value, from which the insurer deducts money each month to cover certain deductions identified in the policy. The class action, filed in 2019, was brought on behalf of current and former policy owners for overcharges to the cash values of their policies.
The class received full damages on all three counts of breach of contract, which alleged Kansas City Life systematically overcharged the class of policyholders over the past 30 years. (Karr v. Kansas City Life Insurance Co., 1916-CV26645).
“We are very pleased with the jury’s verdict,” said Matt Lytle, trial counsel for the Missouri class. “Policyholders like Mr. Karr, who have dutifully paid their policy premiums year after year, deserve to have their charges determined as written in their policies and the wrongfully taken funds returned to them.”
The Karr case is one of five state-wide class actions being prosecuted by Miller Schirger LLC and Stueve Siegel Hanson LLP claiming Kansas City Life has systematically overcharged its universal life insurance policyholders for decades. In a pretrial ruling, the Court determined that Kansas City Life had violated policies at issue as a matter of law. The jury was asked to determine if those violations caused damages to policyholders and, if so, the amount of those damages. The trial lasted three days.
Miller Schirger and Stueve Siegel Hanson have looked at dozens of policies like the one at issue in this trial, and continue to evaluate such claims and prosecute similar cases across the country. They have obtained significant settlements and judgments in numerous cases involving alleged wrongful cost of insurance charges on universal life insurance policies.