LOUISVILLE, Ky., July 17 /PRNewswire/ -- William F. McMurry, a Nationally Board Certified Specialist in Medical Malpractice and Legal Malpractice, obtained today final Court approval of a settlement in the first nationwide class action suit ever certified by a Kentucky state court judge. The settlement gives economic and equitable relief as many as 24,000 purchasers of deferred annuities. The Settlement is valued at approximately $16,400,000.
American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company was accused of participating in a Living Trust mill. Working in concert with a Dallas-based insurance and legal marketing firm (Advanced Legal Marketing Services and Addison Insurance Marketing) and local attorneys, agents persuaded senior citizens to buy a Living Trust out of fear that probate proceedings were costly and not in their family's best interest. After the victims purchased the Living Trust, agents of the insurance and marketing companies, appearing as representatives of the law firm, approached the victims and encouraged the victim to sell their current investments and purchase deferred annuities from American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company of Des Moines, Iowa.
These deferred annuities were often sold to elderly couples with 20-year terms, even though they were approaching their life expectancy. Surrender charges for early withdrawal were substantial.
As part of the Settlement, American Equity agreed that it would no longer sell deferred annuities where the Company has knowledge that sales leads were generated through the sale and/or marketing of living trusts.
The Settlement offers Class Members a new option in connection with their annuity contracts, namely, the right to immediately annuitize funds, with a 2.4% bonus added to the value of their policies. American Equity also agreed to waive the penalties and forfeitures, such as surrender charges, that Class Members who decide to annuitize immediately would incur but for the Settlement.
American Equity agreed that Class Members who claim that an annuity sale was unsuitable or based on a misrepresentation, the Claimant will receive appropriate relief, which under the Settlement "shall include a full refund of premiums plus interest, the current policy value, modification of surrender charges, or other appropriate relief."
In addition, the Settlement provides that any Class Member who submits a claim form, and who was 79 or older when he or she purchased a deferred annuity from American Equity, will receive the opportunity to withdraw up to 25% of the policy value for each of the next four years, penalty free.
William F. McMurry served as Lead Class Counsel, along with other attorneys serving as co-counsel. Mr. McMurry has obtained several large verdicts in personal injury cases, including medical malpractice, legal malpractice, insurance fraud and serious automobile accident cases.
For more information about William F. McMurry visit http://www.courtroomlaw.com
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