Maynard Cooper has routinely served as national counsel for some of the nation's largest insurers in class actions filed in federal and state courts throughout the country. We have defended nationwide class actions in the recognized “tort hell“ hotspots such as Illinois, Alabama, and Mississippi. Additionally, we have defended insurance-related class suits in Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
Currently, Maynard Cooper is defending a purported nationwide class action against New York Life Insurance Company venued in the Southern District of New York arising out of so-called Retained Asset Account (“RAA”) claims alleging breach of contract and bad faith. Patel v. New York Life Ins. Co., No. 11-cv-04895-JPO (S.D.N.Y.).
Recently, Maynard Cooper obtained key victories resulting in the complete dismissal of purported nationwide class actions, venued in the Southern District of New York and:
In addition, Maynard Cooper was successful at the federal appellate level in upholding a trial court's denial of class certification in a nationwide insurance class action alleging the use of race-based life insurance premiums (Hunter v. American General Life & Accident Ins. Co., No. 05-1249 (4th Cir. 2006)). The Firm also obtained dismissals of purported class actions in the following nationwide insurance and annuity class actions:
Individually assessing the litigation and business needs of each of its clients, Maynard Cooper also has extensive experience in negotiating innovative nationwide class settlements for a variety of clients in a variety of venues. Recent settlements include allegations arising from the alleged failure to refund unearned premiums for single premium products including credit life and disability insurance, as well as GAP and IUI coverage:
These claims-made settlements were approved by the respective courts in 2007 and 2008.
In addition to its extensive class action experience, Maynard Cooper served as lead counsel for the Defendant in In re American General Life Insurance Co. Industrial Life Insurance Litigation in the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina, Columbia Division, which was a multidistrict litigation (“MDL“) created to provide a single forum for discovery and pre-trial proceedings in the numerous cases filed in the wake of the nationwide class action settlement in McNeil v. American General Life and Accident Insurance Company. Most of the cases were filed as individual or multiple plaintiff cases and all included allegations similar to those alleged by the plaintiff class in McNeil - namely, allegations arising out of the alleged race-based pricing of insurance policies by American General Life and Accident Insurance Company or companies it acquired.
In addition to the individual or multiple plaintiff cases, however, several of the cases filed and transferred to this MDL included class allegations. Mack v. Independent Life sought certification of a class of individuals who owned policies that would have been included in the McNeil settlement except for the fact that the policies terminated before January 1, 1982, which was the beginning date for the McNeil class period (the Mack class has sometimes been referred to as the “Pre-82 Class“). On December 2, 2004 the District Court entered an Order denying certification as to the Mack class (the “Pre-82 Class“) and that Order was affirmed by the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit on November 13, 2006. Hunter, et al. v. American General sought certification of a class of individuals who owned or were insured by certain groups of policies that were not part of the McNeil settlement. Judge Currie denied class certification of the proposed Hunter class on March 9, 2007.
- Following a CAFA removal, obtained strategically critical transfer of venue between federal circuits and then a complete dismissal with prejudice of a purported nationwide class action involving claim handling and interpretation of “incurred medical expenses“ in catastrophic major medical coverage. Maynard Cooper then won the appeal in the Second Circuit affirming the district court’s order granting defendant's motion to dismiss. Metz v. United States Life Ins. Co. in the City of New York, 662 F.3d 600 (2d Cir. 2011).
- Obtained complete dismissal with prejudice of a purported nationwide class action involving bad faith, sales practices and claims handling in catastrophic major medical coverage. Schandler v. New York Life Ins.Co. et al., No. 09 Civ. 10463, 2011 WL 1642574 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 26, 2011).
- Defeated plaintiff's motion for certification of nationwide class seeking refunds of credit life insurance/credit disability insurance premium payments following early loan payoffs, which was the first outright defeat of class certification in unearned premium litigation nationwide. Bishop v. Protective Life Ins. Co., 255 F.R.D. 619 (M.D. Ga. 2009).
- Maynard Cooper handled two extremely dangerous national class actions for American General Assurance Company and North Central Life Insurance Company in 2008: Desportes v. American General Assurance Company and Carter v North Central Life Insurance Company. The cases were in state court in Columbus, Georgia and were not removable. The class allegations related to the failure of these companies to refund unearned premiums on credit life policies. The potential exposure in these cases were well over $100 million. A similar insurer, with identical facts but much less exposure, was ordered by the same court to pay over $75 million in damages and fees. After aggressive and skillful litigation, Maynard Cooper was remarkably able to negotiate “claims made” settlements that resulted in payouts by the Companies of less than $5 million. This was not achieved by any other insured under similar circumstances.
- Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal of class actions alleging improper pricing and disclosures relating to bonus annuity sales. Phillips v. American Int'l Group, Inc., 498 F. Supp. 2d 690 (S.D.N.Y. 2007); Delaney v. American Express Co., 2007 WL 1420766 (D. N.J. May 11, 2007)
- summary judgment in favor of insurer in purported nationwide class actions alleging improper use of smoker-based premium rates for juvenile insureds Thompson v. American General Life & Accident Ins. Co., 448 F. Supp. 2d 885 (M.D. Tenn. 2006)
- summary judgment in favor of insurer in class action alleging imporoper cancellation of war risk insurance coverage after September 11, 2001 Burkhalter Transport v. AIG Aviation, 1:02 CV 109-M-D (N.D. Miss. 2003)
- Deportes, et al. v. American General Assur. Co., SU-04-CV-3637 and Carter, et al. v. North Central Life Insurance Co., SU-2006-CV-3764
- Neal v. XL Life Insurance and Annuity Co., C.A. 04-C-834 (NH 2008).