• When a life insurance company claimed that our client’s $8 million flexible premium universal life insurance policy lapsed shortly before the insured’s death due to our client’s failure to make a premium payment, we filed a lawsuit against the insurance company alleging that the policy was still in effect at the time of the insured’s death, and that the alleged lapse of the policy was improper and invalid.  In addition to claiming that the policy lapsed, the insurance company also argued that the life insurance policy should be deemed void because, the insurer alleged, it was a Stranger Owned Life Insurance (“STOLI”) policy.  After we uncovered evidence that the insurer had been miscalculating the premiums and was charging the policy owner premiums in excess of what was allowed under the life insurance policy, we entered into a settlement with the insurance company in which it agreed to withdraw its claims that the policy lapsed and that it was a STOLI policy, and also agreed to make a multi-million dollar settlement payment to our client.


  • When an insurance company claimed that a $10 million life insurance policy lapsed due to the owner’s alleged failure to timely pay premiums, we sued the insurer and asked the court for an order compelling the insurer to restore the policy.  During discovery, we learned that the insurer had a widespread practice of systematically lapsing life insurance policies improperly, and that the insurer failed to comply with state laws and policy provisions which require life insurers to notify policy owners in writing before they lapse a life insurance policy.  The insurer agreed to settle the case before trial, restored the life insurance policy, and also made a cash payment to the policy owner.

        

  • When another company claimed to be the true owner of an $80 million portfolio of life insurance policies that was owned by our client, a hedge fund, we successfully defended multiple federal and state lawsuits across the country and entered into a settlement agreement in which the claimant acknowledged that our client was the sole owner of all of the policies.

    

  • Shortly after purchasing a life insurance policy, a hedge fund was advised by the insurance company that the policy lapsed because the last premium payment check sent by the prior owner had bounced.  The fund sued the life settlement broker, among others, alleging that it fraudulent induced the fund to purchase the policy. The fund also sued the insurance company, claiming that it should have advised the fund of the lapse before approving the policy sale.  The insurance company denied any wrongdoing, claimed that the policy was void and should have been rescinded because it was a stranger owned life insurance (“STOLI”) policy, and also asserted cross-claims against the settlement broker.  After conducting some limited discovery, we convinced the fund and the insurance company to voluntarily discontinue their claims against the settlement broker.  The court granted summary judgment in favor of the fund, holding that the policy remained in force because the two-year contestability provision in the life insurance policy precluded the insurance company from contesting the policy after it had been in force for more than two years.


  • After notifying a life insurance policy owner that his $1 million life insurance policy lapsed for failure to timely make a premium payment, the insurance company sent the policy owner a second letter offering him to continue the policy if he made the premium payment.  Immediately after the policy owner made the payment, the insurer sent a third letter indicating that it refused to accept the payment and claiming that the life insurance policy had properly lapsed. We persuaded the insurer, during the course of the litigation, to accept the premium payment and restore the policy.


  • A customer service representative from the life insurance company advised the policy owner by telephone that the next premium payment for his $10 million life insurance policy was not due until the 18th of the month. After the policy owner made the payment on the 16th, the insurer sent him a notice stating that the policy had lapsed because the payment was due on the 15th – three days earlier than what the customer service representative had stated during the phone call.  Before starting a lawsuit, we persuaded the life insurance company to accept the premium payment and restore the policy.


  • When an insured died several days after he called his life insurance company, from his hospital bed, to verify that his life insurance policy was in force, the insurer denied the beneficiary’s claim for the benefit, and argued that the policy lapsed due to the insured’s failure to make a premium payment that the insurance company claimed was due after the insured’s phone call, but before his death.  During the litigation, the insurance company agreed to pay the beneficiary a substantial portion of the death benefit.


  • A state insurance department began to investigate a life insurance broker after an insurance company filed a complaint alleging that the broker knowingly sold and invested in stranger owned life insurance (“STOLI”) policies.  We successfully defended the broker in that investigation, which was concluded without any penalty to the broker.


  • When a young man died in a tragic car accident, his pregnant wife, who was fortunate enough to survive the accident, sought to collect the life insurance proceeds from the policy that she and her husband had paid for, and which she desperately needed during that tragic time.  After the insurer claimed that the life insurance policy was void because the insured allegedly overstated his income on the application for the policy, we went to battle with the insurance company and collected the full death benefit.


  • After purchasing a $10 million life insurance policy on the tertiary market, two companies sued a doctor for fraud and negligence, claiming that the doctor falsified a medical report in order to artificially increase the resale value of the policy and fraudulently induce the purchasers into paying more for the policy than it was really worth.  We successfully defended the doctor in lawsuits in federal and state court and, after motions to dismiss were filed, we convinced the purchasers to voluntarily discontinue their claims against the doctor.


  • When a life insurance agent was sued by an insurance company in connection with an alleged scheme to sell stranger owned life insurance (“STOLI”) policies with a collective face value of approximately $190 million, we successfully defended the agent in twelve lawsuits across the country.  During discovery we uncovered evidence which unequivocally demonstrated that the insurer knew of all of the alleged STOLI factors before it issued the policies.  After we filed a summary judgment motion in the first case, in which we presented the court with this evidence, we settled all of the cases without any payment by the agent.

Success Stories: Life Insurance Litigation