Recently, rare national class action status was granted
against Conseco Life Insurance on the grounds that the insurance company had a
breach of contract with seven policy holders.
The policy holders will be
represented by the Gilbert firm of Washington, D.C. and the Millstein &
Associates firm of San Francisco. The
case was first filed in 2008 and was approved by U.S. District Judge Susan
Illston on October 6.
According to Millstein, one of the lawyers representing the
policyholders, “In many cases, when plaintiffs attempt to bring national class
actions on consumer claims, defendants are able to defeat the class actions by
arguing that there are significant variations among consumers or among the
legal standards applicable in different states, but in our case the court found
that Conseco treated all policyholders essentially the same way across the
country and that there are no significant variations in state contract
Stephen Weisbrod, whose firm partners with the Gilbert law
firm in Washington, D.C. and has experience as an insurance lawyer, said, "many other 'vanishing premium' life
insurance cases have failed."
The claim states that Conseco was breaching approximately
10,000 “Lifetrend” insurance policies, and that they had contractual violations
regarding improper charges and deductions.
Despite Conseco’s claim that the plaintiffs hadn’t analyzed state laws
regarding the claims, in accordance with the court order. This claim, however, was denied.
According to the judge, “"Contrary to Conseco's
representations, several courts have recognized that the law relating to the
element of breach does not vary greatly from state to state." Because the claims are similar in multiple
states, the case received national class action suit status.