Posted in on September 4, 2017 - $49,000,000.00
Pierce v. Universal Underwriters Life Insurance Company, Superior Court of Muscogee County, Georgia. Unearned premium refunds due as a result of early termination of insured loans. Butler Wooten & Peak LLP, served as co-class counsel with Samuel W. Oates of Oates & Courville in Columbus in a class action settlement which was preliminarily approved by Judge Doug Pullen on March 14, 2008. Pierce v. Universal Underwriters had been certified as a class action on March 5, 2007. Most such settlements in the past have been on a “claims made” approach.
Class counsel conceived a different approach calculated to identify and locate more insureds due refunds. UULIC has agreed to create a database of information about potential class members who may be entitled to unearned premium refunds due to early termination. That database will then be turned over to class counsel and to Rust Consulting, a national settlement administration firm, which will act as settlement administrator. UULIC will pay $49 million into an interest-bearing trust fund to be used to pay refunds due to all class members who can be located, costs of administration, and attorney fees (which will be set by the court).
Class counsel and Rust consulting will then use lender contacts and credit reporting agency analysis to determine the loan termination dates for all insureds within the applicable states’ statutes of limitation, and determine thereby which insureds are due refunds as a result of early termination, obtain updated addresses for such insureds, and issue refunds. All funds remaining will be placed in a remainder fund, to be donated to appropriate charitable institutions as decided by a remainder fund committee appointed by the court. The settlement will be administered by the court and class counsel.
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