Gary L. Howard

Contact

P: 205.521.8595
F: 205.488.6595
Secretary:
P: 205.521.8630
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Gary L. Howard

Partner

Experience

Successfully consolidated two class action lawsuits alleging our client’s agent accepted applications and premiums but never submitted either to the company at any time. All class action allegations were struck from the complaint and the cases were sent to arbitration. All claims were resolved with contribution from the agent.
Obtained an early resolution in a high profile dispute in Montana that garnered national attention and was featured prominently in a report by the New York Times. The case involved a sympathetic elderly plaintiff who filed suit against the company for the alleged failure to pay benefits under her long term care policy. With copious attention in recent years to the long term care industry, this early resolution allowed our client to avoid any further negative press.
Obtained summary judgment in insurance company’s favor on all of plaintiffs’ tort claims, which included fraudulent misrepresentation, fraudulent suppression, outrage, bad faith, conversion, negligence and wantonness, in a life insurance dispute in which the plaintiffs sought more than $20 million in damages. A settlement on plaintiffs’ one remaining claim for breach of contract was then reached.
This breach of contract action arose from the insurer’s denial of the designated beneficiary’s claim for benefits under a life insurance policy issued to her ex-husband. The plaintiff alleged that she was entitled to the benefits pursuant to a beneficiary designation form naming her as the irrevocable beneficiary and providing that an irrevocable beneficiary must consent to any subsequent beneficiary changes. The insurer denied the plaintiff’s claim for benefits based upon a prior divorce decree between the decedent and his first wife that required the decedent to maintain life insurance for the benefit of his three children. The parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment. The United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida granted the defendant insurance company’s motion and denied the plaintiff beneficiary’s motion, thereby entering summary judgment in favor of the insurer and dismissing with prejudice all counts. The United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida held that an insurer was correct in denying an irrevocable beneficiary’s claim to life insurance benefits based upon a prior divorce decree requiring the decedent to maintain life insurance for the benefit of his three children.
Obtained summary judgment on all claims, including promissory fraud, fraudulent misrepresentation, fraudulent suppression, negligence, wantonness and quantum meruit, in a case in which several agents alleged, among other things, that our client had made various misrepresentations in connection with the rollout of a new universal life insurance product.
Obtained summary judgment on behalf of our client in a case where plaintiffs alleged breach of multiple insurance contracts by treating payments as loans, thereby allegedly miscalculating the values of the policies. In addition to breach of contract claims, the case involved allegations of fraud, bad faith, and deceptive trade practices. The case is currently on appeal to the Eighth Circuit.
Plaintiff borrower filed suit against defendant lender for breach of contract, fraud, fraudulent inducement, fraudulent suppression, and negligence, alleging, among other things, that the defendant lender orally misrepresented the terms of her $1 million mortgage loan. The case /defense presented a very difficult and unique application of the statute of frauds. BABC obtained summary judgment in favor of defendant lender wherein all claims of the plaintiff against the defendant lender were dismissed with prejudice. On or about January 23, 2009, BABC obtained summary judgment in favor of defendant lender wherein all claims of the plaintiff against the defendant lender were dismissed with prejudice. Plaintiff subsequently appealed, but, after extensive briefing, on or about June 9, 2011, the Court denied the plaintiff’s appeal and affirmed the trial court’s judgment.
Two named plaintiffs brought a nationwide life insurance sales practices class action. While plaintiffs' motion for class certification was pending, we moved for summary judgment on plaintiffs’ claims. The Court reserved ruling on class certification and then granted our client’s motions for summary judgment in their entirety. Plaintiffs appealed to the Eleventh Circuit, which affirmed the decision relating to one plaintiff in its entirety and upheld the dismissal of all of the claims of the second plaintiff except two claims. Subsequently, after extensive briefing, the Court denied class certification. Plaintiffs sought to appeal the certification decision to the Eleventh Circuit, but their petition was denied.
Won dismissal of plaintiffs’ class action complaint against client Conseco seeking damages for failure to pay health insurance claims based on breach of contract and violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practice Act; later reached a nationwide class settlement with respect to all claims.
Obtained partial summary judgment on plaintiff’s breach of contract, fraudulent and negligent misrepresentation, and intentional infliction of emotional distress claims in favor of insurance company defendant. A settlement was then reached on the remaining claims.
Successfully opposed class certification in this nationwide class action alleging our client’s agents marketed and sold unnecessary and inappropriate policies to the elderly. Plaintiffs’ counsel also filed 13 identical lawsuits in other Florida courts; we successfully opposed the addition of punitive damages claims in each case.