Paul Bolus, Gary Howard and Jason Walters, partners in the firm's Birmingham office, secured two summary judgment wins for insurance companies recently. The first victory was obtained in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama in favor of Conseco Insurance Company and Performance Matters Associates. The case involved allegations of fraud, suppression and negligence made by independent agents against the insurer and the marketing organization with regard to the handling of underwriting on a particular line of universal life insurance policies. After extensive discovery and briefing, the court agreed that plaintiffs’ claims were all due to be summarily adjudicated. The court also granted summary judgment on Conseco Insurance Company’s counterclaims for breach of contract against certain plaintiffs.
The second summary judgment win was in favor of Jefferson National Life Insurance Company in a case pending in the Eastern District of Arkansas. The case involved the sale and administration of thirteen $100,000 single-premium endowment life insurance policies. In this high-exposure case, the plaintiffs’ claims included fraud, bad faith and breach of contract. After lengthy briefing, the court agreed that the plaintiffs’ claims were all barred by the applicable statute of limitations. As a result, the court granted Jefferson National’s motion for summary judgment in its entirety.