Milberg’s insurance litigation practice has resulted in billions of dollars in recoveries and significant industry reforms. Beginning in 1994, the Firm began representing classes of life insurance policyholders against some of the largest life insurance companies in the country. These clients alleged that they had been victimized by various uniform improper sales practices, including the sale of so-called “vanishing premium” life insurance policies whose premiums never vanished, the sale of unnecessary replacement life insurance policies whose only purpose was to steal values from existing policies and generate commissions for the sales agent (churning), and the sale of life insurance under the false pretense that what was being sold was something other than insurance, such as a retirement plan.
These cases led to class settlements totaling billions of dollars with such major life insurance companies as Prudential, MetLife, John Hancock, New York Life, State Farm, American Express/IDS, Massachusetts Mutual, and Transamerica. In addition to the large monetary recoveries, these cases led to revolutionary reforms in life insurance sales practices, substantially “cleaning up” the entire industry.
Today, Milberg continues to hold the insurance industry accountable to policyholders. Milberg’s current insurance practice includes litigation against AIG and its affiliates on behalf of a class of Madoff victims whose homeowners insurance policies provided fraud coverage, but whose claims for coverage for losses stemming from the Madoff fraud were nonetheless denied. In addition, the Firm represents a class of Michigan homeowners insurance policyholders in an action against State Farm for violation of the Michigan Uniform Trade Practices Act arising from State Farm’s refusal to pay interest on claims paid more than 60 days after the submission of satisfactory proof of loss.