Week Adjourned: 7.9.10

Top Class Actions

And the Winner is… It’s nice to know that in these tumultuous times wracked with financial uncertainty that some things remain constant. That we can rely on our institutions to proudly defend their position as looking out for our best interests, when in fact they are looking out for their own. Business as usual. As usual.

This week, the Business as Usual unofficial award goes to City National Bank of Charleston WV. They are facing a class action lawsuit based on allegations that they manipulate debit card transactions so as to maximize overdraft fees.

Now, I realize that this practice is hardly original practice, but it’s reassuring to see that smaller institutions are taking up the larger banks business strategies, following their lead so-to-speak. After all, shareholders may benefit.

So, I’m going to assume that the fellow who filed the lawsuit is not a shareholder. Correct me if I’m wrong. Here’s his beef:

“The plaintiff alleges, among other things, that City National: (a) engages in a systematic policy of re-ordering debit card transactions from highest dollar amount to lowest dollar Continue reading “Week Adjourned: 7.9.10”

Week Adjourned: 6.4.10

Top Class Actions

Rehabilitating your disability insurance. Sun Life Assurance got hit with a potential class action this week—filed by a disgruntled (and rightly so) client (or is there another, more accurate term that could be used here…) who alleges that the company denied her disability claim on the lack of something called discretionary proof. Sounds dodgy to me.

Discretionary proof, you ask? According to information issued by the law firm handling the suit, discretionary proof clauses basically amount to a ‘get out of paying the insurance claim’ loophole. But don’t take my word for it. This from the statement on the class action: 

“Discretionary proof clauses have been the subject of intense scrutiny by state regulators and insurance commissioners. The clauses provide that an insurer will pay a disability claim only if it is “satisfied” with the policyholder’s proof. Many insured persons claim that despite extensive proof of medical disability, including surgical reports, treatment records, and doctors’ affidavits, Sun Life and other insurers are “never satisfied” leaving them without disability coverage.” 

Why am I not surprised by this? 

Apparently, on June 1, 2007, the State of Michigan Insurance Commissioner outlawed discretionary proof clauses in all disability contracts delivered within the state. The insurance industry challenged the Michigan regulation, and on March 18, 2009, a federal appeals court decision found that the Michigan regulation was valid and lawful.

I don’t know about you—but I’m checking the fine print on my policy…

Top Settlements

No Eclipsing that Halitosis. Now—here’s a big win for all you gum chewers out there. Wrigley has agreed a $6M settlement in a class action suit over Eclipse gum.

Before you get too excited—the amount each class member will receive is about enough to buy another couple of packs of gum. The settlement works out to about $10 per person. But the lawyers Continue reading “Week Adjourned: 6.4.10”