Week Adjourned: 1.22.10

AbbaRoberta FlackSteve MillerPink Floyd

Top Class Actions

Killing Me Softly with his Song…killing me softly… Sorry. Just lost in time there…along with this one. I don’t know if this is the longest class action filed in recent history—but it certainly does cover a significant period of time—36 years, if my math is correct. It was filed against The Variable Annuity Life Insurance Company (“VALIC”) who’ve allegedly been up to no good for the period between January 1, 1974 and January 8, 2010. 1974? Now that’s a blast from the past. There was no public internet in 1974…people bought records—not CDs…Remember Disco? The Joker? Ok. I’ll stop there.

So what’s the beef? Bottom line, “According to the complaint, class members were harmed by entering into expensive annuity contracts that were redundant and unnecessary.” Of course, there’s a bit more to it than that, like, “VALIC agents failed to disclose that the tax deferral feature of the deferred annuity was redundant and unnecessary for Class members…and that these materially false and misleading statements and omissions fraudulently induced purchases of the deferred annuities because they give the impression that the product provides the key tax deferral benefit sought by investors, when, in fact, tax deferral is not a reason for qualified plan investors to purchase the product because any investment funding a qualified plain is already tax deferred.” 

Suffice to say, people were sold investment products that they didn’t need. I guess some things really don’t change with time.

Top Settlements

The Now Network gets the Now Settlement. Finally. On Thursday, a federal judge approved a $17.5 million settlement in the class action against Sprint Nextel. Chalk one up to consumers! The lawsuit arose over the flat Continue reading “Week Adjourned: 1.22.10”