Class Action News

Transamerica Gets Life Insurance Class Claims Thinned

Dec. 27, 2018, 8:59 PM

Transamerica Life Insurance Co. convinced a federal court Dec. 26 to trim a few claims from a class action by holders of universal life insurance policies.

But the bulk of the claims were allowed to proceed, according to the ruling by Judge Christina A. Snyder of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

Gail Thompson filed a class action against Transamerica challenging monthly deduction rate increases for two universal life policies.

Universal life insurance policies allow policyholders to change the amount and frequency of premium payments as long as their policy contains enough cash to cover monthly deductions.

Whole life insurance policies, on the other hand, require fixed monthly payments.

Thompson argues Transamerica impermissibly increased the rates in 2017 to recoup losses.

Transamerica moved to dismiss the suit based on a variety of theories.

The court dismissed claims alleging Transamerica increased the rate to avoid paying guaranteed interest, and those alleging elder abuse based on fraud.

But the court allowed to proceed her claims for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, violation of California’s Unfair Competition Law, and declaratory relief.

Patterson Law Group; Consumer Watchdog; The Moskowitz Law Firm PLLC and others represented the policyholders.

Hinshaw and Culbertson LLP and McDowell Hetherington LLP represented Transamerica.

The case is Thompson v. Transam. Life Ins. Co., 2018 BL 478363, C.D. Cal., No. 18-cv-5422, 12/26/18.

To contact the reporter on this story: Perry Cooper in Washington at pcooper@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jo-el J. Meyer at jmeyer@bloomberglaw.com; Steven Patrick at spatrick@bloomberglaw.com

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