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Current Status of Case:

The First Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered that judgment be entered in favor of Unum.  As a result, Unum will not be required to make any additional payments to class members beyond what is required by their life insurance policies.  The Named Plaintiffs and their attorneys may decide within 90 days whether to seek permission to appeal this decision.  Otherwise, it will be final.

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Procedural History:

On September 11, 2013, after a 4-day trial and follow-up briefing and argument, Judge Torresen issued an order awarding Plaintiffs some, but not all, of the relief they requested.

On September 12, 2013, Unum filed a notice of appeal.

On September 20, 2013, Plaintiffs filed a notice of cross-appeal.

Both sides submitted briefs and the First Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral argument on May 5, 2014.

On July 2, 2014, the First Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Unum's use of RAAs in the circumstances of this case did not constitute self-dealing in plan assets and did not breach any duty of loyalty owed by Unum to the plaintiff class.

 



The information contained here is only a summary.  You may download a full copy of the notice by clicking here, or you may call the litigation helpline at 866-963-9976 to request a copy of the notice by mail. Additional court documents regarding the litigation are available on the Court Documents page of this website.

 
The Court granted the Plaintiffs’ motion for class certification and ruled that the case may proceed as a class action on behalf of the class of individuals described below.  The Court also entered partial summary judgment in favor of the Plaintiffs, ruling that Unum Life Insurance Company of America (“Unum”) was obligated under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) to act solely in the interests of the Plaintiffs and the members of the class, and that Unum breached that duty by failing to act solely in their interest and by instead acting in its own self-interest.  The Court ruled in Unum’s favor on the remaining claims.  The Court did not rule on the issue of how much money, if any, Unum owes the Plaintiffs and the members of the class.  The Court will hold a trial early next year to decide that issue. 
 
Your legal rights might be affected if you are a member of the following class:
 
All persons who:
 
(a) At any time between October 29, 2004 and May 1, 2012
 
(b) were beneficiaries under ERISA-governed employee welfare benefit plans that were insured by Unum under insurance contracts that contain the following settlement language:
 
(i) “If you or your dependent's life claim is at least $10,000, Unum will make available to the beneficiary a retained asset account (the Unum Security Account). RETAINED ASSET ACCOUNT is an interest bearing account established at an intermediary bank in the name of your beneficiary, as owner. Payment for the life claim may be accessed by writing a draft in a single sum or drafts in smaller sums. The funds for the draft or drafts are fully guaranteed by Unum;” or
 
(ii) any other substantially similar operative settlement language providing for the settlement of death benefit claims via a Retained Asset Account; and
 
(c) under which Unum retained any part of their death benefits using Retained Asset Accounts, irrespective of the nomenclature used to refer to such account including, but not limited to, “Money Market Account,” “Retained Asset Account,” “Unum Retained Asset Account” and/or “Unum Security Account.”
 
The Court has appointed Plaintiffs Denise Merrimon and Bobby Mowery and the following lawyers to represent the interests of the class:
       
 
Arielle Cohen
Stuart T. Rossman
National Consumer Law Center
7 Winthrop Square
Boston, MA  02110
(617) 542-8010
M. Scott Barrett
Barrett & Associates
320 W 8th Street, Suite 100
PO Box 5233
Bloomington, IN  47407
(812) 334-2600
John C. Bell, Jr.
Lee W. Brigham
Bell & Brigham
PO Box 1547
Augusta, GA  30903
(706) 722-2014
Jeffrey G. Casurella
Law Offices of Jeffrey G. Casurella
400 Interstate N Parkway, Suite 310
Atlanta, GA  30339
(770) 858-1660
Andrea Bopp Stark
Molleur Law Office
419 Alfred Street
Biddeford, ME  04005
(207) 283-3777
Fred Schultz
Greene & Schultz
320 W 8th Street, Suite 100
Bloomington, IN  47404
(812) 336-4357
      
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