Articles Posted in Class Actions

The comments say it all. There are so many complaints about this company, and we need class members! Check out these posts documenting clear-cut scamming of Banker’s Life Agents and contact us if this has happened to you!

Banker’s Life Glassdoor Reviews: “Horrible god awful company!”

USAComplaints.com: Bankers Life & Casualty Lied to, ripped off and unhappy

Here’s an excerpt from the courts recent Order denying in part motion to dismiss our class action lawsuit against Banker’s Life for former agent chargebacks.

“Joseph Woerner was an insurance agent for Bankers Life and Casualty Company. He alleges that his hiring by Bankers Life was part of a pyramid scheme in which Bankers Life hires more agents than it needs in order to exact the fees it charges new agents, and to claw back sales commissions under false pretenses when surplus agents inevitably leave the company. Woerner alleges that Bankers Life’s conduct constitutes: a violation of his agency contract (Count I); a violation of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing under Illinois law (Count II); and a violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act (Count III). R. 1-1. Bankers Life has moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). R. 16. For the following reasons, that motion is denied in part and granted in part.

[…]

In April 2016, a former Bankers Life insurance agent commenced an action against Bankers Life for breach of the agent agreement on behalf of all terminated Bankers Life agents who have been subject to commission charge-backs for so-called policy rewrites.

As alleged in the Complaint it is common company practice at Bankers Life for senior agents to “‘re-write’ policies [sold] by former agents in order to justify commission chargebacks and to reassign the policy [renewal] commission stream from the [former agent] to a current senior agent.” However, “the ‘re-writing’ of the policies is pretextual, with Bankers Life typically making nothing more than an immaterial change, such as altering the policy name.” Bankers Life then seeks repayment of commissions from the former agent based on these “re-writes,” often using debt collectors and reporting the unpaid commissions to the Vector One data base, while a current agent receives the commission for the “rewritten” policy.

For more information, see our filed Complaint.pdf

On December 17th, GSAS and Beranbaum Menken LLP filed a class-action lawsuit against the City of New York and its Department of Correction for illegally strip and/or body cavity searching visitors to City jails.  Randomly strip searching visitors to City jails is illegal and a violation of the DOC’s directives.  The lawsuit alleges that the City is systematically performing strip searches without individualized reasonable suspicion that the visitor is concealing contraband.
The case is A.R., et al. v. City of New York, et al., 15 Civ. 9224, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Earlier this week, 18 United States Senators–including New Jersey Senator and local superhero Cory Booker–called upon the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to regulate prepaid debit cards issued to released prisoners. These “prison release cards” often carry exorbitant fees and are all around exploitative.

Over 650,000 prisoners leave state and federal jails each year. The majority are booked and released shortly thereafter; most people released from jails are never convicted of any crime. These individuals constitute an involuntary pool of consumers with no choice or say in whether they have to use prepaid debit cards to access their own money. Giskan Solotaroff is working with lawyers around the country to litigate a class action in Oregon and an arbitration in Florida against two prison release card companies: EZ Card & Kiosk LLC, which issues the EZ Exit Card, and Numi Financial, which issues the Prestige Prepaid MasterCard.

Senator Booker’s letter is available here.

In case you missed it, the New York Times ran an excellent three part series on arbitration agreements and class action waivers. The series makes it clear that arbitration clauses deprive consumers and individuals of their day in court, whether it be because the individual case is not economically viable, or worse yet, because the arbitration process is rigged.

Hopefully, this marks the beginning of a broad public awareness of how corporations insulate themselves from liability by sneaking arbitration clauses into their Terms and Conditions. If this issue can remain in the public eye, change will follow.

Here are the links to the series:

By Oren Giskan, Esq.

The people have spoken and while they like Cheerios, they do not like mandatory arbitration. General Mills tried to impose mandatory arbitration on anyone who “liked” it on social media or downloaded a coupon for one of its products. Because General Mills had no direct dealings (or a contract) with consumers, it had to come up with a novel way to obtain consumers’ “consent” to arbitration.

It turns out consumers do not like mandatory arbitration and they protested. So General Mills did the right thing and abandoned its efforts to prohibit consumers from suing in court (and suing as a class). General Mills undoubtedly recognized that if consumers are given a choice, they will take their business elsewhere.

By Catherine Anderson, Esq.

On June 28, 2013, Courthouse News Service reported on our class action which had been filed against OneWest Bank, IndyMac, Financial Freedom Senior Funding and other defendants concerning the force placement of insurance (commonly referred to in the industry as “force placed insurance” or “lender placed insurance”) on homeowner’s mortgages for hazard or fire insurance.

As alleged in our complaint, lender placed insurance is often twice to ten times as expensive as voluntary homeowner’s insurance obtained in the open market and includes the cost of kickbacks and other improper commissions to the lender and/or insurer which get charged to the homeowner’s mortgage. Recently, our action has been divided into two potential class actions: One action involves the lender placed hazard insurance which has been charged to homeowners with standard Fannie Mae Freddie Mac uniform mortgages by OneWest Bank and IndyMac through the insurance company Assurant and its subsidiary, American Security Insurance Company. From October 2010 through June 2013, American Security Insurance Company issued 65,136 lender placed hazard insurance policies on real property serviced by OneWest and/or IndyMac. The second action involves lender placed hazard insurance which has been charged to homeowners with reverse mortgages by OneWest and Financial Freedom Senior Funding through the insurance company Balboa Insurance and also includes claims for violation of the California Financial Elder Abuse statute.