Case Conclusion Date:October 22, 2007
Practice Area:Class Action
Description:When Plaintiff and Class Representative Ken Toole purchased a motor vehicle in 2001, he also purchased single-premium credit life and disability insurance. He paid an up-front premium at the time of purchase for the credit insurance coverage over the term of his loan. When Toole later paid his loan off early, under the terms of the insurance contract, he was entitled to receive a refund of the unearned premium. As it did with many of its other insureds, JMIC failed to refund the unearned premium to Toole. During lengthy discovery, Plaintiff's counsel proved that the insurance company owed tens of thousands of its insureds millions of dollars of unearned premiums. A nationwide class was certified by the trial court in 2005, and in 2006, the Georgia Court of Appeals affirmed the certification of the nationwide class. After more than 4 years of contentious litigation and extensive discovery, JMIC was forced to produce a database with information on thousands of potential class members. JMIC finally agreed to pay $45 million into a Settlement Fund to settle the case. The Court and Class Counsel will supervise a settlement administrator who will determine the amount of and pay unearned refunds to those class members/insureds that are due but have not received an unearned premium refund. JMIC is also required to take steps to provide additional prospective relief to make sure that insureds that terminate early in the future do get the refunds of unearned premium to which they are entitled. The settlement was preliminarily approved by the Court on October 31, 2007.