Spencer v. Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc.
Berger Montague, together with co-counsel, prosecuted this national class action against The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. and its affiliates in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut (Spencer v. Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., Case No. 05-cv-1681) on behalf of approximately 22,000 claimants, each of whom entered into structured settlements with Hartford property and casualty insurers to settle personal injury and workers’ compensation claims.
To fund these structured settlements, the Hartford property and casualty insurers purchased annuities from their affiliate, Hartford Life. By purchasing the annuity from Hartford Life, The Hartford companies allegedly were able to retain up to 15% of the structured amount of the settlement in the form of undisclosed costs, commissions and profit – all of which was concealed from the settling claimants.
On March 10, 2009, the U.S. District Court certified for trial claims on behalf of two national subclasses for civil RICO and fraud (256 F.R.D. 284 (D. Conn. 2009)). On October 14, 2009, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals denied The Hartford’s petition for interlocutory appeal under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(f). On September 21, 2010, the U.S. District Court entered judgment granting final approval of a $72.5 million cash settlement.