A Locke Lord team led by Carl Scherz (Dallas) represented Wilco Life Insurance Company in an appeal of an order remanding a putative class action to state court.
The plaintiff, a former policyholder, sued Wilco Life in Georgia state court, alleging Wilco Life improperly raised the cost of insurance rates applicable to her policy, causing it to lapse. She sought money damages, as well as declaratory and injunctive relief to require Wilco Life to reverse the rate increase and reinstate all policies that were surrendered or lapsed as a result of the increased rates. The Locke Lord team removed the case to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act, but the district court remanded, using reasoning that would have complicated future removal of any life insurance class action seeking injunctive or declaratory relief. The Locke Lord team petitioned for interlocutory appeal, and the 11th Circuit then ruled for Wilco Life, holding the value of the plaintiff’s request for injunctive and declaratory relief pushed the amount over the required threshold for federal court. Additional assistance was provided by Cynthia Timms and Taylor Levesque (both of Dallas).
Posted on December 19, 2019