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Life Insurance Class Action Settles for $59.75 Million

Miller Schirger LLC and Stueve Siegel Hanson LLP have settled a nationwide class action lawsuit against John Hancock Life Insurance Company (U.S.A.) over alleged life insurance policy overcharges. The settlement was approved by the court on May 8, 2018 and provides that John Hancock will pay $59.75 million (less fees and expenses) in cash compensation to approximately 103,000 policyholders who own or owned a Flex V-II variable whole life insurance policy sold and administered by John Hancock over the last several decades.

The case is Barbara Larson vs. John Hancock Life Insurance Company (U.S.A.) and was filed in April 2016 in the Superior Court of California, Alameda County on behalf of Barbara Larson and other individuals who own or owned the Flex V-II policy. The suit alleged that John Hancock breached the policies by overcharging policyholders through cost of insurance and expense charges within the policies and failed to reduce certain charges despite improving expectations of future mortality, causing the policies to lose value and in many cases lapse, leaving many without life insurance. John Hancock denied all liability or wrongdoing.