IMPORTANT UPDATE: The appeals process has concluded. On February 17, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the District Court’s finding that the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. If you submitted a Claim Form for Nationwide Surrender Charge Reduction Benefits, a Determination letter will be sent to you by July 22, 2016. California Surrender Charge Reduction Benefits will be sent to eligible Claimants by July 22, 2016.
Welcome to the official website for the settlement of In re American Equity Insurance Co. Practices & Sales Litigation, No. CV05-6735-CAS (MANx), United States District Court for the Central District of California (the "Settlement").
If you previously received a Notice regarding the Settlement, you were listed in American Equity’s records as being either the current or most recent Owner of an Annuity that was included in the Settlement.
The Court directed the parties to send you the Notice because you had the right to know about a Settlement of a class action lawsuit, and about your options, before the Court decided to approve the Settlement. Now that the Court has approved it, and all objections and appeals have been resolved, American Equity will make available the benefits provided for in the approved Settlement.
Overview Of The Settlement
The court has not made any determination regarding either Party’s claims. It has not been determined that Plaintiffs’ claims have any merit or that American Equity has done anything wrong. American Equity has agreed to the proposed Settlement to avoid further costs of litigation and to allow American Equity to further focus on its stated goals.
Plaintiffs brought the litigation on behalf of themselves and other seniors against American Equity with respect to certain deferred Annuities issued by American Equity. Plaintiffs allege that American Equity targeted senior consumers and sold them deferred Annuities with undisclosed sales loads and illusory premium bonuses and crediting options. Plaintiffs allege that these undisclosed costs adversely impacted the performance of the American Equity Annuities.
Plaintiffs claim that the conduct described above violates the federal civil RICO statute, §18 U.S.C. 1962, and certain California consumer protection laws, including §§ 17200 and 17500 of the California Business and Professional Code, and California’s Financial Elder Abuse Act (Welf. & Inst. Code § 15610.30). Plaintiffs seek monetary relief arising out of defendants’ allegedly improper conduct in connection with the marketing and sale of its Annuities to senior citizens in the form of restitution, compensatory, punitive and other exemplary damages, as well as interest, legal fees and costs. The litigation also seeks injunctive relief that would require defendants to change certain of their business practices.
American Equity believes the evidence is very clear that it did not unfairly “target” seniors, that its Annuities have no undisclosed “loads,” that it did not break any laws or any terms of the Annuities, and that its Annuities are appropriate products for many consumers.
Please remember to notify the Settlement Administrator, in writing, of all changes to your mailing address. Address changes cannot be made by telephone.
You may click on the links below to access copies of various documents relating to the Settlement:
- Class Notice
- Settlement Agreement and Exhibits
- Motion for Preliminary Approval of the Settlement
- Amended Findings and Order Preliminarily Approving Class Settlement, Directing Issuance of Amended Notice to the Class, and Setting of Fairness Hearing
- Plaintiffs’ Notice of Motion and Motion for an Award of Attorneys’ Fees, Reimbursement of Expenses and Service Award
- Plaintiffs’ Memorandum in Support of Motion for an Award of Attorneys’ Fees, Reimbursement of Expenses, and Service Award
- Final Order: (1) Approving Settlement, (2) Awarding Class Counsel Fees and Expenses, (3) Awarding Class Representative Service Award, and (4) Dismissing Action with Prejudice
- Final Judgment
- Appeal Letter
Below is a list of important dates that relate to the Settlement:
|Deadline for Class Counsel to file petition for approval of an award of attorneys’ fees and costs and request for a service fees for the class representatives||November 7, 2013|
|Deadline to postmark your request for exclusion from the Settlement||
November 21, 2013
|Deadline to file and serve your objection to the Settlement or to the award of Class Counsel's fees and expenses||
November 21, 2013
|Deadline to file notice of intention to appear at the Fairness Hearing with the Court, and to mail such notice to Class Counsel and American Equity Counsel||
November 21, 2013
|Deadline to mail completed Claim Form to Settlement Administrator for Surrender Charge Reduction Benefits and for California subclass members to return surrender forms||
December 6, 2013
January 27, 2014
at 10:00 A.M.
If you have additional questions, you can call the In re American Equity Annuity Practices and Sales Litigation Settlement Administrator toll-free at:
1 (866) 336-6421
You can also write to the Administrator:
In re American Equity Insurance Co. Annuity Practices and Sales Litigation
P.O. Box 35075
Seattle, WA 98124-3508
The hearing-impaired can email to: