An insurance policy should act as an effective umbrella of protection against loss, damage, illness, or death. But unfair and fraudulent insurance company practices—from sudden premium increases to improper billing procedures—can cost consumers thousands of dollars. When insurance providers fail to uphold their promises, Girard Sharp is prepared to work on behalf of consumers to hold them accountable.
Our lawyers represent policyholders in litigation involving health, life, auto, and homeowner insurance. And we defend the rights of individuals who report health care fraud by medical providers and institutions.
We are advancing the rights of consumers in several ongoing cases arising out of pricing practices for universal life insurance, a policy that combines certain features of term life insurance with a savings component. Our lawyers served as co-counsel in a case against John Hancock and recovered $59 million for universal life insurance policyholders. In that case, the policyholders alleged that John Hancock overcharged more than 100,000 of its insureds, depriving the owners of the full benefits of the premium dollars they paid over many years. We continue to represent universal life insurance policyholders in cases in San Francisco, San Antonio, and Wisconsin.
We also represent life insurance policyholders in federal court in Philadelphia. In that action, we assert that Lincoln National raised insurance rates in an effort to force “shock lapses,” depriving policy owners of the protections for which they paid premiums over many years.
Girard Sharp served as lead counsel in a consolidated class action brought on behalf of investors against a major bank for furthering a Ponzi scheme. After several years of litigation in bankruptcy court and district court, the parties reached a $54.5 million settlement approved by the court in December 2021.
Girard Sharp served as co-lead counsel in this action in the Western District of Texas. The lawsuit alleged that USAA overcharged policy owners in excess of allowed charges under their policies’ “cost of insurance” terms. The court in 2021 approved a $90 million settlement with USAA Life Insurance Co. Class members will receive distribution checks by mail without the need to make claims. The average recovery is over $500 per class member.