Credit Insurance/Consumer Rights Class Action
Toole v. J.M.I.C. Life Insurance Company. Butler, Wooten & Fryhofer, LLP, served as class counsel in a $45 million settlement, which was preliminarily approved by Judge Doug Pullen on Wednesday, October 31, 2007. The Toole case was certified as a class action on August 11, 2005. That certification was affirmed by the Georgia Court of Appeals on July 10, 2006, and the Supreme Court of Georgia declined to review the case on October 30, 2006. Although most settlements of similar class actions have been made on a claims made basis, this settlement is not a claims made settlement: the court has preliminarily approved $45 million to be paid into an interest-bearing trust fund to be used to pay refunds due to all class members who can be located, costs of administration, and attorneys fees (which will be set by the court). The settlement will be administered by the court and class counsel, who will work with an established settlement administration firm to pro-actively seek out and determine the identity and mailing address of each class member due a refund.
Plaintiff Toole represented a class of people who prepaid J.M.I.C. Life Insurance Company premiums for credit life and disability insurance policies when they purchased vehicles. J.M.I.C. Life Insurance Company contractually promised to refund any unearned premium if class members paid off the insured loans before the five-year term had expired, but failed to do so when they paid off the insured loans early.