DRI members Steven H. Begley and Richard G. Norris II of the law firm of Wells Marble & Hurst, PLLC in Ridgeland, Mississippi, recently participated in a lengthy jury trial in Mississippi on behalf of a major life insurance company. The three-week trial ended with a defense verdict.
The lawsuit arose from a complaint filed against the company and an insurance broker by plaintiffs who claimed that the company and the broker committed various acts and omissions in connection with the sale of a whole life insurance policy. Later, the broker cross-claimed against the company, asserting that he had been damaged by the lawsuit. The broker alleged that the company had misled him by misrepresenting, or failing to disclose, various information about the policy and the company itself, thereby causing him to sell the policy and, ultimately, be joined in the lawsuit. The broker alleged that he sustained damage to his reputation, as well as physical injuries and emotional distress.
During the trial, the defense presented evidence through various documents and witnesses, including an independent actuary experienced in the life insurance industry, that the broker had not been misled by the company, that the company had complied with insurance and actuarial standards and practices applicable to the insurance industry, and that the broker, in any event, had not sustained any damages.
After three weeks of testimony and argument, the jury returned a defense verdict in favor of the company.
– Reported in the May 12, 2010 issue of The Voice, a publication of DRI – The Voice of the Defense Bar.
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