by Structured Settlement Watchdog
Seattle based Symetra Life Insurance Company Slammed with Structured Settlement Class Action Certification
A nationwide class action lawsuit certified against Symetra Life Insurance and its affiliate Symetra Assigned Benefits Service Company (“SABSCO”) alleges that Symetra and its affiliate violated RICO, the Washington Consumer Protection Act, civil conspiracy, unjust enrichment, and their contractual rights. In her August 3, 2022 order, Judge Marsha J. Pechman of the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington granted class certification in White, et al. v. Symetra Assigned Benefits Service Company, et al. United States District Court Western District of Washington
Case No. 20-cv-01866 and certified the following class:
“All persons who are or were, at any time:
- annuitants of [a structured settlement annuity (“SSA”)] that contemplated life contingent payments issued by Symetra AND
- who subsequently sold to a Symetra affiliate the right to receive payments from that SSA in a factoring transaction.”
The Court denied Plaintiffs’ Motion to Certify a Class as to their breach of fiduciary duty claims.
Plaintiffs brought this class action lawsuit on behalf of themselves and all others who, in settling underlying tort litigation, became the beneficiaries of a Symetra Life Insurance structured settlement annuity, and who then sold the rights to their future annuity payments to SABSCO or another Symetra affiliate.
Symetra Used Position of Trust
Plaintiffs’ amended complaint seeks redress for injured persons and families who relied on Symetra to safeguard their loing-term financial well being , alleging that Symetra Defendants solicited Plaintiffs’ rights to their future payments as part of a business scheme that used their position of trust as issuer and owner of Plaintiffs’ structured settlement annuities. Plaintiffs allege that Defendants leveraged their knowledge and unequal bargaining power to profit by purchasing Plaintiffs’ future payments at a steep discount in factoring transactions. As a certified class, Plaintiffs are one step closer to holding Symetra Defendants accountable for these practices.
The Responsibilty of Settlement Planners and Plaintiff Structured Settlement Brokers in Symetra placements 2006-2012
I Told You So About Symetra and Clearscape in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010... Did Your Settlement Planner?"
Symetra's factoring operation was well known in the structured settlement industry from at least January 2006 until Symetra stopped writing structured settlement annuities in 2012.
Symetra was pressured to resign from the National Structured Settlements Trade Association (NSSTA) as its factoring activity was incompatable with the mission of NSSTA. To be clear, Symetra actually established a factoring company called Clearscape Funding and solicited not only Symetra (and former SAFECO) annuitants, but externally as well.
I personally sent a strongly worded letter to Symetra on January 23, 2008 withdrawing my appointment in disgust (see Writing on the Wall below entry for January 23, 2008). I cannot say the same for other settlement planners who, despite public knowledge of the existence of Clearscape and what Symetra was doing, continued to place business with Symetra.
- How many of these settlement planners "romanced" trial lawyers with lavish donations to state and local trial lawyer associations, who turned the other cheek to recommendations and proposals to place business with a lower rate company that had a known factoring company?
- How many settlement planners' put their clients into Symetra structured settlement annuities out of a single claimant QSF, despite advanced knowledge of Symetra's factoring operation?
- How many times did settlement planners' often belicose and bombastic rhetoric about dastardly approved lists led to a Symetra structured settlement annuity placement?
- How many settlement planners continued to make recommendations, to trial lawyers and their clients, to place their hard fought for settlement dollars into Symetra, DESPITE knowing of the existence of Clearscape?
- How many settlement planners solicited customers using the false statement that Symetra was a "Berkshire Hathaway Company" to "do-si-do" the known Clearscape issue?
Will the Symetra Structured Settlement Class Action bring a reckoning to Symetra and shine the light on those who placed their clients in harm's way?
The Writing was on the Wall
- May 26, 2010 "If You Don't Use Clearscape You're Lump Sum Will Be Taxable"
- May 5, 2010 Puffery The Magic Dragon
- May 5, 2010 Structured Settlement Accounting and Insurer Investment Challenges on Long Tail Liabilities
- March 25, 2010 Symetra Structured Settlement Annuitant Has Concerns About Symetra Postcards That Solicit Cash Now
- January 28, 2008 Symetra "Hard Sell" v Allstate " AFEN"
- January 23, 2008 Symetra Doesn't Really Want to Be in the Structured Settlement Business Do They?
- October 29, 2007 Letter from Jesper Hansen, a Sales Specialist from Symetra to Los Angeles couple regarding SABSCO buying
- August 10, 2006 My "Rights" to be a Spendswift?
- April 19, 2006 Symetra Be Clear About Clearscape!
- January 14, 2006 Boo Symetra and Boo Hoo Too