by John Darer CLU ChFC CSSC RSP CLTC
Class action lawsuits have been filed separately against Ringler Associates and EPS Settlements related to the Executive Life of New York (ELNY) by claimants who suffered shortfalls in the ELNY Liquidation. Former Ringler Associates president, CEO and Chairman Paul Hoffman was named individually in the lawsuit.
According to the Complaint against Ringler and Hoffman et al. filed April 11, 2014 in Oregon District Court, Plaintiffs have alleged, among other things, that Defendants, as brokers for the sale of ELNY's annuities, solicited , negotiated , procured and effectuated insurance contracts, and performed other functions that ultimately directly or indirectly assisted ELNY in transacting the sale of unlicensed insurance to Plaintiffs and members of the Statutory subclass"
The class includes:
"All persons who entered into structured settlement agreements (SSA) funded by qualified assignment annuity contracts brokered by Ringler or any of its affiliate or predecessor companies in states where Executive Life Insurance Company of New York was not licensed to do business or sell annuities; received benefits from ELNY pursuant to a SSA brokered by Ringler and (3) suffered annuity benefit cuts on or after August 8, 2013".
The Complaint against Ringler and Hoffman et al. notes that "most state's (sic) guarantee associations excludes (sic) coverage of an annuity issued in the state when the annuity issuer was not licensed to issue the annuity in the state". [States where ELNY was not licensed and therefore unauthorized to sell insurance include Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, , Tennessee, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming]. The Complaint, at paragraph 46, cites the statutes of many states which have passed statutes imposing penalties on brokers for aiding non-licensed insurers with transactions in their respective states.
In an apparent attempt to build a negligence case, the complaint also alleges, among other things, that "Defendants knew or should have known of ELNY's deteriorating financial condition in 2009 but failed to disclose this fact to Plaintiffs and class members.."
The complaint also alleges that "By December 31, 2010 that ELNY was operating with a deficit of $1.5Billion, Defendants knew or should have known of ELNY's deteriorating financial condition at the time but still failed to disclose this fact from Plaintiffs and class members"
The case is captioned:
Marie Westrope and Reggie Kelly, individually and on behalf of others similarly situated v Ringler Associates Incorporated, Paul Hoffman and Does 1-100 United States District Court for the District of Oregaon, Eugene Division, Case No. 14-604 Download Westrope and Kelly v Ringler Associates Class Action Lawsuit
Complaint against EPS Settlements Group et al
The Class Action Complaint against EPS Settlements Group, was filed in the United States District Couryt for the Southern District of Florida on April 16, 2014. and closely follows the complaint against Ringler and Hoffman et al. The complaint against EPS Settlements Group also names John Cantwell, a New Mexico structured settlement broker, who at the time of the annuities procured for class members was with EPS predecessor company Kenneth H . Wells.
The case is captioned:
Curtis Moore and Joseph Moore, individually and on behalf of others similarly situated v EP Settlements Group, John Cantwell and Does 1-100 United States District Court SouthernDistrict of Florida Case 9:14-cv-80521-JIC Download Moore and Moore v EPS Settlements Group, John Cantwell et al USDC So. Fl.