Great American Life Insurance Class Action Settlement
Current and most recent owners of certain annuity products issued in California by Great American to a person who was 60 years old or older (or if the Owner is a trustee or non-natural person, the Annuitant was 60 years old or older), except individuals who are excluded from the Class per the following terms: (i) those that were issued but not accepted or were returned to Great American as part of the exercise of the free-look provision in the Annuity or were otherwise rescinded on or before the Valuation Date, (ii) those that were surrendered in full without incurring any Surrender Charge on or before the Valuation Date, and (iii) those as to which the rights and claims have been finally adjudicated in a court of law. The age of the oldest of joint owners or older of joint Annuitants at the time of issue, as applicable, will be used to determine membership in the Class. If you have received this notice because you received a death benefit from an Annuity, the age of the Owner at the time of issue of that Annuity will be used to determine membership in the class.
- Any Class Member whose Annuity(s) has incurred a Surrender Charge on a partial or full surrender of the Annuity on or before September 1, 2017, will receive a Partial Surrender Charge Refund Payment. Class Members who have incurred Surrender Charges that exceed $5.00 will receive a Partial Surrender Charge Refund Payment in the amount of 35% of the total Surrender Charges incurred on each Annuity subject to this Settlement. Class Members who have incurred Surrender Charges that are $5.00 or less will receive a Partial Surrender Charge Refund Payment in the amount of $5.00. The checks mailed to Class Members as Partial Surrender Charge Refund Payments will expire 100 days after the date of issuance.
- Any Class Member whose Annuity has not been fully surrendered on or before September 1, 2017, and which has not incurred any Surrender Charges upon a partial surrender of that Annuity, will be eligible for an Enhanced Withdrawal Benefit. The Enhanced Withdrawal Benefit is the right to take a one-time withdrawal which will not be assessed a Surrender Charge. The withdrawal under the Enhanced Withdrawal Benefit includes the 10% Annual Withdrawal available under the terms of the Annuity. Class Members who submit valid claims for Enhanced Withdrawal Benefits will receive a 10% Annual Withdrawal as of the most recent Contract Anniversary (net of any prior withdrawals that year). The additional 10% (or prorated percentage) constitutes the relief offered by Enhanced Withdrawal Benefit and will be paid following the Effective Date of the Settlement Agreement.
Proof of Purchase
Goertzen v. Great American Life Insurance Co.,Case No. 4:16-cv-00240 (YGR),
District Court for the Northern District of California
Plaintiff brought this lawsuit to assert claims on behalf of herself and other persons who were age 60 or older when they purchased certain deferred Annuities issued by Great American. Plaintiff alleged that Great American failed to comply with surrender charge disclosure requirements under California Insurance Code Section 10127.13. Plaintiff asserted causes of action for violation of the Unfair Competition Law (California Business & Professions Code Section 17200 et seq.), and for Financial Abuse of an Elder pursuant to California Welfare and Institutions Code section 15600 et seq.
Great American denies all of the allegations and any liability or injury to Plaintiff. Great American has asserted numerous legal and factual defenses to the Action. Great American contends, among other things, that its Annuity products are lawful and included the proper disclosures.
Great American contends that Plaintiff received adequate notice of any applicable surrender charges. Great American also contends that neither Plaintiff nor any other Class Member was injured or deceived by Great American’s annuity contracts.