Skip to content

Dead soldiers’ parents sue insurer over benefits, seek class-action status

Via the AP and Raw Story

Dead soldiers’ parents sue insurer Prudential over interest paid on life insurance policies

The parents of six deceased U.S. soldiers are suing Prudential Financial, saying it paid paltry interest on military life insurance benefits while keeping more generous interest earnings for itself.

Five plaintiffs joined the original plaintiff Monday in the lawsuit, which was filed in July in U.S. District Court in Springfield, Mass. It accuses Prudential of profiting from the dead soldiers’ policies with bookkeeping maneuvers and misrepresenting the way the beneficiaries could collect lump-sum payouts.

Their attorneys are seeking class-action status.

If granted, it could affect tens of thousands of beneficiaries who received payments under group life insurance policies for military members and veterans created by Congress and administered by Prudential.

A spokesman for the Newark, N.J.-based financial giant said Monday that while company officials cannot address the pending litigation, they strongly defend their handling of the money as responsible and deferential to the beneficiaries’ grief and needs.

The debate centers on Prudential’s use of what it calls Alliance Accounts. The accounts are similar to checking accounts and come with a booklet of drafts. Beneficiaries can write drafts to themselves up to the payout’s full amount, an option they can pick in lieu of 36 equal monthly installments.

Interest paid to beneficiaries who parked their money in Alliance Accounts in the last several years has ranged from 0.5 to 1.5 percent, according to the lawsuit.

But the plaintiffs say the checks are equivalent to an IOU, and that the money doesn’t actually sit in those accounts as of the time of the soldier’s death.

They allege Prudential holds the money in its $200 billion general account and earns 5 to 6 percent interest; moves it into an Alliance Account only when the beneficiary requests it; pays out at the lower interest rate; then keeps the difference.

Cristobal Bonifaz, one of four attorneys representing the plaintiffs, said the lost interest would vary greatly depending on how quickly the beneficiaries withdrew the money. It could range from a few thousand dollars up to perhaps $20,000 to $30,000 for people who let their payouts sit untouched for years in Prudential’s accounts, he said.

“They didn’t tell anybody, ‘We’re going to make money with it,’” Bonifaz said. “What we’re saying to Prudential is, ‘You kept investing the money, but that money did not belong to you as of the day that person died, and whatever you made off it, you should give to those persons it was meant for.’”

But Prudential spokesman Bob DeFillippo said interest rates on the Alliance Accounts are set to be comparable to checking accounts and money-market accounts. The Alliance Accounts money needs to be more liquid and immediately accessible so it is placed in short-term investments, he said. That money comprises about 2 percent of Prudential’s general account, on which the higher interest is earned — a function of the long-term investments it holds, he said.

“This is a very, very difficult time for (beneficiaries) and we do everything we can to make this not any more difficult … If their intent is to have a lump sum, all they need to do is write a draft to themselves and withdraw it,” DeFillippo said.

People who choose Alliance Accounts also are offered free financial counseling services and the interest rate is stated on their confirmation paperwork.

A similar claim against Prudential was thrown out of U.S. District Court last year in New Jersey, where a beneficiary of a non-military life insurance policyholder challenged the Alliance Accounts and alleged Prudential was unjustly enriching itself.

Plaintiffs in the current lawsuit are parents of soldiers who died in Iraq, Afghanistan, El Salvador and after returning to the U.S. They are from Massachusetts, California, Illinois, Maryland, and Texas.

Kevin Lucey of Belchertown, Mass., the lawsuit’s lead defendant with his wife, Joyce, said the grief of losing their 23-year-old son, Jeffrey, in June 2004 was so raw that dealing with insurance details was too overwhelming to face right away.

They transferred the policy’s proceeds to a bank nine months later, but Kevin Lucey said they remain angry and indignant over what they consider Prudential’s misrepresentations to themselves and other families.

“It’s totally unacceptable for any company to think they can treat any family that has gone through this kind of trauma, especially military families,” he said. “I think it becomes part of our responsibility to make sure no one has to go through anything similar to this.”

Source: AP News

View the original article at Veterans Today

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Posted in Finance & Economics.

Tagged with , , , .

0 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.

Support #altnews & keep Dark Politricks alive

Remember I told you over 5 years ago that they would be trying to shut down sites and YouTube channels that are not promoting the "Official" view. Well it's all happening now big time. Peoples Channels get no money from YouTube any more and Google is being fishy with their AdSense giving money for some clicks but not others. The time is here, it's not "Obama's Internet Cut Off Switch" it's "Trumps Sell Everyones Internet Dirty Laundry Garage Sale". This site must be on some list at GCHQ/NSA as my AdSense revenue which I rely on has gone down by a third. Either people are not helping out by visiting sponsors sanymore or I am being blackballed like many YouTube sites.

It's not just Google/YouTube defunding altenative chanels (mine was shut), but Facebook is also removing content, shutting pages, profiles and groups and removing funds from #altnews that way as well. I was recently kicked off FB and had a page "unpublished" with no reason given. If you don't know already all Facebooks Private Messages and Secret Groups are still analysed and checked for words related to drugs, sex, war etc against their own TOS. Personally I know there are undercover Irish police moving from group to group cloning peoples accounts and getting people booted. Worse than that I know some people in prison now for the content they had on their "secret private group". Use Telegrams secret chat mode to chat on, or if you prefer Wickr. If you really need to, buy a dumb phone with nothing for the NSA/GCHQ to hack into. Ensure it has no GPS tracking on it and that the battery can be removed. These are usually built for old people to get used to technology storing only a set of numbers to call. However they have no games, applications to install or other ways people can exploit the computer tracking device you carry round with you most of the day - your smart phone. If you are paranoid ensure that you can remove the battery when travelling around and do so to prevent GPS tracking or phone mast triangulation. Even with your phone in Flight mode or turned off, it can be turned on remotely and any features like front or back cameras, microphones and keylogging software can be installed to trace you.

So if your not supporting this site already which brings you news from the Left to the Right (really the same war mongering rubbish) then I could REALLY do with some..

Even if it's just £5 or tick the monthly subscription box and throw a few pound my way each month, it will be much appreciated. Read on to find out why.


Any support to keep this site would be appreciated. You could set up a monthly subscription for £2 like some people do or you could pay a one off donation as a gift.
I am not asking you to pay me for other people's articles, this is a clearing house as well as place to put my own views out into the world. I am asking for help to write more articles like my recent false flag gas attack to get WWIII started in Syria, and Trump away from Putin. Hopefully a few missiles won't mean a WikiLeaks release of that infamous video Trump apparently made in a Russian bedroom with Prostitutes. Also please note that this article was written just an hour after the papers came out, and I always come back and update them.

If you want to read JUST my own articles then use the top menu I have written hundreds of articles for this site and I host numerous amounts of material that has seen me the victim of hacks, DOS plus I have been kicked off multiple hosting companies, free blogging sites, and I have even had threats to cease and desist from the US armed forces. Therefore I have to pay for my own server which is NOT cheap. The more people who read these article on this site the more it costs me so some support would be much appreciated.

I have backups of removed reports shown, then taken down after pressure, that show collusion between nations and the media. I have the full redacted 28/29 pages from the 9.11 commission on the site which seems to have been forgotten about as we help Saudi Arabia bomb Yemeni kids hiding in the rubble with white phosphorus, an illegal weaapon. One that the Israeli's even used when they bombed the UN compound in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead. We complain about Syrian troops (US Controlled ISIS) using chemical weapons to kill "beautiful babies". I suppose all those babies we kill in Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and Syria are just not beautiful enough for Trumps beautiful baby ratio. Plus we kill about 100 times as many as ISIS or the Syrian army have managed by a factor of about 1000 to 1.

I also have a backup of the FOX News series that looked into Israeli connections to 9.11. Obviously FOX removed that as soon as AIPAC, ADL and the rest of the Hasbra brigade protested.

I also have a copy of the the original Liberal Democrats Freedom Bill which was quickly and quietly removed from their site once they enacted and replaced with some watered down rubbish instead once they got into power. No change to police tactics, protesting or our unfair extradition treaty with the USA but we did get a stop to being clamped on private land instead of the mny great ideas in the original.

So ANY support to keep this site running would be much appreciated! I don't have much money after leaving my job and it is a choice between shutting the server or selling the domain or paying a lot of money just so I can show this material.

Material like the FSB Bombings that put Putin in power or the Google no 1 spot when you search for protecting yourself from UK Police with "how to give a no comment interview". If you see any adverts that interest you then please visit them as it helps me without you even needing to give me any money. A few clicks per visit is all it takes to help keep the servers running and tag any tweets with alternative news from the mainstream with the #altnews hashtag I created to keep it alive!

However if you don't want to use the very obvious and cost free ways (to you) to help the site and keep me writing for it then please consider making a small donation. Especially if you have a few quid sitting in your PayPal account doing nothing useful. Why not do a monthly subscription for less money instead. Will you really notice £5 a month?