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Saturday, February 22, 2020

Life insurance company accused of lying to consumers about financial stability

By Shaun Zinck | Jul 1, 2015

Jeff friedman attorney
Attorney John Friedman is representing plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit against Aviva over allegations the life insurance company engaged in a scheme to defraud annuity holders. | HAGENS BERMAN SOBOL SHAPIRO LLP

SAN FRANCISCO (Legal Newsline) - A life insurance company is being sued over allegations it defrauded annuity holders by lying about its financial condition.

Rachel Silva and Don Hudson filed the lawsuit on June 12 in United States District Court in California against Aviva PLC claiming the company misled consumers about the strength of its finances.

The lawsuit claims Aviva carried about the “scheme” by entering into financial transactions with other wholly owned companies “in order to hide Aviva’s mounting risks and inflate or misstate the assets Aviva holds to meet those risks.”

“Through this scheme, Aviva was able to keep less cash and stable assets on hand to meet future liabilities, to continue reaping the financial rewards from selling large amounts of annuities, and to funnel money out of Aviva to its affiliates, parent companies, and executives,” the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit claims the scheme dates back to the beginning of the financial crisis in 2007. The plaintiffs are seeking class status for those who used Aviva life insurance, and is seeking an unspecified amount in damages.

The plaintiffs are represented by Jeff D. Friedman of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP in Berkeley, Calif.; Steve W. Berman and Sean R. Matt of the same law firm in Seattle; Andrew S. Friedman and Francis J. Balint, Jr. in Bonnett Fairbourn Freidman & Balint PC in Phoenix; Erin Dickinson and Chuck Crueger of Hansen Reynolds Dickinson Crueger LLC in Milawukee; and Ingrid M. Evans of Evans Law Firm, Inc. in San Francisco.

United States District Court for the Northern District of California case number 5:15-cv-02665.

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