Continental Casualty Long-Term Care Premium Increase Litigation
Goldenberg Schneider, working with co-counsel from Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, has struck a victory for Wells Fargo employees who have faced years of premium increases on their long-term care insurance from Defendant Continental Casualty Company (“Continental”). The case arises from Continental’s long-term care insurance policy issued to Wells Fargo. The plaintiffs allege that the policy provides that Continental would not raise premiums unless it could do so on a nationwide basis for insureds in a particular age group. However, faced with tight regulatory standards in many states (some of which cap annual increases at 10% or 15%), Continental went shopping for the maximum increase that each individual state would allow, seeking increases as high as 95%, raising premiums unequally state to state, and breaching the group policy.
On March 15, 2022, United States District Court Judge Mary M. Rowland substantially denied Continental’s motion to dismiss the action, finding that the plaintiffs adequately pleaded claims for breach of contract, fraud, violations of the California Unfair Competition Law (UCL), and declaratory and injunctive relief. Judge Rowland was persuaded by a similar case in which a sister court considered the interpretation of the same Policy. See Sieving v. Cont’l Cas. Co., 535 F. Supp. 3d 762, 769 (N.D. Ill. 2021). Sieving observed that the Policy did not define the term “premium class,” rendering it ambiguous because it was susceptible to multiple reasonable interpretations. Id. The court found that the plaintiff had presented one plausible interpretation: that Continental promised to not raise premiums unless it did so for all insureds in a particular age group on a nationwide level. Id. Because the plaintiff had alleged that Defendant raised premiums at different times in different States, and at different times, the court concluded that the plaintiff stated a plausible breach of contract claim.
Overcoming the motion to dismiss, plaintiffs filed an amended complaint on March 30,2023. Discovery in the matter continues.
The case, Brown v. Continental Cas. Co., No. 21-cv-2349, is currently pending before Judge Charles P. Kocoras in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
If you or anyone you know have been subject to long-term care insurance premium increases by Continental and would like additional information about your legal rights, we would be pleased to discuss the matter with you. You can contact the attorneys at Goldenberg Schneider, LPA, by calling 513-982-1569 or sending an email to [email protected].