- Why was the Notice issued?
- What is a class action?
- What is this lawsuit about?
- Why is there a settlement?
- How do I know if I am in the Settlement Class?
- What does the Settlement provide?
- What is Reinstatement Relief?
- Do I qualify for Enhanced Relief?
- What is Individualized Relief?
- What is Basic Relief?
- Can I contest my relief, and when will I get my relief?
- How do I get relief?
- What am I giving up if I stay in the Settlement Class?
- What happens if I do nothing at all?
- What does the Release say?
- Do I have a lawyer in the case?
- How will the lawyers be paid?
- How do I get out of the Settlement?
- If I do not exclude myself, can I sue the Defendants for the same thing later?
- If I exclude myself, can I get anything from this Settlement?
- How do I object to the Settlement?
- What’s the difference between objecting and excluding myself from the Settlement?
- When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?
- Do I have to come to the hearing?
- May I speak at the hearing?
- Where do I get more information?
Why was the Notice issued?
A court authorized the Notice and the information on this website because you have a right to know about the proposed Settlement of this class action lawsuit and your options before the Court decides whether to give final approval of the Settlement. This Notice explains the Action, the Settlement, and your legal rights.
The Honorable Michael W. Fitzgerald, of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, is overseeing this case. The case is called Richard Behfarin v. Pruco Life Ins. Company et al., Case No. 2:17-cv-05290-MWF-FFM (C.D. California). The person who sued is called the Plaintiff. The Defendants are Pruco Life Insurance Company, The Prudential Insurance Company of America, and Pruco Life Insurance Company of New Jersey. The Claims Administrator is Epiq Class Action & Claims Solutions, Inc.
To review a copy of the Class Notice, click here.Back To Top
What is a class action?
In a class action, one or more people, called class representatives (in this case, Richard Behfarin), sue on behalf of a group or “class” of people who have similar claims. In a class action, the court resolves the issues for all class members, except those who exclude themselves from the class.Back To Top
What is this lawsuit about?
This Action alleges that Prudential requested payments from Policyowners in excess of the amounts provided for under the terms of certain universal and variable universal life insurance policies issued by Prudential to cure or reinstate those policies when those policies entered default or lapsed. The Action also raises other allegations regarding how Prudential administers these contracts. You can view a copy of the Complaint here. The Action is also described in the Settlement Agreement.
Prudential denies all allegations of wrongdoing. The Court has not determined who is right. Rather, the Parties have agreed to settle the lawsuit to avoid the uncertainties and expenses associated with litigation.Back To Top
Why is there a settlement?
The Court has not decided whether the Plaintiff or Prudential should win this case. Instead, both sides agreed to a settlement. That way, they avoid the uncertainties and expenses associated with ongoing litigation, and Class Members will get Settlement relief sooner rather than, if at all, after the completion of a trial.Back To Top
How do I know if I am in the Settlement Class?
The Court decided that everyone who fits the following description is a member of the Settlement Class:
All Policyowners of Class Policies and, where all Policyowners and insureds of a Class Policy are deceased, then also any designated beneficiary(s) of that Class Policy at the time of final lapse.
Class Policies include all individual universal life or variable universal life insurance policies issued by a Defendant as to which Guaranteed Charges were applicable to the calculation of the deficiency and/or reinstatement amount, and which policy either entered into default or lapsed between July 18, 2013 and November 26, 2019, or which had default cured or was reinstated on or after July 18, 2013 and remained in force on November 26, 2019.
This definition includes:
- Policies that lapsed for a final time during the Class Period and have not been reinstated to date where there is at least one living insured (the “Lapsed/Alive” Population);
- Policies that lapsed for a final time during the Class Period and were not reinstated where the insured(s) are deceased (the “Lapsed/Deceased” Population); and
- Policies that went into default or lapsed for which payment was made during the Class Period to cure the default or to reinstate after lapse where there is at least one living insured and the policy remains in force (the “Current Policyowner” Population).
Back To Top
What does the Settlement provide?
The relief provided by the Settlement is different depending on the circumstances of your Prudential Policy. As described in FAQ 5, not all Prudential Policies were affected by the conduct alleged in the Action, and different Policies were affected differently. The availability of relief depends upon whether and how you may have been affected.
For Class Policies that are lapsed, where the Authorized Claimant (as defined by the Settlement Agreement) is in the Lapsed/Alive Population, Prudential will make available either:
- A one-time payment of $250 (“Basic Relief”); or
- The opportunity to reinstate the Class Policy, with the same contract terms, insured, and face amount of insurance as existed at the time of final lapse, without medical questions or examinations, review of medical records, or other underwriting (but subject to certain rules, exceptions, and process set forth in the Settlement Agreement) (“Reinstatement Relief”).
For Class Policies that are lapsed, where the Authorized Claimant (as defined by the Settlement Agreement) is in the Lapsed/Deceased Population, Prudential will make available a monetary Settlement Payment, the amount of which will be determined by a Claim Scoring Process. What relief you get depends upon whether and how you were affected by the conduct alleged in the Action. It also depends upon the Claim Scoring Process result. If your Prudential Policy is in this population, you should review FAQ 9 “What is Individualized Relief?”.
For Class Policies that are still in force, the Current Policyholder Population, Prudential has agreed to change the way your Policy is administered at default or lapse. You do not need to do anything to benefit from this change.
A detailed description of the Settlement benefits can be found in the Settlement Agreement, available here.Back To Top
What is Reinstatement Relief?
Reinstatement Relief is available to those in the Lapsed/Alive Population, where the Class Policy is lapsed and at least one insured is still living.
Reinstatement Relief is available if you are an Authorized Claimant and both the Claim Form and Prudential data reflect that the Class Policy was affected by the conduct challenged in the Action. In other words: You may qualify for Reinstatement Relief if Prudential requested payments on your Policy when it defaulted and/or to reinstate that equaled more than three months’ premium at then Current Rates, plus applicable loads or fees, to cure the default and/or to reinstate the Policy. Current Rates means the monthly cost of insurance rate then applicable to the Policy and the insured based on the insured(s)’ age.
You will NOT qualify for Reinstatement Relief if certain Gating Rules described in the Settlement Agreement apply to you. If a Gating Rule applies, your Policy may be eligible for Basic Relief.
To receive Reinstatement Relief, you will also be required to make certain statements on your Claim Form, which are made under penalty of perjury. If you cannot truthfully make these statements, you will not qualify for Reinstatement Relief. You may, however, still qualify for Basic Relief. Please read FAQ 10 "What is Basic Relief?" for more information.
The required statements that you must make to receive Reinstatement Relief are listed on the Reinstatement Relief Claim Form. Please review the statements in detail prior to filing a Claim. In addition, the Claim Form will include additional information about submitting a Claim for Reinstatement Relief, including what will be required of you if your Claim is approved.
If your Class Policy is owned by more than one living person or entity, you must act jointly in exercising any right to Reinstatement Relief. You can still reinstate the Policy with fewer than all original Policyowners; all owners, however, will be bound by the Settlement.
The Claims Administrator will determine if you qualify for Reinstatement Relief. If your Claim to reinstate your Class Policy is approved, you are required to pay sufficient premium to keep the Reinstated Class Policy in force for the time the policy requires, at Current Charges. Your obligations and other information regarding Reinstatement Relief are provided in the Settlement Agreement. After your Claim is evaluated and approved, you will be put in contact with Prudential to receive information about all applicable charges, fees, and premium payments (including loads, costs, and expenses of every kind) necessary to reinstate the Policy and keep your Policy in force and to finalize reinstatement of your Class Policy. If at any point you choose not to proceed with reinstatement, your Claim will be considered one for Basic Relief.
Policyowners shall otherwise retain such rights, if any, to reinstatement of their policies as exist in the terms of their Prudential contracts without regard to the Settlement Agreement.
Reinstated Class Policies will be administered to comply with the definition of life insurance under federal tax law.Back To Top
Do I qualify for Enhanced Relief?
If you are in the Lapsed/Alive Population and submit a Claim Form for Reinstatement Relief, meet all qualifications for that Reinstatement Relief, submit a timely application to reinstate and complete the reinstatement process, you may also qualify for Enhanced Relief.
To receive Enhanced Relief, you must:
- Have been identified by Prudential as qualifying, based on existing Prudential records reflecting that after the final lapse of your Policy a timely application for reinstatement was submitted and then not approved;
- Pass all Gating Rules described in the Settlement Agreement;
- Timely submit a completed Claim Form including all required Certifications; and
- Complete timely reinstatement of your Policy by paying required amounts.
If the Claims Administrator determines you meet all of the above (a)-(d), you must then timely pay all required premium necessary for the Reinstated Class Policy to be in force at the end of the first three years.
Provided that your Policy is in force at the beginning of the fourth policy year following the date of reinstatement, Prudential will, on the Policyowner’s behalf, pay and apply to the policy the amount of premium (inclusive of all premium/tax loads) necessary to satisfy the cost of insurance for the policy, based on the then-Current Rates and Current Charges for the fourth and fifth years.
Additional details are contained in the Settlement Agreement.Back To Top
What is Individualized Relief?
Individualized Relief may be available for those in the Lapsed/Deceased Population where a Class Policy is lapsed and all insureds are deceased. If this does not describe you, you can skip this question.
For Authorized Claimants, Individualized Relief will consist of a monetary Settlement Payment, the amount of which will be determined by a Claim Scoring Process. The Scoring Process is based on an individual analysis and determination of each Claim according to Scoring Guidelines.
The Scoring Guidelines apply certain Scoring Factors based on specified Prudential records related to your Policy. The Score will depend upon what the records reflect regarding whether, and how, you may have been impacted (if at all) by the conduct alleged in the Action. The Scoring Guidelines are an exhibit to the Settlement Agreement.
Claims will be scored by the Claims Administrator based upon a four-tiered, 3-2-1-0 scale, with a minimum payment of $250 for a Score 0, and other payments ranging from 5% to 75% of the death benefit amount of the policy on the date of death, reduced by the same percentage of the amount the Policy holder would have been required to pay to reinstate and keep the policy in force, plus interest.
To be eligible for Individualized Relief, a Claimant must timely complete and submit a Claim Form and must provide due proof of death of all insureds on the Class Policy, as described more fully in the Settlement Agreement. The Claimant must also certify, under penalty of perjury, that Claimant stands in the shoes of the Policyowner of the Class Policy and/or otherwise is entitled to collect a Settlement Payment made with respect to the Class Policy and will distribute such Settlement Payment in whole or in relevant part to any other individual or entity who has a recognized interest therein.
Any payment as Individualized Relief will be made exclusively as a compromise and release of claims in the Action and shall be considered exclusively a Settlement Payment.Back To Top
What is Basic Relief?
With respect to any Class Policy that is lapsed (i.e., you are not a current Policyholder), you may elect to receive Basic Relief, a check for $250, instead of Reinstatement Relief or Individualized Relief. You may also receive Basic Relief if your Policy is lapsed and you do not qualify for other relief under the Settlement.Back To Top
Can I contest my relief, and when will I get my relief?
All decisions as to whether or not you are eligible for relief under the Settlement and are an Authorized Claimant will be made by the independent Claims Administrator. With respect to the Settlement Class and all Class Policies, there shall be no recourse to or against any Defendant or Released Party or their counsel, or to or against the Class Representative or Class Counsel, or the Court, for any determination made by the Claims Administrator. Also, there shall be no ability to challenge, nor any recourse to or right to recover from, the Claims Administrator for determinations made under the Settlement Agreement.
However, if you qualify for Individualized Relief and you are unhappy with the Score that is applied, you may, in some circumstances, have an opportunity to appeal your Score to a Special Master. The appeal may or may not result in a higher Score. The cost of any such appeal is payable by you and is $1,000, payable in advance. More details on the limited appeal rights are included in the Settlement Agreement.
The hearing to consider the fairness of the Settlement is scheduled for April 20, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. If the Court approves the Settlement, eligible Class Members whose Claims were approved by the Claims Administrator can proceed with Reinstatement Relief, and/or, if entitled to a monetary payment, will receive their payment after the Settlement has been finally approved and/or after any appeals process is complete. Any monetary payments will be made in the form of a check, and all checks will expire and become void 180 days after they are issued. If not cashed, the funds will revert back to the Escrow Account described in the Settlement Agreement.Back To Top
How do I get relief?
If you are a Policyowner of a Class Policy in the Lapsed/Alive Population, or a Policyowner or designated beneficiary of record of a Class Policy in the Lapsed/Deceased Population, and want to receive Settlement relief, you must complete and submit a Claim Form and any other required documentation, by April 21, 2020. Claim Forms can be found and submitted online, or you may receive and submit a Claim Form in the mail. To submit a Claim Form, you may file online by going to the Submit a Claim page of this website. To file by mail, download a copy of the Claim Forms here, or call toll-free 1-855-915-0909, to request a Claim Form package be sent to you.
The Claims Administrator will evaluate and determine the status of your Claim based on the terms of the Settlement Agreement.
Do not mail or deliver your Claim Form to the Court, the Parties to this Action, or their counsel. Submit your Claim Form only to the Claims Administrator.
You are required to submit true and correct information when completing the Claim Form. This includes any attestations and warranties you are required to make in the Claim Form. Failure to provide true and correct information can result in denial of your Claim under the Settlement, or if your Class Policy is reinstated, Prudential terminating the policy and denying any policy benefits and taking any other action that may be appropriate.
Note: If you submitted a request for exclusion from the Class, submission of a Claim Form will supersede your request to be excluded. That means you will now be bound by the terms of the Settlement.Back To Top
What am I giving up if I stay in the Class?
If the Settlement becomes final, you will give up your right to sue Prudential and other Released Parties for the claims being resolved by this Settlement. (See FAQ 15 about the Release). The specific claims you are giving up are also described in the Settlement Agreement. You will be “releasing” Prudential, its affiliates, and their employees and representatives as described in Section IV of the Settlement Agreement. Unless you exclude yourself (see FAQ 18), you are “releasing” the claims, regardless of whether you submit a Claim or not. The Settlement Agreement is available here.
The Settlement Agreement describes the Released Claims with specific descriptions, so read it carefully. If you have any questions about this release or what this release means, you can contact the Claims Administrator for free or contact your own lawyer at your own expense.Back To Top
What happens if I do nothing at all?
If you have a lapsed Policy and you do nothing, you will be bound by the Settlement Agreement Release, and you won’t get any benefits from this Settlement and won’t be able to start a lawsuit or be part of any other lawsuit against Prudential for the claims being resolved by this Settlement.
If you are a current Policyowner, you may be affected positively by a change in the way your Policy is administered by Prudential if you default and/or lapse. This is so whether you exclude yourself from the Settlement Class or do nothing.Back To Top
What does the Release say?
If you do not request to be excluded from the Settlement Class, when the Settlement becomes final you will have released the claims described below and you will be bound by the releases in the Settlement Agreement including the covenant not to sue, even if you do not file a Claim Form.
The parties bound by the Release (the “Releasing Parties”) include: Plaintiff and Settlement Class Members who do not validly and timely opt out of the Settlement Class, all beneficiaries of Class Policies, and with respect to each Class Policy, all of their respective present or past heirs, executors, estates, administrators, predecessors, successors, assigns, parent companies, subsidiaries, associates, affiliates, agents, consultants, officers, partners, principals, members, attorneys, accountants, financial and other advisors, shareholders, investment advisors, and legal representatives.
The parties receiving a Release (the “Releasees”) include: Pruco Life Insurance Company, The Prudential Insurance Company of America, and Pruco Life Insurance Company of New Jersey, individually and collectively, and all of their current, former, and future parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, partners, predecessors, successors and assigns, and each of their respective past, present, and future officers, directors, employees, agents, independent contractors, brokers, representatives, attorneys, heirs, administrators, executors, predecessors, successors and assigns, or any of them.
Without further action by anyone, upon the Effective Date of the Settlement, Plaintiff, the Settlement Class, and the Releasing Parties: (i) have and shall be deemed to have fully, finally, and forever waived, released, relinquished, discharged, and dismissed each and every one of the Plaintiff’s and Settlement Class’ claims against each and every one of the Releasees; (ii) have and shall be deemed to have covenanted not to sue, directly or indirectly, any of the Releasees with respect to any or all of the Released Claims; and (iii) shall forever be barred and enjoined from directly or indirectly filing, commencing, instituting, prosecuting, maintaining, or intervening in any action, suit, cause of action, arbitration, claim, demand, or other proceeding in any jurisdiction, or before any administrative body (including any state Department of Insurance or other regulatory commission) whether in the United States or elsewhere, on their own behalf or in a representative capacity, that is based upon or arises out of any or all of the Released Claims.
Released Claims. The Released Claims include all claims that have been, could have been, may be, or could be alleged or asserted in this Action regarding or concerning directly or indirectly any Class Policy, by Plaintiff, any Settlement Class Member, or any Releasing Party, against any of the Releasees (individually or together) either in the Action or in any other court action or before any administrative body (including any state Department of Insurance or other regulatory commission), tribunal or arbitration panel, and that are made on the basis of, connected with, arising out of, or related to, in whole or in part, claims that were raised or that could have been raised in the Action, which include without limitation those regarding:
- Any or all of the acts, omissions, facts, matters, transactions, or occurrences that were directly or indirectly alleged, asserted, described, set forth or referred to in the Action;
- The amount of monies or other requirements that were requested by or on behalf of Prudential in order to keep a Class Policy that has entered default in force or to reinstate a Class Policy after lapse, including but not limited to premium and all fees, charges, and other monies, verifications, or documentation requested;
Claims, acts and omissions regarding the method of, and/or administration of, and/or communication regarding, the calculations by or on behalf of Prudential of the amount of monies that were requested, including in order to keep a Class Policy that has entered default in force or to reinstate a Class Policy after lapse, and including but not limited to premium, fees, charges, and other monies or requirements. This includes but is not limited to any and all claims regarding:
- cost of insurance charges, rates and assumptions;
- administrative fees or loads;
- underwriting or other requirements; and/or
- other policy costs;
- Claims regarding Prudential’s policies and procedures concerning default, grace periods, lapse, or reinstatement, including but not limited to claims concerning communications, notices, absence or omission of communications, or specific information regarding grace periods, default or lapse, or the timing thereof, and claims relating to notice to identified third parties, including but not limited to any claims made under any state’s law, regulation, or administrative directive; and
- Claims related to Prudential’s declination or refusal of an attempt to cure a default or reinstate a Class Policy, for any reason.
Plaintiff, the Settlement Class, and the Releasing Parties each individually expressly agrees that he/she/they/it shall not now or hereafter institute, maintain, or assert against any Releasee(s), either directly or indirectly, on his/her/their/its own behalf or on behalf of the Settlement Class, any Class Policy, or any person, and release and discharge each Releasee from, any and all causes of action, claims, damages, equitable, legal and administrative relief, interest, demands or rights, of any kind or nature whatsoever, whether based on federal, state, or local statute or ordinance, regulation, contract, common law, or any other source, related to, based upon, arising out of, in whole or in part, the Released Claims. For those Reinstated Class Policies that are reinstated under this Settlement Agreement more than five years following lapse, and were issued under either the 1980 or 2001 CSO mortality table, this Release does not include claims for monetary loss that result directly from Prudential’s administration of those policies under the guideline premium limitation (“GPL”) and cash value corridor (“CVC”) test of section 7702(c) and (d) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Covenant Not to Sue and Release as Bar. Plaintiff, the Settlement Class, and the Releasing Parties each individually covenant not to bring any Released Claim and expressly agree that this Release will be, and may be raised as, a complete defense to and will preclude any action or proceeding encompassed by the Release(s) contained herein in respect to Class Policies.
Release includes Unknown Claims. Although the Release set forth above is not a general release, such Release constitutes a waiver of Section 1542 of the California Civil Code (to the extent it applies to the Action), which provides as follows:
A GENERAL RELEASE DOES NOT EXTEND TO CLAIMS WHICH THE CREDITOR DOES NOT KNOW OR SUSPECT TO EXIST IN HIS OR HER FAVOR AT THE TIME OF EXECUTING THE RELEASE, WHICH IF KNOWN BY HIM OR HER MUST HAVE MATERIALLY AFFECTED HIS OR HER SETTLEMENT WITH THE DEBTOR.
The Release set forth above also constitutes a waiver of any and all provisions, rights, and benefits of any federal, state, or foreign law, rule, regulation, or principle of law or equity that is similar, comparable, equivalent to, or which has the effect of, Section 1542 of the California Civil Code. The Settlement Class acknowledges that they are aware that they may hereafter discover facts in addition to, or different from, those facts which they know or believe to be true with respect to the subject matter of the Settlement Agreement, but that it is their intention to release fully, finally, and forever all of the Released Claims, and in furtherance of such intention, the Release shall be irrevocable and remain in effect notwithstanding the discovery or existence of any such additional or different facts. In entering and making this Agreement, the Settling Parties assume the risk of any mistake of fact or law, and the release shall be irrevocable and remain in effect notwithstanding any mistake of fact or law.
There are additional provisions in the Settlement Agreement regarding this Release. Please refer to the Settlement Agreement for additional information.Back To Top
Do I have a lawyer in the case?
The Court has appointed Steven C. Shuman of Engstrom, Lipscomb & Lack and Robert B. Mobasseri Esq. of Law Office of Robert B. Mobasseri, to be the attorneys representing the Settlement Class. They are called “Class Counsel.” They believe, after conducting an extensive investigation, that the Settlement Agreement is fair, reasonable, and in the best interests of the Settlement Class. You will not be charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer in this case, you may hire one at your expense.Back To Top
How will the lawyers be paid?
Class Counsel attorneys’ fees and costs shall be paid by Prudential in an amount to be determined by the Court. Class Counsel will file with the Court and post on this website its request for attorneys’ fees and expense reimbursement by February 11, 2020. The request for attorneys’ fees and expense reimbursement will seek no more than $3.5 million in fees and $500,000 in expenses; Prudential has agreed not to object to awards in those amounts, but the Court may award less than those amounts. Under the Settlement Agreement, Prudential will be responsible for payment of the amounts awarded by the Court, and it will not reduce the amount of Settlement relief, if any, provided to the members of the Settlement Class.
Subject to approval by the Court, the Class Representative will file with the Court by February 11, 2020, and post on this website a request for a payment of an incentive award of no more than $50,000 payable by Prudential for his services in helping to bring and settle this case.Back To Top
How do I get out of the Settlement?
To exclude yourself from the Settlement, you must mail or otherwise deliver a letter (”Request for Exclusion”) stating that you want to be excluded from the Richard Behfarin v. Pruco Life Ins. Company et al., Case No. 17-cv-05290-MWF-FFM (C.D. California) Settlement.
The letter must include:
- Your name and address;
- The Policy Number of the applicable Class Policy(ies);
- A statement that you are authorized to act on behalf of the Class Policy;
- Your signature;
- The name and civil action number of the case (Richard Behfarin v. Pruco Life Ins. Company et al., Case No. 17-cv-05290-MWF-FFM (C.D. California)); and
- A clear statement that you, on behalf of the Class Policy, wish to be excluded from the Settlement Class for purposes of this Settlement.
A Request for Exclusion that does not include all of this information, or that is sent to an address other than that designated, or that is not postmarked within the time specified, or is not sent by an authorized representative, shall be invalid. You must mail or deliver your Request for Exclusion postmarked no later than February 25, 2020, to the following address:
Behfarin v. Pruco Settlement
P.O. Box 6869
Portland, OR 97228-6869
You cannot submit a Request for Exclusion by phone, email, or on this website.
If your Prudential Policy is owned by more than one person or entity, you must act jointly in exercising any right to exclude yourself from the Settlement.Back To Top
If I do not exclude myself, can I sue the Defendants for the same thing later?
No. Unless you exclude yourself, you give up any right to sue Prudential for the claims being resolved by this Settlement.Back To Top
If I exclude myself, can I get anything from this Settlement?
No. If you exclude yourself, do not submit a Claim Form to ask for benefits.Back To Top
How do I object to the Settlement?
If you are a Class Member, you can object to the Settlement if you don’t like any part of it. You can give reasons why you think the Court should not approve it. The Court will consider your views. To object, you must file with the Court a letter or brief stating that you object to the Settlement in Richard Behfarin v. Pruco Life Ins. Company et al., Case No. 17-cv-05290-MWF-FFM (C.D. California) and identify all your reasons for your objections (including citations and supporting evidence) and attach any materials you rely on for your objections.
Your letter or brief must also include your name, your address, the basis upon which you claim to be a Class Member including the Policy Number of the applicable Class Policy(ies), and a statement that the person seeking to object is authorized to act on behalf of the Class Policy, the name and contact information of any and all attorneys representing, advising, or in any way assisting you in connection with your objection, and your signature.
If you, or an attorney assisting you with your objection, have ever objected to any class action settlement where you or the objecting attorney has asked for or received payment in exchange for dismissal of the objection (or any related appeal) without modification to the settlement, you must include a statement in your objection identifying each such case by full case caption.
You must also mail or deliver a copy of your letter or brief to Class Counsel and Prudential’s Counsel listed below.
If you want to also appear and speak at the Final Approval hearing to object to the Settlement, with or without a lawyer (explained further in FAQ 25), you must say so in your letter or brief. You must file the objection with the Court, and mail a copy to both Class Counsel and Prudential’s Counsel, addressed as shown below and postmarked no later than February 25, 2020.
Court Class Counsel Prudential’s Counsel The Honorable Michael W. Fitzgerald
United States District Court
for the Central District of California
First Street Courthouse
350 West First St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Steven C. Shuman
Engstrom, Lipscomb & Lack
10100 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90067
Laura L. Geist
Dentons US LLP
1999 Harrison St.
Oakland, CA 94612
What’s the difference between objecting and excluding myself from the Settlement?
Objecting simply means telling the Court that you don’t like something about the Settlement. You can object only if you stay in the Class. Excluding yourself from the Class is telling the Court that you don’t want to be part of the Class. If you exclude yourself, you have no basis to object because the case no longer affects you.Back To Top
When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?
The Final Approval Hearing that was scheduled for April 20, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. in Courtroom 5A at First Street Courthouse, 350 West First Street, Los Angeles, California 90012 has been vacated pursuant to the Court's Continuity of Operations Plan. The purpose of the hearing will be for the Court to determine whether to approve the Settlement as fair, reasonable, adequate, and in the best interests of the Class; to consider Class Counsel’s request for attorneys’ fees and expenses; and to consider the request for an incentive award to the Class Representative. At that hearing, the Court will be available to hear any objections and arguments concerning the fairness of the Settlement.
The hearing may be postponed to a different date or time without notice, so it is a good idea to check this website or call 1-855-915-0909. If, however, you timely objected in writing to the Settlement and advised the Court that you intend to appear and speak at the Final Approval hearing, you will receive notice of any change in the date of such Final Approval hearing.Back To Top
Do I have to come to the hearing?
No. Class Counsel will answer any questions the Court may have. But, you are welcome to come at your own expense. If you send an objection or comment, you don’t have to come to Court to talk about it. As long as you filed and mailed your written objection on time, the Court will consider it. You may also pay another lawyer to attend, but this is not required.Back To Top
May I speak at the hearing?
Yes. You may ask the Court for permission to speak at the Final Approval hearing. To do so, you must include in your letter or brief objecting to the Settlement a statement saying that it is your “Notice of Intent to Appear in Richard Behfarin v. Pruco Life Ins. Co. et al. Case No. 2:17-cv-05290-MWF-FFM (C.D. California).” It must include your name, address, telephone number, and signature as well as the name and address of your lawyer, if one is appearing for you. If you filed an objection on or by February 25, 2020, and an attorney intends to appear on your behalf at the hearing, your attorney must file a separate Notice of Intention to Appear by March 30, 2020.Back To Top
Where do I get more information?
This website and the Class Notice summarize the Settlement. More details are in the Settlement Agreement. You can get a copy of the Settlement Agreement and other case specific documents on the Documents page of this website. You may also contact the Claims Administrator with questions by calling toll-free 1-855-915-0909, or writing to Behfarin v. Proco Settlement, Claims Administrator, P.O. Box 6869, Portland OR 97228-6869. Before doing so, however, please review this website carefully, as you may find additional information elsewhere on this site.
Do not call or contact the Court regarding the Notice, this website, the Settlement or the lawsuit.Back To Top