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Insurance Class Actions in the United States

Insurance Class Actions in the United States

Nicholas M. Pace
Stephen J. Carroll
Ingo Vogelsang
Laura Zakaras
Copyright Date: 2007
Edition: 2
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 198
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  • Book Info
    Insurance Class Actions in the United States
    Book Description:

    Class actions, which are civil cases in which parties initiate a lawsuit on behalf of other plaintiffs not specifically named in the complaint, often make headlines and arouse policy debates. However, policymakers and the public know little about most class actions. This book presents the results of surveys of insurers and of state departments of insurance to learn more about class litigation against insurance companies.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-4269-9
    Subjects: Law

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. ICJ Board of Overseers
    (pp. v-viii)
  4. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-xii)
  5. Figures
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  6. Tables
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  7. Summary
    (pp. xvii-xxvi)
  8. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xxvii-xxviii)
  9. Abbreviations
    (pp. xxix-xxx)
  10. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-6)

    Perhaps no other single feature of the U.S. civil justice system generates such controversy as class actions do. Champions of class actions point to a long history of success in the civil rights arena and proclaim that such cases are an efficient way for consumers to address many types of corporate wrongdoing, especially when the matters involve small sums of money on an individual basis or would otherwise escape the attention of government regulators. Detractors deride them as little more than legalized blackmail, with the threat of a headline-making verdict driving defendants to settle even meritless claims. It is a...

  11. CHAPTER TWO Summary of Methodological Approach
    (pp. 7-20)

    In this chapter, we describe how we conducted this research, from the decision to focus on the insurance industry, to the identification of target companies, drawing the sample, fielding the surveys, and collecting and analyzing responses. We conclude by offering caveats about the limitations of our approach. Pace et al. (2007) has a complete set of the survey instruments used in this research.

    There is no practical way to reliably identify all class actions on the dockets of the nation’s courts. Researchers have tried various approaches over the years with the goal of selecting a representative subset of those cases...

  12. CHAPTER THREE Survey Results
    (pp. 21-64)

    In this chapter, we generally organize our findings in terms of the evolution of a case. We start with the characteristics of the litigation: forum where cases are being brought, scope of requested class, choice of jurisdiction, number of filings over time, types of defendants, and the nature of the claims being sought. Then we report on the certification process, how attempted class actions are eventually resolved, how long it takes to resolve them, and the features of class settlements. Finally, we briefly discuss what our findings suggest about the change in rates of removal from state to federal courts...

  13. CHAPTER FOUR Issues Related to Regulation
    (pp. 65-100)

    In this chapter, we discuss some similarities between class actions and the administrative regulation of an industry, the structure and goals of the nation’s system of insurance regulation, and commonly voiced issues about how class action litigation and regulation can interact. We also describe a survey that attempts to rank cases in our database by their likely relationships to the activities and authority of state insurance regulators and explore differences in outcomes based upon those ranks. Regulatory aspects of cases with class members from more than one state are also discussed. Finally, we describe the degree to which defendants have...

  14. CHAPTER FIVE Conclusions
    (pp. 101-108)

    This monograph demonstrates the value of looking beyond the highly publicized settlements that form the most visible tip of the class action iceberg. In this chapter, we discuss some of the implications of what we have learned from the surveys. As is true throughout this monograph, the reader is reminded that our findings are most generalizable to the experiences of the very largest P&C insurers in the country, primarily those whose primary business is the writing of automobile private passenger coverage, and least generalizable to the experiences of life and health insurers.

    Empirical evidence about class actions, especially regarding those...

  15. APPENDIX A Anatomy of an Insurance Class Action
    (pp. 109-116)
  16. APPENDIX B Previous Research on Class Action Litigation
    (pp. 117-136)
  17. APPENDIX C State Departments of Insurance Survey Results
    (pp. 137-160)
  18. Bibliography
    (pp. 161-168)