Class Action Dilemmas: Pursuing Public Goals for Private Gain

By Deborah R. Hensler; Nicholas M. Pace et al. | Go to book overview
Notice of certification Ordered but not made
Certification opt-out cutoff Not applicable as notice of
certification is not made
Settlement reached April 12, 1996
Preliminary approval hearing May 15, 1996
Preliminary approval order May 15, 1996
Notice of preliminary settlement and class
certification
May, June, July, 1996
Settlement opt-out cutoff Not applicable; was
injunctive class without
opt-out
Settlement objector cutoff September 2, 1996
Fairness hearing September 17, 1996
Final approval order September 17, 1996
Notice of final approval October, November, and
December 1996
Notice of claiming procedures October, November, and
December 1996
Claiming period ends April 22, 1997

NOTES
1
As part of our research on this litigation, we interviewed the plaintiffs' and defendant's attorneys, one of the defendants, the judge, and the organization responsible for claims administration. We also reviewed the pleadings and papers filed in the case as well as other documents including newspaper and magazine articles, law review articles, press releases, and internet web site postings.
2
Inman v. Heilig-Meyers Furniture, No. CV 94-047 (Ala. Cir. Ct. Fayette County filed May 12, 1994).
3
For an excellent discussion of credit life policies generally, see JoClaudia Mitchum, Comment, "The Death of Credit Life Insurance: McCullar v. Universal Underwriters Life Insurance Company," 27 Cumberland Law Review 719 ( 1997).
4
Thomas Caywood, New Orleans City Business - Suit Alleges Fraud in Car Dealers' Sale of Credit Life Insurance ( July 7, 1997), available on the internet at http://www.neworleans.com/citybusiness/ ..-Suitalleges.html ( Feb. 6, 1998).
5
For example, the credit life insurance premium for an item priced at $2500 with a down payment of $500 and a net balance of $2000 to be financed over three years would be $48 ($2000/$100 x $.80 x 3). This rate is fixed by the Alabama State Banking Department; before September 1, 1991, the premium rate was $1 per $100 per annum. Affidavit of Robert K. Floyd ( Aug. 1, 1994) at 2, Exhibit A to Defendant Heilig-Meyers Furniture's Motion for Summary Judgment ( Jan. 1, 1995), Inman v. Heilig-Meyers Furniture. Unless noted otherwise, hereinafter all court documents cited pertain to Inman v. Heilig-Meyers Furniture.
6
Average credit life insurance payout in 1995 was 42 cents for every dollar collected in premiums as compared to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners' recommendation that insurance generally should pay out at least 60 cents per premium dollar; see Most Credit Life Insurance Still a Rip-Off

-248-

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