May 12, 2023

On May 8, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled in favor of Willkie client Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Co. in a case alleging the company failed to properly terminate a life insurance policy under the California Lapse Statute.

The California Lapse Statute, which outlines certain procedural requirements that insurers must follow before they can terminate a life insurance policy, is the subject of over 40 current cases in California, most purported class actions, and this appellate win is expected to impact the outcome for some of the pending cases. 
The Ninth Circuit affirmed the lower court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of Hartford, finding that the California Lapse Statute applies only to life insurance policies “issued or delivered” initially in California. 
The Willkie team was led by partner Laura Leigh Geist.