If you owned an insurance policy issued by the Savings Bank Life Insurance Company of Massachusetts ("SBLI") and held that policy (1) on January 1, 1992 ("Subclass"), and/or (2) on one or more of the following dates -- December 31, 2000, December 31, 2001 or December 31, 2002 -- and were entitled to dividends ("Main Class"), or if you are the policy beneficiary or eligible heir of such a person who has died, then you may be eligible to receive payment(s) from a class action Settlement.
A Court-approved settlement in the case Goldstein et al. v. Savings Bank Life Insurance Co. of Massachusetts, Civ. Action No. 98-2330-BLS1, has been reached on behalf of SBLI policyholders who Plaintiffs alleged were underpaid dividends. The lawsuit claimed that SBLI was required to pay higher annual dividends to policyholders when its surplus exceeded the allowable limit and that SBLI failed to pay Special Dividends. SBLI has denied any liability since the lawsuit began.
What Does the Settlement Provide?
The lawsuit has been settled for $18,675,330 in cash (an additional payment of $15,000,000 plus $3,675,330 that has already been paid to the Subclass), plus the costs of providing Notice and administering the Settlement. Main Class members received a minimum of five dollars ($5.00) per eligible policy but may have received more depending on the amount of calculated annual dividends deemed to have been paid on such policies in 2001 as determined in the following manner. First, the Court awarded Class Counsel, on behalf of all of Plaintiffs' Class Counsel, Attorneys' Fees plus their pro rata share of the interest earned by the Settlement Fund, as well as actual expenses and Class Representative awards as described in FAQ Answer No. 6. Second, the calculated annual policy dividends for each eligible policy were used to determine each Main Class Member's initial share (Settlement Dividend) of the Net Settlement Fund. Third, the Settlement Dividend also included a pro rata portion of those benefits initially set aside for policy beneficiaries or heirs who did not file claims. Fourth, Main Class members whose policies received annual dividends for 2000 or 2002 only (but not for 2001) were entitled to only the $5 minimum payment. Fifth, Subclass members (most of whom are also Main Class members) received a share of the Net Settlement Fund based on the amount of each Subclass Member's prior Special Dividends already received and other factors, as described in the Class Notice.
When Will Settlement Payments Be Made?
Settlement payment calculations are final and Class Members and other Authorized Claimants should have received correspondence regarding their settlement supplemental dividend payment in September 2010.
On July 19, 2011, the Court approved a secondary distribution of those funds that had been unclaimed by Class Members following the initial distribution in September 2010. The secondary distribution is to be mailed on or before July 31, 2011 to those Class Members who are eligible as defined and approved by the Court in the Order Concerning Final Distribution of Unclaimed Settlement Funds dated July 19, 2011. The checks will be valid for 60 days only, after which time the balance of any funds left unclaimed will be distributed equally to two non-profit organizations already designated by the Parties and approved by the Court, namely: the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group, and the Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance. See the tab for “Court Documents” on this website for a copy of the Court’s order and related filings by the Parties.
When Were Settlement Notices Mailed?
Notice to Class Members were mailed on March 5, 2010. If you have not received a Notice in the mail, but believe yourself to be a Member of the Class, please call the Settlement Administrator at 1 (800) 254-7328 to request a Notice or verify that you are a Class Member. For TTD assistance (Telecommunications device for the Deaf / Hearing Impaired) call (866) 454-7961.
For more details, please consult the Class Notice sent to the Class.
The Court held a hearing to decide whether to approve the Settlement at 2:00 p.m. (EDT) on May 20, 2010, at the Suffolk County Courthouse, Courtroom 1309, 3 Pemberton Square, Boston, MA 02108. The Court approved the Settlement at that time as fair, reasonable and adequate. The Court also approved the payment of fees, costs and expenses to Plaintiffsâ€™ Class Counsel.
|April 26, 2010
|Objection Deadline (filed)|
|May 3, 2010
|Claim By Affidavit For a Beneficiary(ies) and Heir(s) Deadline (postmarked)|
|May 20, 2010
at 2:00 p.m. (EDT)
|May 25, 2010
|Proof of Claim Form for Beneficiaries or Heirs (if required) Deadline (postmarked)|
No Claim Forms were required of Class Members; however, former policyholders should make sure their address on file with the Settlement Administrator is correct. If the Class Notice was sent to the correct address, and you are in the class, then the Settlement payment, if any, was sent to that address.
For more information, including information in Spanish, call toll-free (800) 254-7328 or email SBLISettlement@gardencitygroup.com. For TTD assistance, call (866) 454-7961.