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Briggs and Morgan Attorneys Secure Favorable Judgment for Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance Co.

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March 7, 2016

Briggs attorneys Frank A. Taylor and Julie H. Firestone, along with co-counsel, obtained a dismissal with prejudice of a putative class action filed in the United States District Court, Western District of Missouri on behalf of client Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance Co. The Class Action Complaint asserted that Defendants Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance Company (FG Life), Harbinger Group, Inc., Raven Reinsurance Co., and Front Street Re (Cayman), Ltd. engaged in a RICO conspiracy to artificially inflate the prices of annuities through the use of “shadow insurance” and reinsurance agreements with affiliates.

FG Life moved to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. It argued that Plaintiff’s claims were barred through reverse application of the McCarran-Ferguson Act since the reinsurance transactions were governed by state law, and the Plaintiff’s claims impermissibly interfered with state regulation of insurance.

The District Court agreed. It held that the McCarran-Ferguson Act preempts Plaintiff’s RICO claims, and granted Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss, with prejudice. Judgment was entered on
Feb. 12, 2016.

The Class Action Complaint sought to certify a class composed of all persons in the United States who, between April 6, 2011, and the date class notice was disseminated, purchased an FG Life annuity. The Complaint alleges that the Defendants engaged in a RICO conspiracy to hide FG Life’s liabilities and artificially inflate its purported assets through a “fraudulent accounting scheme” involving reinsurance transactions, which allegedly caused FG Life annuities to be worth less than as represented to the putative class.