Current and former account holders may be able to claim part of a $595,000 New York Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance fees class action settlement.
Those who can benefit from the settlement include individuals with a New York mailing address who were charged an additional rate or fee by Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company between June 21, 2016 and May 28, 2020.
Three plaintiffs lodged the class action lawsuit against the financial institution in August 2019. In their complaint, they alleged that they and other insurance service account holders had been issued insurance fees based on how they paid their monthly premiums, in violation of New York state law.
According to the class action lawsuit, a $1 Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance fee was added to the premiums account holders paid by check rather than monthly scheduled electronic funds transfer. The plaintiffs claimed this policy violated New York business law that prohibits fees based on payment by U.S. mail.
Indeed, each of the three plaintiffs provided screenshots of their Northwestern Mutual insurance accounts showing a $1 fee was assessed.
One plaintiff alleged that she paid her husband’s life insurance policy for 20 years by mail and was still assessed the fee. The other two plaintiffs claimed they had paid the insurance fees for policies they held since at least 2016.
The plaintiffs say the insurance fees charged by Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance for mailing in premium payments were deceptive and misleading. They also claimed they committed deceptive acts or practices forbidden under New York business law.
According to the complaint, New York’s law was enacted to protect those either without internet access in their homes or who are uncomfortable using the internet, particularly senior citizens concerned about privacy. The state legislature also noted that tacking on fees for customers who prefer paper billing statements or to pay bills by mail has a greater effect on low-income populations who can least afford it.
The Northwestern Mutual Insurance class action lawsuit sought damages and disgorgement of profit.
The plaintiffs said Northwestern Mutual should be required to pay back all insurance fees they assessed for customers who paid their premiums by mail. They also sought a court order stopping the defendant from assessing such fees into the future.
Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance denied any wrongdoing, but agreed to pay $595,000 to end the class action lawsuit.
Each Class Member will be entitled to a portion of the settlement award after plaintiffs’ awards and legal fees are deducted.
Class Member awards will be determined by calculating the total service charges assessed by Northwestern Mutual between June 21, 2016 and May 28, 2020, for premium payments made by mail. This amount will be subtracted from the settlement amount and divided between all of the Class Members.
Under the terms of the settlement, Class Members who are current insurance account holders will receive a credit award on their account. Current account holders do not need to submit a claim form; they will be automatically entered into the settlement.
Class Members who are not current insurance account holders are eligible to receive a cash award. Class Members with closed accounts will need to submit a claim form by Nov. 20, 2020, to take part in the settlement. Claim forms can be submitted either online or by mail. Claim forms require either a Claim ID number, available on the settlement notice received by the Class Member, or additional information.
The deadline to opt out of or object to the settlement was Aug. 3, 2020. The final hearing is scheduled for Oct. 6, 2020.
Class Members include individuals with a New York mailing address who were charged an additional rate or fee by Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company between June 21, 2016 and May 28, 2020. Class Members can be both current and former insurance service account holders.
To be determined.
- Class Member awards will be determined by calculating the total service charges assessed by Northwestern Mutual between June 21, 2016 and May 28, 2020, for mailed premium payments.
- This amount will be subtracted from the settlement amount and divided between all of the Class Members.
- Current account holders will automatically receive a credit award.
- Class Members with closed accounts will receive a check if they submit a valid claim form on time.
Proof of Purchase
For Class Members who must submit a claim form, a Claim ID number or additional information must be provided on the form.
NOTE: If you do not qualify for this settlement do NOT file a claim.
Remember: you are submitting your claim under penalty of perjury. You are also harming other eligible Class Members by submitting a fraudulent claim. If you’re unsure if you qualify, please read the FAQ section of the Settlement Administrator’s website to ensure you meet all standards (Top Class Actions is not a Settlement Administrator). If you don’t qualify for this settlement, check out our database of other open class action settlements you may be eligible for.
Claim Form Deadline
Russett, et al. v. Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Case No. 7:19-cv-07414-KMK, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
Insurance Service Charge Settlement
c/o JND Legal Administration
P.O. Box 91306
Seattle, WA 98111
BURSOR & FISHER P.A.
FAEGRE DRINKER BIDDLE & REATH LLP
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Please note: Top Class Actions is not a settlement administrator or law firm. Top Class Actions is a legal news source that reports on class action lawsuits, class action settlements, drug injury lawsuits and product liability lawsuits. Top Class Actions does not process claims and we cannot advise you on the status of any class action settlement claim. You must contact the settlement administrator or your attorney for any updates regarding your claim status, claim form or questions about when payments are expected to be mailed out.