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Fraud claims against insurers wrongly dismissed

December 15, 2015

Plaintiffs who purchased cash-value life insurance policies for their employees and deducted those contributions on income taxes that were later disallowed were wrongly denied their day in court against the insurers.

The Indiana Court of Appeals reinstated numerous actual fraud, constructive fraud and negligence claims, reversing a Marion Superior Court order dismissing the complaint. Several plaintiffs each paid hundreds of thousands of dollars annually for policies, according to the record.

In a 54-page opinion, Judge Cale Bradford wrote the trial court erred in finding there were no claims upon which relief could be granted. The case is Seema Kapoor; Shiv Kapoor; Performance Support Consulting, LLC; Matt Judson; and Regional Construction Services, Inc. v. Steve Dybwad; Cronin Insurance Services, Inc.; Mark Light; et al., 49A04-1410-CT-492.

“We conclude that the trial court erred in dismissing the following actual fraud claims: (1) the Kapoor Plaintiffs against Dybwad and (2) the Judson Plaintiffs against Light. We conclude that the trial court erred in dismissing the following constructive fraud claims: (1) the Kapoor Plaintiffs against Dybwad, (2) the Judson Plaintiffs against Light, (3) all Plaintiffs against (Cronin Insurance Services Inc.), (4) all Plaintiffs against Fox & Fox, and (5) all Plaintiffs against (Western Reserve Life Assurance Co. of Ohio),” Bradford wrote.

“The trial court erred in dismissing the following negligence claims: (1) all Plaintiffs against Fox & Fox and (2) the Judson Plaintiffs against (Greenwalt Sponsel & Co.). The Judson Plaintiffs, however, may not base a claim of negligence on Greenwalt’s part for any conduct occurring before September 13, 2010. We affirm the judgment of the trial court in all other respects.”
 

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