Tidmore/Bell v. State Mutual Insurance Company

Overview of the Litigation


This Website Contains Important Legal Information About Your State Mutual Life Insurance Policy. Please Read All of the Information on the Website Carefully and Completely.

  1. 1998 National Class Action Findings of Fact. This Court document sets forth the findings of facts the Green County, Alabama Circuit Court made in in connection with a 1995 national class action lawsuit involving certain dividend participating life insurance policies issued by State Mutual.
  2. 1998 National Class Action Settlement. This Court document outlines the terms of the settlement State Mutual reached with the original class members.
  3. 1998 National Class Action Order and Final Judgment. This Court document contains the provisions of the Court’s June 15, 1998 Order and Final Judgment governing the class members and State Mutual. The Order also reserved the Court’s jurisdiction over this matter.
  4. The 2010 National Consent Order. This Court document outlines the terms and conditions involving the dividend policies and practices reserved by State Mutual and their application to LifeSpan term policies owned by 1998 class members, as well as a national group of additional State Mutual dividend participating policyholders who were not members of the original plaintiff class. In approving the Consent Decree, the Court affirmed State Mutual’s right to adjust dividends and recognized the Company’s right to do so is within its sole discretion. The Court retained jurisdiction to enforce the Consent Decree, as well as its 1998 Order and Final Judgment.
  5. The 2015 Motion for Further Relief. This Court document outlines the Court’s retention of jurisdiction and State Mutual’s continuing right to adjust dividends on all dividend participating policies. State Mutual has requested the Court to declare the Company’s right to adjust the remaining dividend participating policies of State Mutual to protect the original class members, 2010 policyholders, and to fairly apply the three-factor “Contribution Principle” uniformly to all of the Company’s dividend participating policies.

    State Mutual has also requested the Court to “Sunset” this 1995 national class action after the Verified Motion for Further Relief has been ruled upon on the merits.

    State Mutual is NOT seeking any monetary damages against any policyholder. The Company is only seeking declaratory and injunctive relief.
  6. The Temporary Restraining Order. This Court document was issued on November 23, 2015. It governs all State Mutual dividend participating policyholders both class and non-class members and prohibits the filing of ANY legal action outside of this case until further notice from the Court.

    Under this Order, a Guardian Ad Litem was appointed by the Court to represent the legal interests of State Mutual’s remaining dividend participating policyholders. State Mutual had no input in the Court’s selection of Attorney Brenda Pompey, the designated Guardian Ad Litem. State Mutual is required to pay the reasonable attorney’s fees and expenses of the Guardian Ad Litem. The Order permits any affected policyholder to retain, at his/her personal expense, legal counsel to represent his/her personal legal interests in the litigation.

    Ms. Pompey is a former senior trial attorney and administrative judge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Birmingham, Alabama. She is also an experienced mediator in civil cases. Ms. Pompey has been licensed to practice law in Alabama since 1981.

    Ms. Pompey has been actively representing the interest of the affected policyholders since her appointment on November 23, 2015.

    The Court directed State Mutual and the Guardian to develop a notice to the newly added parties/policyholders that informed them of the following: (a) the pendency of State Mutual’s Motion for Further Relief, together with a summary of the relief sought; (b) the Court’s issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order against them, together with a copy of this Order; (c) their right to a meaningful opportunity to be heard on the relief requested by State Mutual, including the right to retain independent counsel, the right to conduct discovery, the right to present witnesses at the hearing on the preliminary and permanent injunction hearings.

    The Court required the notices to be mailed to the added necessary parties/non-class member policyholders by first-class mail no less than fourteen (14) days from the date of the preliminary hearing. The notices were mailed to these policyholders in December 2015. The Court required State Mutual to bear all costs associated with mailing the notice.

    The mailing you received, together with the information on this website, constitutes the full Court-ordered notice to the newly added parties/policyholders. The notice and website have been approved, both as to form and content, by the Guardian Ad Litem. They are conform to the requirements of the Court’s November 23 and December 2, 2015, Orders.
  7. Preliminary Injunction against Plaintiff Class Members and Extended Temporary Injunctive Relief Against Other Parties. On December 2, 2015, the Court entered a Preliminary Injunction that reaffirmed State Mutual’s right to adjust dividends is not only contractual in nature; it is also the “law of the case”. According to the Court, the Company’s contractual and judicial right to adjust dividends applies to all dividend participating life insurance policies. This Order continues to enjoin all class members, all 2010 Consent Decree policyholders, and all other State Mutual dividend participating policyholders. The Order sets a preliminary injunction hearing on State Mutual’s Verified Motion for Further Relief for December 29, 2015 at 9:00 a.m. at the Green County Courthouse in Eutaw, Alabama.
  8. Executed Order Granting State Mutual’s Motion. On December 29, 2015 the Court entered an order granting State Mutual’s Motion for Further Relief and approved a Consent Decree as to the newly added policyholders enjoining them from filing any further action regarding the dividend practices of State Mutual.
  9. Joint Motion for Preliminary Approval of Consent Decree. On December 29, 2015 State Mutual and attorney Brenda Pompey, the Court-appointed Guardian Ad Litem for the newly added parties filed a joint motion for approval of a consent decree that includes a settlement and resolution between State Mutual and the newly added parties.
  10. Consent Decree. This document is a copy of the Consent Decree which details a resolution and settlement between State Mutual which will be before the Court at a hearing scheduled for February 19, 2016 at 11 a.m. Central Standard Time at the Marengo County, Alabama Courthouse located at 101 East Coats Ave., Linden, AL.
  11. Notice of Case Setting. This document is the official notice of the Court setting the time and place for a final hearing to be held in reference to the Consent Decree to be considered by the Court on February 19, 2016 at 11 a.m. Central Standard Time at the Marengo County, Alabama Courthouse.
  12. Consent Decree. On February 19, 2016, the Greene County, Alabama Circuit Court held an evidentiary hearing on the settlement embodied in a Consent Decree drafted by State Mutual and the Court-appointed Guardian Ad Litem for the newly-added policyholders/parties represented by this Guardian. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Court signed the Consent Decree and entered this Decree as a Final Judgment in this case.
  13. Order on Hearing for Permanent Injunctive Relief. This document is an Order of the Court setting the time and place for a hearing in reference to the Defendant, State Mutual Insurance Company's Motion for Permanent Injunctive Relief to be considered by the Court on November 19, 2018 at 9 a.m. Central Standard Time at the Greene Country Courthouse, Eutaw, Alabama.
  14. Motions to Add Guarantee Trust Life Insurance, Inc. as a Defendant (Motion #1 and Motion #2). The purpose of these Motions is safeguarding State Mutual’s ability to meet its affirmative obligations under the 1998 Order and Final Judgment, the 2010 Consent Decree, and the 2016 Consent Decree. State Mutual seeks permanent injunctive relief (a) enjoining Guarantee Trust Life Insurance (“GTL”) from engaging in prohibited forms of market conduct activities that have the purpose or effect of adversely impacting the benefits that State Mutual is mandated to provide to class members and Consent Decree policyholders/parties, (b) enjoining GTL from prosecuting, filing, maintaining, pursuing or participating as a litigant (by intervention or otherwise, either directly, individually or representatively or in any other capacity) in any separate action asserting any claims or defenses which arise from or relate to post-judgment relief sought by State Mutual in its pending Motion for Further Relief, and (c) granting State Mutual such other and different equitable relief that may be necessary to protect the Company’s rights and obligations under the 1998 Order and Final Judgment and the 2010 and 2016 Consent Decrees.

The information posted on this website is informational for State Mutual Insurance Company dividend participating policyholders who are or may be involved in this National Class Action. As information is available from the Court, this website will be updated.

This website contains important legal information. You are encouraged to visit this website frequently until the Court has ruled on State Mutual’s Verified Motion for Further Relief and the time for any appeals has expired.

Any communication you have with the Guardian Ad Litem, whether in writing, in person, or by phone, is privileged and confidential under Alabama’s attorney-client privilege laws.