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Records indicate that you may have purchased one or more Perspective Series, Elite Series, or Retirement Latitude variable annuities from Defendant and/or Jackson New York and been charged withdrawal and recapture charges after January 2, 2009 when withdrawing funds from the annuities.
The Former Customer Notice and the Current Customer Notice explain that the Court has preliminarily approved a settlement resolving a class action lawsuit that may affect you. You have legal rights and options that you may exercise. Judge Amos Mazzant of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas is overseeing this class action. The case is known as David Cruson, et al., v. Jackson National Life Insurance Company., Civ. Action No. 4:16-cv-912 (the “Action”).
This lawsuit is about whether Defendant breached the contracts with variable annuity purchasers when calculating the amount of withdrawal and recapture charges at the time of withdrawal of funds from the variable annuity. Specifically, Plaintiffs allege that Jackson improperly charged a charge on the amount of the withdrawal or recapture charge, rather than just charging it on the net amount withdrawn. Defendant denies any wrongdoing and contends that there were no additional or improper charges or calculation of charges, and that all charges and calculation were consistent with terms of the annuity contracts.
In a class action lawsuit, one or more people called “Class Representatives” (in this case David Cruson and John Denman) sue on behalf of themselves and other people who have similar claims. These people and entities together are called a “Class” or “Class Members.” Cruson and Denman—and all the Class Members like them—are called Plaintiffs. The company the Plaintiffs sued—Jackson—is called the Defendant. One court resolves the issues for all Class Members—except for those who chose to exclude themselves by Tuesday, May 6, 2021
On November 29, 2016, Class Representative Cruson (and others), on behalf of a putative class, filed a complaint against Defendant alleging that Defendant had breached the variable annuity agreements that the putative class had or have with the Defendant and breached other duties to the putative class in connection with the calculation of withdrawal and recapture charges.
On May 9, 2018, the Court certified a class of variable annuity purchasers who incurred withdrawal and/or recapture charges when withdrawing funds from such annuities. On June 27, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit granted Defendant’s request to appeal the Court’s class certification order. That appeal was briefed and argued on April 30, 2019, and on March 25, 2020, the Court of Appeals issued its opinion vacating the class certification order entered by the district court and remanded the case to the district court for further handling.
On August 8, 2018, the Court denied Defendant’s motion for summary judgment on the Class’s breach of contract claims but granted summary judgment on the claims for breach of fiduciary duty, thereby dismissing the claims for breach of fiduciary duty.
On February 9, 2021, the Court preliminarily approved the settlement, certified the class of variable annuity purchasers who were charged withdrawal or recapture charges by Jackson or Jackson New York, and authorized the Class Representatives to notify the Class Members about the settlement.
The Court did not decide the Action in favor of the Plaintiffs or Defendant. Instead, both sides agreed to a settlement after participating in a court-ordered mediation. That way, both sides avoid the cost and risks of trial, and the customers affected are certain to get compensation if the Court approves the settlement and the settlement becomes final (unlike in a trial where there is a possibility that the Class Members would get no compensation). The Class Representatives and Class Counsel think this settlement is best for all Class Members.
You are a member of the Class if:
You are or were the purchaser of a Perspective Series, Elite Series, or Retirement Latitude variable annuity from Jackson National Life Insurance Company before March 12, 2018 and were charged a withdrawal and/or recapture charge when you withdrew funds from the annuity between January 2, 2009 and January 31, 2021.
You are or were the purchaser of a Perspective Series, Elite Series, or Retirement Latitude variable annuity from Jackson New York and were charged a withdrawal and/or recapture charge when you withdrew funds from the annuity between January 2, 2009 and January 31, 2021 (unless your contract number is VA670NY, VA710NY, VA720NY, VA775NY, VA785NY, or VA790NY).
Yes, you are NOT a Class Member if: (i) you are Jackson or one of Jackson’s subsidiaries and affiliates; (ii) you are one of Jackson’s past and current executive officers and directors; (iii) you are Jackson’s legal representatives, heirs, successors or assigns; and (iv) you are any entity in which any of the foregoing excluded persons have or had a controlling interest. (v) you are the judicial officer presiding over the Action or a member of her immediate family or judicial staff; or (vi) you have excluded yourself from the Class.
If you are still not sure whether you are included in the Class, you can get free help by calling or writing to the lawyers in this case at the phone numbers or addresses listed in response to FAQ 19.
The settlement creates a fund of $8.75 million to compensate Class Members and pay certain fees and expenses that may be awarded by the Court. This fund will be reduced by payments to Class Counsel, reimbursement of expenses, and payments to the Claims Administrator.
Class Members share of the fund will depend on the number of Class Members who are former Jackson or Jackson New York customers who respond with contact and payment option information, and how much you paid in withdrawal or recapture charges. However, you should expect that your payment will be in the range of one percent (1%) of the total amount of withdrawal and recapture charges that you incurred during the class period. The exact amount of your payment cannot be determined until the number of people participating in the settlement is determined following the notice, the response to the notice, and exclusion decisions are made.
The total settlement amount is $8.75 million. Part of the settlement money will be used to compensate the Class Counsel and to pay the Claims Administrator. After those deductions, the entire balance of the settlement fund will be distributed to Class Members who provide the necessary information on a pro rata basis, based on Class Members’ total withdrawal or recapture charges incurred on withdrawal from the defined variable annuities. None of the settlement fund will revert to Jackson or Jackson New York, unless the settlement is terminated or otherwise does not become final.
Yes. You may opt out of the Settlement by sending a letter that includes your name, address, and phone number and a signed statement as follows: “I request to be excluded from the Settlement Class in the Cruson lawsuit.” You must send your letter to: Opt Out, JNL Withdrawal Charge Settlement, P.O. Box 8526 Philadelphia, PA 19101-8526. Mailed opt-out requests must be postmarked by May 6, 2021.
If you opt out of the Settlement, you won’t receive any payment as part of the Settlement. You won’t be bound by further orders or judgments in this case. You keep the right, if any, to sue on the claims alleged in the case at your own expense. All Class Members who did not exclude themselves from the Class by the deadline will be bound by the settlement and cannot exclude themselves from the Class.
In exchange for the settlement fund and additional commitments made by Jackson and Jackson New York, Class Members agree that any claims Class Members have against Jackson, Jackson New York, and/or related entities that arise out of or relate in any way to the claims in the Action, including unknown claims, are released.
Class Members will release any and all claims or causes of action, whether known or unknown, that concern, refer or relate to Jackson’s or Jackson New York’s calculation of withdrawal charges and/or recapture charges for variable annuities, and all other claims that were asserted, or that could have been asserted, in this Lawsuit. The Released Claims do not cover, include, or release: (i) any claims relating to the enforcement of the Settlement, and (ii) any claims of any person or entity who or which submits a request for exclusion that is accepted by the Court.
CURRENT: As long as you have a current variable annuity account with Jackson or Jackson New York, no action is required for you to receive a payment.
FORMER: To qualify for a payment as the former owner of a variable annuity account with Jackson or Jackson New York, you must provide the necessary contact information and payment election. You may submit the information and payment selection under the payment selection tab. Please read the instructions carefully, and be sure to provide all of the information requested.
Any payment calculated to be under $100 will be converted to the digital payment option and be sent to you via the email you provided.
All information must be submitted electronically by May 17, 2021.
CURRENT: The Court will hold a hearing on Thursday, May 27, 2021, at 12 p.m. to decide whether to approve the settlement. If the Court approves the settlement, there may be appeals. It’s always uncertain whether there will be any appeals, and the appeal process can take time, perhaps more than a year. This website will contain the most up-to-date information about the progress of the litigation. Please be patient.
Once the deadline to submit payment selection expires and all appeals, if any, are resolved, Jackson and Jackson New York will distribute settlement payments to the Class Members who have current accounts based on the proportion of the Class Member’s charges to the total charges incurred by all Class Members participating in the settlement.
Class Members give up nothing by providing the requested information and receiving a payment. All Class Members, except those who have excluded themselves from the Class, will be bound by the terms of the settlement and judgment. Submitting the payment selection entitles you to payment from the settlement fund. If you do not provide the information, you are still bound by the terms of the settlement and judgment, but you will not receive a payment, unless you have a current variable annuity account with Jackson or Jackson New York, in which case, your payment will be directly credited to your account(s).
CURRENT: If Class Members do not do anything, you will be bound by the settlement and judgment, and you will receive a payment, unless you do not have a current variable annuity account with Jackson or Jackson New York.
FORMER: If Class Members do not do anything, you will still be bound by the settlement and judgment, but you will not get a payment.
Class Counsel will ask the Court to approve payment of attorneys’ fees and expenses incurred in litigating this case, and Defendant will not contest Class Counsel’s request for a fee up to the amount of $2.5 million. The fees would pay Class Counsel for investigating the facts, litigating the case, preparing for trial, and negotiating the settlement. The Court may award more or less than these amounts. Defendant will not separately pay the attorneys’ fees or expenses of Class Counsel; instead, these amounts will reduce the $8.75 million available for Class Members. The settlement fund will also be reduced by the amount paid to administer the settlement. Class Counsel will file a fee and expenses application no later than May 6, 2021. Once filed, the fee and expenses application will be made available on this website. Class Counsel will also request that the Court, in its discretion, make incentive awards to the Class Representatives from the settlement fund in the amount of $1,000 for each class representative.
If you are a Class Member, you can object to the settlement if you do not like any part of it. You can give reasons why you think the Court should not approve it as a whole or parts of it. You may specifically object to Class Counsel’s application for fees. The Court will consider your views. If you object to the settlement, you must send a letter saying that you object to the settlement in the matter David Cruson, et.al., v Jackson National Life Insurance Company., Civ. Action No. 4:16-cv-912. You do not have to attend the Final Approval Hearing to object, but you may attend if you choose to. Be sure to include your name, address, telephone number, the name of your attorney, if applicable, your signature, the reasons why you object to the settlement, any evidence supporting your objection, and whether you intend to appear at the hearing. If you intend to present witnesses at the final settlement hearing, you must also include a list of those witnesses. You must mail your objection to the following four places, postmarked no later than April 29, 2021.
The Court will hold a hearing on Thursday, May 27, 2021, at 12 p.m. at the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Paul Brown United States Courthouse, 101 E. Pecan St., Sherman, Texas 75090. At this hearing, the Court will consider whether the settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. If there are objections, the Court will consider them. The Court will also listen to people who have asked to speak at the hearing. The Court may also decide how much to pay to Class Counsel. After the hearing, the Court will decide whether to approve the settlement and enter judgment. We do not know how long these decisions will take.
No, you do not have to come to the hearing, even if you file an objection. You may attend the hearing, at your own expense, but if you wish to speak at the hearing you must follow the instructions below. Otherwise, Class Counsel will answer questions the Court may have. You may also pay your own lawyer to attend, but it’s not necessary.
Yes. You or your attorney may speak at the Final Approval Hearing. To do so, you must either send a letter objecting to the settlement or, if you do not object but desire to speak anyway, send a letter stating that it is your “Notice of Intention to Appear in David Cruson, et al., v Jackson National Life Insurance Company., Civ. Action No. 4:16-cv-912.” Be sure to include your name, address, telephone number, the name of your attorney, if applicable, and your signature. Your Notice of Intention to Appear must be postmarked no later than April 29, 2021 and be sent to the Clerk of Court, Class Counsel, and Counsel for Defendant, at the four addresses listed in FAQ 21 . You cannot speak at the hearing if you previously excluded yourself (“opted out”) of the Class.
The Former Customer Notice and the Current Customer Notice contain a summary of relevant court papers and does not describe all of the claims, defenses, and contentions of the parties to the lawsuit. Certain key documents, including the settlement agreement and certain relevant pleadings and court decisions are available under documents. If you have further questions about this Notice or would like more information about the lawsuit, you may contact Cruson v. Jackson National Life Insurance c/o Claims Administrator, PO Box 8526 Philadelphia, PA 19101-8526, 1-833-644-1599.
If you believe you have been misclassified as a current or former owner, please contact the Claims Administrator.