VFW WANTS PRUDENTIAL’S RECORDS MADE PUBLIC
Company not entitled to profit off deceased service members and veterans
June 26, 2013
Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. filed papers last week to intervene in the
ongoing class action lawsuits against Prudential Insurance Company of America
concerning its handling of the life insurance benefits for service members and
veterans. Prudential administers the Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance
(SGLI) program for the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the 2010 suit
alleges that Prudential failed to pay death benefits in a manner required by
federal law, and instead profited from money belonging to the families of
deceased service members and veterans.
was created by Congress to provide special protection to military families. It
was not created to enrich an insurance company that concocts a scheme to hold
onto those families’ money while purporting to provide them access to it,” said
VFW National Commander John E. Hamilton, a combat wounded Vietnam veteran.
has publicly stated that its actions were taken only in the interest of
military families. Hamilton maintains that if that were true, Prudential should
have no objection to the facts being made public.
has actively tried to seal documents about its conduct from the public record,
and has opposed efforts to unseal those records. That inconsistency strongly
suggests that Prudential has not been forthcoming with Congress, the military
or the American people,” he said.
has denied wrongdoing, but most of the records filed in the case have been
sealed from the public at Prudential’s request. The VFW insists it is in the
best interests of the families and the public to fully understand what
Prudential has done in connection with its administration of federally
subsidized life insurance programs for service members and veterans.
VFW’s motion seeks to unseal the record filed with the Court in connection with
the plaintiffs’ efforts to obtain class certification, and records filed in
connection with motions pending. Prudential argues that it cannot be required
to return profits it made by using military family’s death benefits unless each
family proves it would have used the money to make more interest than what
Prudential paid out. The VFW disagrees.
Prudential broke the law and made a profit, it should not be allowed to keep
that profit,” said Hamilton.
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