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March 2018

Insurer Prevails in Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

United States - California

Lincoln Benefit Life Company defeated claims that a plaintiff never received a grace notice regarding life insurance and that the notice received was insufficient. Our firm delivered complete victory for Lincoln Benefit Life Company and clarity on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ jurisprudence on diversity jurisdiction.

The trial court and Ninth Circuit disagreed with the plaintiff, finding that Lincoln Benefit followed policy requirements and California law, specifically rejecting the notion that a lapse be deemed invalid if the policy owner does not receive notice. Instead, the insurer simply has to prove that notice was mailed. What makes this case particularly important for the insurance industry is that the court made clear that when a dispute concerns the validity of an insurance policy or whether it is in force, the face amount of the policy should be used to determine diversity jurisdiction.

Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances.

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