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Representative Cases

Pohls & Associates was formed in 1999 to represent life, health and disability insurance companies in bad faith, ERISA and other complex forms of litigation.  However, our attorneys began litigating life, health and disability insurance disputes in the late 1980’s.  We therefore have been helping to shape California law regarding life, health and disability insurance for nearly 25 years.

2007          Established that life insurer has no duty to investigate a possible death claim until a legal representative is appointed for the                         beneficiary-estate [Estate of Grant v. State Farm Life Insurance Co.]

2007          Established limits on post-Abatie discovery in ERISA benefits litigation involving a structural conflict of interest [Beckstrand v.

                  Electronic Arts Group Long Term Disability Plan]


2006          Obtained the Eastern District of California’s first dismissal of representative claims for unfair competition under Prop 64 [Starr-

                  Gordon v. Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co.]

2004          Established that the “disclosed principal” rule required the dismissal of a policyholder’s claim of agent misconduct in connection                   with the sale of a life insurance policy [Magsayo v. Primerica Life Insurance Co.]

2003          Established that California DOI cannot properly be joined to destroy diversity in disability income insurance claims litigation   

                  [Borsuk v. Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co.]

2002         Successfully prosecuted California’s first-known litigated case involving the rescission of a long term care insurance policy [GE

                 Capital Assurance Co. v. Golden]

2001         Obtained an order compelling an insurance agent to arbitrate claims of alleged sexual harassment against an insurance broker

                 who did not sign the agent’s arbitration agreement [Miranda v. AFLAC]

1999         Successfully defended the first-known litigated case in California involving suitability and the sale of long term care insurance

                 [Yudnich v. The Harvest Life Insurance Co.]

1997         Expanded California’s market for long term care insurance by establishing California DOI’s authority to approve of tax-qualified

                 long term care insurance policies [Congress of California Seniors v. Quackenbush]

1997         Filed an amicus curiae brief in the California Supreme Court on behalf of a life and health insurance trade association regarding

                 the "impostor defense” [AMEX Life Assurance Co. v. Superior Court (Slome Capital)]

1997         Established limits on the availability of injunctive relief in actions governed by the Federal Arbitration Act [Davenport v. Blue

                 Cross of California]

1996         Used the Harris Trust corrective legislation to obtain the nation’s first dismissal of fiduciary and co-fiduciary liability claims 

                 against an insurer holding ERISA plan assets in its general account [Tool v. National Employee Benefit Services, Inc.]

1996        Established that the loss of a health care professional’s license to practice is a legal disability which does not qualify for benefits

                under a disability income insurance policy [Damascus v. Provident Life & Accident Ins. Co.]

1992        Established that a life insurance company has a private right of action for “twisting” under California Insurance Code Section 781

                against agents who misrepresent facts to induce policy surrenders [Kentucky Central Life Insurance Co. v. LeDuc]

1992        In a disappearance case involving an accidental death policy, confirmed that the beneficiary bears the burden of proving the

                insured died as the result of an accident [Johnson v. Minnesota Mutual Life Insurance Co.]

1992       Established that a change in premium is sufficient proof that a life insurance applicant’s smoking history was material [Kentucky

               Central Life Ins. Co. v. Marin Bay Park Trust]

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