The Hartford Settles Class-Action Lawsuit, Courant.com, September 24, 2010

The Hartford Settles Class-Action Lawsuit

Get Business Mobile Text Alerts: Text BIZ To 37798 September 24, 2010| By MATTHEW STURDEVANT, msturdevant@courant.com

A federal judge in Bridgeport approved a $72.5 million settlement this week in a national class-action lawsuit alleging that The Hartford fraudulently kept millions in fees that should have gone to accident victims.

In the next two months, prorated checks will be sent to more than 21,000 people – including about 1,000 in Connecticut – with an average payment of $2,200, according to lawyers who argued for the plaintiffs. U.S. District Judge Janet C. Hall approved the settlement Tuesday after preliminary approval in June.

The 2005 case involves plaintiffs who were injured and eligible for either personal-injury or workers’ compensation claims from The Hartford Financial Services Group. Rather than receiving lump-sum payments, they received “structured settlements,” or payments over time. Annuities were used to make the payments, and the annuities were provided by the property-casualty insurer’s life-insurance division, Hartford Life.