Regulation of Insurance

A major life insurer had provided extensive financing to two general agents who had proposed themselves as “super general agents” over a multi-state area with many sub-agents reporting to them. The financing was made in the form of advances of expected commissions to be earned by the super general agents and their sub-agents. The expected commissions never materialized and the insurer terminated the two general agents and all of their sub-agents. Lyne, Woodworth attorneys pursued the general agents in Massachusetts to collect the unpaid commissions and to defend a multi-million dollar counterclaim by the agents against the insurer for alleged improper termination of their contracts. The agents’ counterclaim was originally filed in California, a more favorable forum for the agents. Working together with California counsel, we were successful in getting the California case dismissed and all claims between the parties were tried in the Federal court in Boston, a more favorable forum for the insurer. After an extended trial, a Federal judge awarded the insurer the full amount of its financing, plus interest and attorneys’ fees, and dismissed the agents’ counterclaim.