Former Dodgers player files suit against insurance company

Greg Aldisert was extensively quoted in Deirdre Newman’s Los Angeles Daily Journal article “Former Dodgers player files suit against insurance company,” which can be found below.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Former Dodgers player files suit against insurance company

Former Dodgers pitcher sues over excessive life insurance policy

By Deirdre Newman

A Major League Baseball player who was paying over $600,000 a year in life insurance premiums has sued Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. alleging the behemoth insurer exploits professional athletes by selling excessive policies that require exorbitant premiums that the athletes are unlikely to be able to pay over time.

Kevin J. Correia, who most recently played for the Los Angeles Dodgers but will soon play for the Philadelphia Phillies, sued the insurance company and others, claiming that the Mass Mutual targeted professional athletes and then, when they were unable to pay its sky-high premiums, lapsed their policies or asked the athlete to surrender it for only a small piece of the premiums paid. Correia v. Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, BC584178 (L.A. Super. Ct., filed June 4, 2015).

Gregory J. Aldisert, litigator at Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert LLP who is representing plaintiffs Correia, his wife and his trust, also went up against the insurance company in 2013. He sued on a similar claim on behalf of former professional baseball player Heath Bell. That case settled quickly on confidential terms.

Correia signed up for the $23 million life insurance policy about two years ago on the advice of his former financial advisor and named defendant Bill C. Crafton Jr., who recently settled fraud charges brought by the SEC relating to investment advice he gave to athletes and other clients.

Aldisert asserts that Correia was paying $608,000 a year for insurance as part of a 10-year commitment, an “egregiously high premium” for someone like Correia because he does not need such a large death benefit.

“Mass Mutual sells these policies using illustrations with different scenarios showing what the policy is potentially worth after many years,” he said. “There are eye-popping returns if you pay all of the premiums and then live for another 50 years. But the economics are a bad deal because, although Correia makes a good living, he is unlikely to have sufficient funds to pay over $6 million in premiums over 10 years as the policy requires.”

In a statement, Mass Mutual media spokesman Michael D. McNamara said the company looks “forward to sharing our record and defending vigorously against these meritless claims.” The insurance company has not yet retained outside counsel for this lawsuit, McNamara added. None of the other named defendants in the complaint could be reached for comment Wednesday.

deirdre_newman@dailyjournal.com