UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF MARYLAND
NOTICE OF PROPOSED CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT AND FAIRNESS HEARING

If you are or were the owner of any of the following universal life insurance policies from Banner Life Insurance Company or William Penn Life Insurance Company of New York, you may receive important monetary and additional benefits from a proposed class action settlement:

Advantra, Advantra Opterm20, Advantra Opterm20UL, Advantra ADV0205, Classic UL, Continuity, Continuity 98, Continuity 100, Life Umbrella, Life Umbrella Classic, Life Umbrella 120, Longevity 100, Sterling 1

A United States District Court authorized this Notice.
This is not a solicitation from a lawyer. You are not being sued.

YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS ARE AFFECTED WHETHER YOU ACT OR DO NOT ACT.
PLEASE READ THIS NOTICE CAREFULLY.

If you received a Notice, it is because you have been identified by Banner Life Insurance Company or William Penn Life Insurance Company of New York (referred to in the Notice as "Banner" or "William Penn," respectively) as a current or former owner of a life insurance policy that is included in the proposed Settlement of two class action lawsuits (collectively, the "Consolidated Lawsuits") against Banner and William Penn. The Court directed that the Notice be sent to you as a Class Member because you have the right to know about the proposed Settlement, and your rights and options under the proposed Settlement, before the Court decides whether to approve it.

The Notice explains the Consolidated Lawsuits, the proposed Settlement, your potential legal rights under the Settlement, the benefits included in the proposed Settlement, who is eligible for the proposed Settlement benefits, and when the Settlement benefits will become available if the Court approves the proposed Settlement.

You should consult your own tax advisors regarding the possible tax consequences of the proposed Settlement, including any payments you may receive and any tax reporting obligations you may have as a result. You also may want to consult with your own insurance agent or consultant regarding your own Policy and the implications of the Proposed Settlement for your Policy.

 

SUMMARY OF YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS AND OPTIONS IN THIS SETTLEMENT

 YOU CAN DO NOTHING IN RESPONSE TO THE NOTICE

If you do nothing in response to the Notice, and the proposed Settlement is approved by the Court, you will receive the Settlement benefits to which you are entitled, as explained in detail in response to FAQ Question 9.

You will also be bound by the Release described in response to FAQ 13, which means you will give up any right to bring your own lawsuit relating to any of the claims, facts, circumstances or transactions that were or could have been raised in the Consolidated Lawsuits

ASK TO BE EXCLUDED

If you ask to be excluded from the Settlement Class, you will receive no monetary or injunctive benefits from the Settlement, but you will retain your right to initiate or participate in any other lawsuit against Banner or William Penn about the facts and claims in this case.

OBJECT

If you disagree with any part of the proposed Settlement, you may write to the Court to object and explain why. Any objection must comply with all of the requirements in the Notice, which are described in detail in response to FAQ 19.

The Court will consider all timely and properly-submitted objections at the Fairness Hearing. The deadline for any objection is December 22, 2019. Lodging an objection does not exclude you from the proposed Settlement. If the proposed Settlement is approved despite your objection, you will receive the Settlement benefits to which you are entitled and you will be bound by the Release described in response to FAQ 13. 

SPEAK AT THE FAIRNESS HEARING

You are not required to hire your own counsel and/or attend or speak at the Fairness Hearing. If you have timely and properly objected to the Settlement, the Court will consider your objection without any requirement that you attend the Fairness Hearing. If you wish, you may write to the Court to request permission to speak at the Fairness Hearing, by following the directions in the Notice.(See FAQ 23). The Fairness Hearing that was scheduled for March 27 has been rescheduled for May 20, 2020 Eastern time.  It will be conducted with a court reporter via telephonic conference.  Class members are welcome to dial in and listen to the hearing, but participation will be limited to those who complied with the requirements for the “Notice to Appear” as set forth in the Class Action Notice.  The number to call is 888-684-8852 and the Access Code is 5255820.  Listening to the call is purely voluntary and there is no requirement to do so.

CONSULT WITH YOUR OWN ATTORNEY

The lawyers appointed by the Court will represent the Settlement Class Members in this action, including with respect to this proposed Settlement, at no charge to you. If you want to hire your own attorney at your own expense, you have the right to do so.

BINDING EFFECT

If the Court approves the proposed Settlement and it becomes final, the Settlement will have a binding effect on all Settlement Class Members. Settlement Class Members will give up all rights to sue Banner and William Penn, as well as certain other related parties, concerning the claims, facts, circumstances or transactions that were or could have been raised in the Consolidated Lawsuits.  This is known as a “release” and it is described further in the Notice in response to Question 13.

These rights and options – and the procedures and deadlines to exercise them – are explained in more detail below. Please note that the Notice is only a summary of the proposed Settlement. For the complete terms and conditions of the proposed Settlement, you should read the Settlement Agreement, which was filed with the Court.

At the Final Approval Hearing held on May 20, 2020, the Settlement was approved by the Court. A copy of the Final Approval Order is available on the Case Documents page of this website.  The Court’s Order was appealed by a third party and is currently on appeal in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Settlement benefits will be available only if the Final Approval Order is affirmed by the appellate court. Please be patient. 

If the Notice was not sent to your current address, please update your address directly on this website. Please have your Claim ID and PIN Code available. They are on the front of the Notice you received. You may also download the Change of Address Form found under the Case Documents tab.