U.S. court: Plaintiffs in class action against Boca Raton benefits company can't collect $60 million

By Marian Johns | Jun 14, 2019

MIAMI — A federal court has ruled that plaintiffs in a class action suit against a Boca Raton benefits company alleging they were sent text messages without their consent can't collect more than a $60 million final consent judgment settlement from the company's insurer.

According to the May 30 U.S. District Court Southern District of Florida filing, plaintiffs Jacob Horn and Robert Vetter and others, petitioned the court for a summary judgment against defendant Liberty Insurance Underwriters Inc., the insurer of iCan Benefits Group, and which faced a lawsuit by the plaintiffs for allegedly sending text messages to them without their consent in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) that was then tendered to Liberty. 

Liberty, through which iCan held a "private advantage insurance" policy, denied coverage to iCan in the class action suit. However the "parties" in the case entered into a consent judgment, agreeing to the assigning of iCan's rights to the plaintiffs and that the judgment could be collected from Liberty.  The plaintiffs seek to collect the consent judgment from Liberty with Liberty arguing "the iCan action is excluded from coverage entirely" and that they are entitled to summary judgment. 

Liberty argues the policy clearly excludes claims "arising out of" invasion of privacy which is the basis for the lawsuit.  The plaintiffs argue the exclusion in the policy is "inapplicable" because of the "other allegations" in the suit. 

The court found that the plaintiffs should not have asserted Liberty's coverage in the case and that iCan was "timely notified" that the claim was not applicable prior to its proceeding with a settlement. 

U.S. District Judge Robin Rosenberg concluded "the court finds no coverage in the Liberty policy over the iCan action" due to the invasion of privacy exclusion and denied the plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment, granting Liberty's motion for summary judgment and closing the case. 

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