NU Online News Service, April 8, 1:55 p.m. – A proposed settlement in a class-action long-term care suit against Conseco Inc., Carmel, Ind., has been finalized by a Pennsylvania court.

The case, Irene Milkman v. American Travellers Life Insurance Company, et al. (case # 3775), was filed because of large premium rate increases in long term care contracts issued by American Travellers, a Pennsylvania company purchased by Conseco.

The settlement, which was developed by plaintiffs’ attorney Allan Kanner of Allan Kanner & Associates, New Orleans, and Conseco, is valued at $25 million to $30 million. It offers several options to a class of up to 750,000 plaintiffs.

The options include accepting a new Conseco policy, accepting a nonforfeiture benefit or holding existing Conseco LTC contracts.

The settlement also offers policyholders the option of purchasing a new Conseco annuity contract or indexed universal life policy.

In his order, signed April 1, Judge John Herron of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, declares that the stipulation is binding on all class members as well as being preclusive in all pending and future lawsuits.

The court also finds that objections regarding due process, constitutionality, procedures, substance and compliance with the law are overruled.

The order also states that plaintiffs and the settlement class discharge Conseco from any claims, actions and suits in the future.

Additionally, the order states that the settling parties shall seek to dismiss two related California cases within 30 days of the order. The two cases are Larry Blau and Janet Blau v. American Travellers Life Insurance Company, et al., (Orange County Superior Court Case No. 00C03063), and Alva Lane and Linda Pequegnax V. American Travellers Life Insurance Company, et al. (San Diego Superior Court Case # GIF 746641.)

The court also enjoins and bars plaintiffs and settlement class members from bringing a class action on behalf of settlement class members or from seeking to certify a class based on released transactions.

The court awards $4.5 million to plaintiffs’ attorneys.