Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Minnesota Life Insurance Co. v. Philpot

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

August 19, 2013

MINNESOTA LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY, Plaintiff,
v.
BRIAN MICHAEL PHILPOT, et al., Defendants.

ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR DETERMINATION OF GOOD FAITH SETTLEMENT

BARRY TED MOSKOWITZ, Chief District Judge.

Pending before the Court is a motion for determination of good faith settlement filed by Plaintiff Minnesota Life Insurance Company and Defendant Alex Almeida (ECF No. 121). For the reasons set forth herein, the Court GRANTS the motion for determination of good faith settlement.

I. BACKGROUND

This action arises out of an alleged fraudulent scheme, coordinated among the various defendants (insurance sales agents, their employers, and their funding entities), to elicit large sales commissions from Plaintiff for policies that were deliberately allowed to lapse- resulting in Plaintiff paying more in sales commissions than it earned in policy payments. For a more comprehensive overview of the events giving rise to this lawsuit, see the Court's September 25, 2012 Order re Motions to Dismiss (ECF No. 101).

On February 4, 2013, Plaintiff and Defendant Almeida filed a joint motion for determination of good faith settlement (ECF No. 121), along with the accompanying settlement agreement (filed under seal). The material terms of the settlement agreement provide:[1]

• Mr. Almeida will cause a certain sum of money to be paid to Plaintiff.
• Each of the parties shall bear their own attorneys' fees and costs.
• In return for the payments, Plaintiff will dismiss the case as to Mr. Almeida.

On July 22, 2013, the Court ordered the parties to submit evidence as to Mr. Almeida's individual liability (ECF No. 133). Plaintiff submitted the evidence on July 26, 2013 (see ECF Nos. 134 & 135).

II. DISCUSSION

Plaintiff Minnesota Life and Defendant Alex Almeida seeks a determination by the Court that their settlement is in good faith. As discussed below, the Court finds that it is.

Under Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 877.6(a)(1), "[a]ny party to an action wherein it is alleged that two or more parties are joint tortfeasors shall be entitled to a hearing on the issue of the good faith of a settlement entered into by the plaintiff or other claimant and one or more alleged tortfeasors...." If the court determines that the settlement was made in good faith, such determination "shall bar any other joint tortfeasor from any further claims against the settling tortfeasor for equitable comparative contribution, or partial or comparative indemnity, based on comparative negligence or comparative fault." Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 877.6(c). A party asserting the lack of good faith bears the burden of proof on that issue. Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 877.6(d).

In Tech-Bilt, Inc. v. Woodward-Clyde & Assoc. , 38 Cal.3d 488, 499 (1985), a case in which the good faith nature of the settlement was disputed, the California Supreme Court set forth a number of factors to be considered by the court in determining whether a settlement is in good faith, including: (1) a rough approximation of plaintiffs' total recovery and the settlors' proportionate liability; (2) the amount paid in settlement; (3) the allocation of settlement proceeds among plaintiffs; (4) a recognition that the settlor should pay less in settlement than he would if he were found liable after trial; (5) the financial condition and ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.