Is Individual Proof of Each Transaction Required to Determine Liability of Insurance Company on Selling Replacement Insurance ?
In Cope v. Metro. Life Ins. Co., 82 Ohio St.3d 426, 1998 Ohio 405, 696 N.E.2d 1001, the plaintiffs sought certification of a class of life insurance policyholders who were sold replacement insurance as new insurance by MetLife and who did not receive the statutorily mandated disclosure warnings.
The crux of the plaintiffs' complaint was that MetLife engaged in a scheme to earn higher commissions by intentionally omitting to disclose the statutorily mandated warnings when issuing replacement insurance.
The trial court found that the predominance requirement under Civ.R. 23(B)(3) was not met because "an individual determination as to what the plaintiffs were told by their respective agents will be crucial in determining liability."
The court of appeals affirmed the trial court's denial of certification, finding that individualized proof or scrutiny of each transaction would be necessary to determine each claim.