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John Hancock sued by life insurance beneficiaries

Boston-based John Hancock Financial Services Inc. recently settled a case brought by the government that alleged that the company was not paying life insurance benefits in a timely manner. Now, the insurance giant is facing another business litigation case; this one is a lawsuit filed by a man who claims his mother's benefits were not paid on time.

The lawsuit alleges that the insurance company used a database to stop payments immediately on annuity holders who had died but did not use the same information to make timely payouts of insurance benefits to survivors. Several life insurance companies have been accused of the same types of practices. John Hancock settled with the government for $13.3 million in November.

The class-action lawsuit suggests that John Hancock may have to pay more money to settle additional claims. A man in another state found out four years after his mother's death that she had a life insurance policy with John Hancock. Although he received slightly more than $1,300 in compensation from the company, he claims that his request for an explanation of the benefits was denied. John Hancock has asked the court to dismiss the case on the grounds that consumer rights laws do not apply to those outside the state's borders.

Those who have claims under insurance policies or other concerns that may involve business litigation may find help through a Massachusetts business attorney. In some cases, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit to collect compensation that is owed to an individual. Business attorneys may be able to help those who have been denied benefits by insurance companies or other organizations.

Source: The Boston Globe Business, "John Hancock faces lawsuit on life insurance payouts," Todd Wallack, March 15, 2013

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