Advisory Jury Returns Verdict for Plaintiffs in American Family ERISA Trial

On Tuesday, April 18th, 2017, an advisory jury returned a unanimous verdict for a certified class in the American Family Insurance ERISA trial.

Following a trial that lasted over two weeks, the advisory jury returned a unanimous decision in the plaintiffs’ favor. The plaintiffs and the class were represented by trial counsel consisting of Erin K. Dickinson and Charles J. Crueger of Crueger Dickinson LLC., and Edward A. Wallace of Wexler Wallace LLP.

“This was an incredibly hard-fought trial,” said Ed Wallace. “We are very pleased that the jury so carefully considered and assessed all of the substantial evidence supporting the verdict.”

The case (Jammal, et al. v. American Family Insurance, Case No.: 13-cv-00437) centered on the Plaintiffs’ claims that American Family improperly classifies its agents as independent contractors when they are actually employees for ERISA purposes, with American Family reserving the right to exercise control over every important aspect of the agent-employees’ businesses.

“I have spoken with hundreds of agents over the last few years, and our team has dedicated itself to this result,” said Erin Dickinson. “We look forward to the next phase of the case.”

The jury’s verdict was an advisory decision. A formal ruling from Judge Nugent of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio remains, as does a damages proceeding, which will take place at a later date.

In addition to Ms. Dickinson, Mr. Crueger, and Mr. Wallace, the Plaintiffs were also represented by Kara A. Elgersma of Wexler Wallace LLP, Jack Landskroner and Drew Legando of Landskroner Grieco Merriman, LLC, and Gregory F. Coleman of Greg Coleman Law PC.

Contact: Kenneth Wexler, Managing Partner, 312.589.6270 (kaw(at)wexlerwallace(dot)com)

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