North Carolina Federal Jury Awards $8 to Lincoln Derr Client

Lincoln Derr Attorney Kathleen (Kathi) Lucchesi teamed with attorney Kerry L. Traynum of Scufca Law to represent a plaintiff they argued was rendered uninsurable by the negligent reporting of incorrect health information by his long-time life insurance company.

A North Carolina federal jury agreed and awarded plaintiff Malcolm Wiener $8 million in damages following a 3-day trial. The jury found the defendant, AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company wrongly assessed Mr. Wiener's medical records and then reported erroneous information about his medical history to the Medical Information Bureau, a company that acts as a clearinghouse for medical records and health histories for 90-95% of the country's life insurance companies.

AXA's wrongful reporting to the MIB resulted in other life insurance companies denying Mr. Wiener's applications for coverage. The jury originally awarded the plaintiff $16 million in damages, but cut the figure in half, saying he failed to minimize his damages.

AXA has moved the Court to enter judgment for the defendant notwithstanding the jury's September 11, 2020 verdict which the parties are currently briefing for the Court. This was the first federal civil case in North Carolina and one of the first in the country to be tried to a jury since March 2020.

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