The New York Case
Wiener filed the New York case in a state court in Connecticut. AXA removed the case to a federal court in New York, where AXA is based. The case has dragged on ever since. The most recent docket item, a declaration in support of a motion for summary judgment, was filed on August 25, 2020.
Wiener filed a third amended complaint in 2016. The defendants are three AXA companies and David Hungerford, Wiener's AXA agent. Wiener was born in 1935. In 1986 and 1987, at the age of 51, he bought three AXA universal life insurance policies. The polices were for $9 million, $9 million, and $2 million. Shortly thereafter he reduced them to $7.2 million, $7.2 million, and $1.6 million.
In 2013, when Wiener was aged 78, he received by regular mail a policy termination notice and an application for reinstatement. He promptly submitted the application for reinstatement, together with the necessary medical evidence of insurability. Three months later, AXA denied the application for reinstatement.
The third amended complaint describes the matter in detail and includes eight counts of alleged wrongdoing. The complaint and AXA's answer to the complaint are in the complimentary package offered at the end of this post.
The North Carolina CaseWiener filed the North Carolina case in a state court in North Carolina, where AXA has a major service office. AXA removed the case to federal court in North Carolina. The case recently went to trial, and the jury rendered its verdict on September 10, 2020. The verdict form contained three questions:
- Was Plaintiff Malcolm Wiener injured by the negligence of Defendant AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company?
- What amount is Plaintiff Malcolm Wiener entitled to recover from Defendant AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company?
- By what amount, if any, should Plaintiff Malcolm Wiener's actual damages be reduced because of his unreasonable failure to avoid or minimize his injuries?
The jury's answers to the questions were: (1) Yes, (2) $16,000,000, and (3) $8,000,000. On the same day, the clerk of the court entered judgment in accordance with the verdict. Also on the same day, the judge issued an order providing the parties with ten days to file post-trial motions. Wiener's complaint, AXA's answer to the complaint, and the jury verdict form are in the complimentary package offered at the end of this post.
I believe, but am not certain, that the answer to the second question on the jury verdict form (the $16 million of damages) is the sum of $7.2 million, $7.2 million, and $1.6 million, which are the reduced death benefits of the three policies. I do not know how the jury arrived at the answer to the third question on the verdict form (the $8 million reduction in the damages). I tried, without success, to contact an attorney for Wiener in the North Carolina case to see whether he can confirm my belief about how the jury arrived at the $16 million in damages, and to help me understand how the jury arrived at the $8 million reduction in damages. I plan to post a follow-up when and if I learn anything further.
I am offering a complimentary 76-page package consisting of Wiener's third amended complaint (without exhibits) in the New York case (31 pages), AXA's answer to the third amended complaint (19 pages), Wiener's complaint (without exhibits) in the North Carolina case (12 pages), AXA's answer to the complaint (12 pages), and the jury verdict form (2 pages). Email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for the September 2020 package about Wiener v. AXA.