Monday, November 9, 2020

No. 397: The Age 100 Problem—A Further Update on the Lebbin Lawsuit Against Transamerica

I have written extensively about what I call "the age 100 problem" in general, and about the Lebbin lawsuit against Transamerica Life Insurance Company (Transamerica) in particular. The most recent update on the case is in No. 372 (May 18, 2020). That blog post contains a detailed summary of the district court case. For that reason, I am dispensing with a summary of that case and including in this further update only major developments in the appellate case. (See Lebbin v. Transamerica, U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit, Case No. 20-11756-EE.)

The Appellate Filings
On August 31, 2020, Transamerica filed a 78-page brief in the Eleventh Circuit. On September 8, Transamerica filed a 1,517-page, six-volume appendix. On October 30, the Lebbin-Spector Family Trust (Trust) filed a 71-page brief. Transamerica's brief and the Trust's brief are in the complimentary package offered at the end of this post.

Transamerica's brief makes five arguments: (1) plaintiffs' breach of contract claim is barred by the statute of limitations, (2) the district court erred in granting summary judgment to plaintiffs on their claim for breach of contract based on an alleged ambiguity, (3) the district court should not have excluded extrinsic evidence that established the intent of the parties, (4) the district court erred in resolving Transamerica's defenses of waiver, ratification, and estoppel without considering any evidence, and (5) the district court's ruling on damages should be reversed. Transamerica concludes:
For the foregoing reasons, Transamerica respectfully requests that this Court reverse the summary judgment orders of the district court and direct entry of judgment in Transamerica's favor.
The Trust's brief includes detailed responses to each of the five arguments in Transamerica's brief. The Trust concludes:
For the foregoing reasons, [the Trust] respectfully request[s] that this Court affirm the summary judgment orders of the district court.
General Observations
At this writing, there is no timetable for the appellate court case. I plan to report on important developments in the case.

Available Material
I am offering a complimentary 149-page package consisting of Transamerica's brief (78 pages) and the Trust's brief (71 pages). Email and ask for the November 2020 package about Lebbin v. Transamerica.