Class Action Suit Against Insurer

Brady Preston Gronlund was actively involved as one of the Plaintiffs’ counsel in Rieff v. Evans, et al., filed in Polk County (Case No. CE35780). Rieff was a class action and derivative action that was litigated for seven years and resulted in three appeals to the Iowa Supreme Court. The first two appeals resulted in reported decisions, and the third appeal was pending when the case was settled. The first appeal is reported at Rieff v. Evans, et al., 630 N.W.2d 278 (2001). It is the first known case holding that a mutual insurance company policy holder may bring an action for "defacto demutualization" of an insurer and allowing policy holders to bring a derivative action against their insurer. The decision also addressed the relationship of class actions, derivative actions, the relation back doctrine and the fraud and discovery exceptions to the statute of limitations. The second decision, reported at Rieff v. Evans, et al., 672 N.W.2d 728 (Iowa 2003) established that there is no “case complexity” exception to the right to a jury trial. Rieff was eventually settled for a cash payment of $127.5 million.

Results: $127.5 million