Frequently Asked Questions
Why did I get a Notice?
Permanent General’s records indicate that you were insured under an automobile policy at some point between October 27, 2015 and the present. A Court decided to allow a class action lawsuit to proceed against Permanent General related to allegations that it breached its insurance contracts and/or was unjustly enriched by the practices complained of in this lawsuit. You have legal rights and options that you may exercise before trial. The Court has already ruled in favor of Plaintiffs and the Class on their theory of liability. The Court has ruled that a determination of the monetary damages incurred by Plaintiffs and Class Members will be resolved at trial. The case may settle or be dismissed before a trial or on appeal.
Judge William P. Dimitrouleas, of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, currently is overseeing this case. The case is known as Connor et al. v. Permanent General Assurance Corporation, 9:20-cv-81979-WPD (S.D. Fla.). The people who sued, Dorine Connor and Myrtle Pugh, are called the “Plaintiffs” and are also referred to as “Class Representatives.” Permanent General is called the “Defendant.”
What is the lawsuit about?
Plaintiffs allege that Permanent General breached its insurance contracts and was unjustly enriched by failing to provide proper refunds of unearned premiums when Florida customers voluntarily canceled their automobile insurance.
Why is this a class action?
In a class action lawsuit one or more people, called the “Plaintiff” or “Class Representative,” represent a larger group of people called “Class Members” or the “Class” who have similar claims against the “Defendant.” In this case, the Class Representatives are the Plaintiffs, Dorine Connor and Myrtle Pugh. In a class action, one court resolves the issues for all Class Members, except those who exclude themselves from the Class. United States District Court Judge William P. Dimitrouleas has jurisdiction over this case.
Here, the Court decided that this lawsuit can be a class action and move toward a trial because it meets the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23, which governs class actions in federal courts. Specifically, the Court found that the Class Members are sufficiently numerous, there are questions of law and fact that are common to all Class Members that predominate over questions affecting individual Class Members, the Class Representatives’ claims are typical of those of the Class, the Class Representatives and Class Counsel are adequate to represent the Class, and proceeding as a Class is superior to the alternatives.
More information about why the Court is allowing this lawsuit to be a class action is in the Court’s Order Certifying the Class.
The Court may revisit this decision and decertify the Class at any time.
THE CLAIMS IN THE LAWSUIT
What are the Plaintiffs’ Complaints?
As noted above, Plaintiffs assert that Permanent General breached its insurance contracts and was unjustly enriched by, among other things, failing to properly refund unearned insurance premiums when Florida customers canceled their automobile insurance. You can read Plaintiffs’ Third Amended Complaint.
How does Permanent General Answer?
Permanent General denies any wrongdoing. Permanent General claims that it has fully complied with the terms in its contracts and that it has not been unjustly enriched. You can read Permanent General’s Answer to Plaintiffs’ Third Amended Class Action Complaint. Permanent General filed a motion for summary judgment, which the federal court denied. Plaintiffs also filed a cross-motion for partial summary judgment. On April 28, 2022, the Court entered an order granting, in part, Plaintiffs’ cross-motion for partial summary judgment, ruling in favor of Plaintiffs on their theory of liability, but reserving the issue of damages for trial. You can find these documents on the Important Documents page.
Has the Court decided who is right?
Partially. On April 28, 2022, the Court granted judgment in Plaintiffs’ favor as to Plaintiffs’ theory of liability in the case, but denied judgment in Plaintiffs’ favor on the determination of monetary damages incurred by Plaintiffs and Class Members. The Court ruled that a determination of damages will be resolved at trial.
What are the Plaintiffs asking for?
Plaintiffs are asking for damages related to the alleged breaches of contract and unjust enrichment. For all amounts shown to have been paid or retained in violation of Permanent General’s insurance policies, Plaintiffs seek to have Class Members reimbursed their proper refund amount.
Is there any money available now?
No. No money or benefits are available now because the Court has not yet made a determination on the issue of damages, and the two sides have not settled the case. There is no guarantee that money or benefits will ever be obtained. If benefits are obtained, and you do not remove yourself from the Class, you will be compensated or notified about how to ask for a share of the proceeds.
WHO IS IN THE CLASS
Who is in the Class?
The Court certified a class consisting of all Florida insureds of Permanent General since October 27, 2015. Specifically, Judge Dimitrouleas certified the following class:
All citizens residing in the State of Florida, who, within five (5) years of the filing of this action, were (1) insured under an auto policy sold or issued by Permanent General containing the same or similar “Refund of Premium” provision under the policy’s “Cancellation and Non-Renewal” section as found in Plaintiffs Connor’s and Pugh’s policies, and who (2) had their policies cancelled at the insured’s request, and who (3) had paid a premium that was held by Permanent General and still unearned on the effective date of cancellation.
If you received a notice directly to your email or physical address, Permanent General’s records have identified you as potential class member.
How can I confirm that I am in the Class?
If you are not sure whether you are included in the Class, you can get free help by calling 1-877-564-5777. The fact that you received a notice means that Permanent General’s records indicate that you are likely a member of the Class.
YOUR RIGHTS AND OPTIONS
What happens if I do nothing at all?
You don’t have to do anything now if you want to keep the possibility of getting money or benefits from this lawsuit. By doing nothing, you are staying in the Class, and you will be legally bound by all of the Orders the Court issues and judgments the Court makes in this class action, whether favorable or unfavorable to the Class. If you stay in the Class and the Plaintiffs obtain money or benefits, either as a result of a trial or a settlement, you will either be compensated automatically or be notified about how to apply for a share. Keep in mind that if you do nothing now, regardless of whether the Plaintiffs or Defendant win or lose the trial, you will not be able to sue Permanent General about any legal claim that is included in this lawsuit.
Why would I ask to be excluded?
If you want to bring your own action against Permanent General related to the issues presented in this case, you should exclude yourself from the Class. Unless you exclude yourself, you give up any right to sue Permanent General for the claims that are asserted in this class action. If you choose to exclude yourself, you will not get any money or benefits from this lawsuit even if the Plaintiffs obtain them from a trial or from any settlement between Permanent General and the Plaintiffs. If you start your own lawsuit against Permanent General after you exclude yourself, you will have to hire and pay your own lawyer for that lawsuit, and you will have to prove your claims. If you do exclude yourself so you can start your own lawsuit against Permanent General, you should talk to your own lawyer soon because your claims may be subject to a time limit.
If this case were to be settled at some later date, you may or may not be given another opportunity to exclude yourself from this case and the associated settlement. Accordingly, this is your only guaranteed opportunity to exclude yourself from this lawsuit.
EXCLUDING YOURSELF FROM THE CLASS
How do I ask the Court to exclude me from the Class?
If you don’t want to be a part of this lawsuit, and you want to keep any right you may have to sue or continue to sue Permanent General regarding the claims in this lawsuit, then you must take steps to remove yourself from the Class. This is called excluding yourself — and is sometimes referred to as “opting out” of the Class. To ask to be excluded, you must send a signed letter by mail stating that you want to be excluded from Connor, et al. v. Permanent General Assurance Corporation. You must include your name, address, telephone number, and your signature. You must mail your exclusion request postmarked no later than July 8th, 2022, to:
Connor v. Permanent General Notice Administrator
Attn: Exclusion Request
P.O. Box 58220
Philadelphia, PA 19102
You may also get an Exclusion Request form on the Important Documents page.
You cannot exclude yourself by phone, fax or email.
THE LAWYERS REPRESENTING YOU
Do I have a lawyer in this case?
Yes. The Court appointed the following lawyers to represent all the members of the Class:
R. Brent Irby
IRBY LAW, LLC
2201 Arlington Ave. S
Birmingham, AL 35205
Telephone: (205) 936-8281
Jordan A. Shaw
Zachary D. Ludens
ZEBERSKY PAYNE SHAW LEWENZ
110 Southeast 6th Street
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Telephone: (954) 361-6705
Facsimile: (954) 989-7781
J. Matthew Stephens
Robert G. Methvin, Jr.
James M. Terrell
Courtney C. Gipson
METHVIN, TERRELL, YANCEY, STEPHENS & MILLER, P.C.
The Highland Building
2201 Arlington Ave. S
Birmingham, AL 35205
Telephone: (205) 939-0199
Facsimile: (205) 939-0399
These lawyers are called Class Counsel. You will not be charged for contacting these lawyers. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, however, you may hire one at your own expense.
Should I get my own lawyer?
You do not need to hire your own lawyer because Class Counsel are working on your behalf. But, if you want your own lawyer, you will have to pay that lawyer. You can ask him or her to appear in Court for you in this case if you want someone other than Class Counsel to speak for you.
How will the lawyers be paid?
Class Counsel have not been paid or reimbursed for their time and expenses incurred in pursuing this case. You will not have to pay these fees and expenses. If Class Counsel obtains money or benefits for the Class, they will ask the Court for fees, as well as reimbursement of costs and expenses. If the Court grants Class Counsel’s request, the fees, costs, and expenses would be either deducted from any money obtained for the Class or paid separately by Permanent General.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT
How and when will the Court decide who is right?
Unless the case is resolved by a settlement or otherwise, Class Counsel will have to prove the monetary damages incurred by Plaintiffs and Class Members at a trial. Trial is currently set to take place during the trial term beginning October 17, 2022. That date is subject to change. During the trial, a Jury or the Judge will hear the evidence to help reach a decision on the issue of damages incurred by Plaintiffs and Class Members.
Do I have to come to the trial?
No. You do not need to attend the trial. Class Counsel will present the case for the Plaintiffs and the Class, and Permanent General will present its defenses. You or your own lawyer are welcome to come to the trial at your own expense.
GETTING MORE INFORMATION
How do I get more information?
You can visit the Important Documents page, where you will find answers to common questions, relevant documents filed in the case, plus other information. You may also write to: Connor. v. Permanent General Notice Administrator, 1650 Arch Street, Suite 2210, Philadelphia, PA 19103 or call 1-877-564-5777.