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Judge Won’t Reconsider Ruling Against Allianz

(CN) - A federal judge in Los Angeles said she won't reconsider her August decision allowing senior citizens to pursue class actions against Allianz Life Insurance for allegedly tricking them into buying risky deferred annuities.

A class of 200,000 senior citizens filed a racketeering lawsuit against Allianz in 2005, claiming the company conspired with marketers to lure them into buying deferred annuities, which are investments that mature over a long period of time. Allianz allegedly imposed "substantial surrender charges" on seniors who tried to withdraw their money early.

Allianz moved to dismiss the RICO claims of certain class members on the basis that they were barred by a January judgment for Allianz in another case.

But U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder allowed the claims to proceed in her August order, saying Allianz should have raised that argument before the final judgment.

Allianz then asked Snyder to either reconsider her previous order or certify questions for immediate appeal, citing "a laundry lists of facts and evidence that it claims the court failed to consider," according to the ruling.

Specifically, Allianz asked Snyder to look at transcripts from a multidistrict litigation hearing in 2007, which Allianz said confirms the company's intention to assert claim preclusion.

Judge Snyder was not convinced. She said Allianz "has not demonstrated sufficient grounds for reconsideration."

"To the extent that Allianz seeks reconsideration on the grounds that the court failed to consider material facts and evidence presented to the court, and accepted as true plaintiffs' factual assertions without any evidence to support those assertions, these claimed errors are not simply supported by the record," she wrote.

Snyder added that certification for immediate appeal "is not warranted under the present circumstances," because Allianz failed to show that such an appeal presented the type of "exceptional circumstances" required for judicial review.

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