Tuesday, May 30, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Phoenix Life Insurance Fired Him|For Blowing The Whistle, Salesman Says

OREGON CITY, ORE. (CN) - A salesman says Phoenix Life Insurance fired him for objecting to its practice of selling life insurance to people who did not have insurable interests in the lives of the insured, which is illegal in many states.

James LaBar specialized in selling life insurance to financial planners. He says he had "several conversations" with Phoenix's West Coast Director Douglas Koch, "discussing the fact that other salespeople were violating the law in states where they resided."

He says Phoenix fired him after he wrote letters to the Oregon and California Insurance Divisions, complaining of the allegedly illegal practices.

According to LaBar's Clackamas County Court complaint, Koch responded to his letters by placing LaBar on "a performance-improvement plan. The plan established goals that were impossible for LaBar to attain." Then Phoenix fired him under the pretext that he did not achieve goals set by the unfair performance plan.

LaBar is represented by Roger Hennagin of Lake Oswego.

Read the Top 8

Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.