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TAMPA ATTORNEY FILES CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT AGAINST CIGNA SECURITIES ON BEHALF OF INVESTOR

 TAMPA ATTORNEY FILES CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT
 AGAINST CIGNA SECURITIES ON BEHALF OF INVESTOR
 TAMPA, Fla., Oct. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- A class action lawsuit was filed today in Federal District Court in Tampa, Fla. against Cigna Corporation and several of its subsidiaries. Filed on behalf of Tampa resident J. W. Hoffman, the suit contends that Cigna's sales practices relating to the sale of securities products, such as limited partnerships, were fraudulent and deceptive.
 If successful, the suit would allow people throughout the United States to receive a refund plus interest for investments purchased from Cigna. It is estimated that those refunds may total more than $1 billion.
 The complaint contends that Cigna told investors that they were receiving individual financial planning services in exchange for a fee, says Guy M. Burns, senior partner in the Tampa office of Johnson, Blakely, Pope, Bokor, Ruppel & Burns, P.A. In fact, says Burns, "Cigna's real objective was to sell investments to its clients. Those investments were often high-risk, limited performance partnerships that generated substantial commissions, fees and other charges for Cigna."
 Burns, who filed the suit, was successful in receiving a $5.3 million arbitration against Cigna in March of this year. That case received national attention when George Gage, former chairman of GTE's Florida operation, invested his entire retirement funds with Cigna. That arbitration award was later set aside by mutual agreement of the parties as part of a private and confidential settlement.
 Burns also has settled numerous other cases against Cigna based upon a similar theory. The terms of those other settlement agreements also are confidential.
 "Cigna's entire marketing approach was to lull investors into a sense of false security by believing that they were receiving high quality financial planning advice when, in reality, they were always steered into buying products from Cigna," Burns said.
 "Those products were often very risky and of poor quality but they paid handsome commissions and fees to Cigna. Because of its limited securities licensing, Cigna did not even have the capability of offering basic products such as blue chip stocks or high-rated corporate bonds to its investors. Cigna only sold a limited range of products, such as limited partnerships, some mutual funds and variable interest annuities."
 Burns hopes to have a federal judge certify the class in early 1993.
 -0- 10/28/92
 /CONTACT: Guy Burns of Johnson, Blakely, Pope, Bokor, Ruppel & Burns, P.A., 813-225-2500, or after hours, 813-837-8743; or Mary Coffeen or Eckel Advertising & Public Relations, 813-441-4761, for Johnson, Blakely, Pope, Bokor, Ruppel & Burns, P.A./ CO: Johnson, Blakely, Pope, Bokor, Ruppel & Burns, P.A.; Cigna
 Corporation ST: Florida IN: FIN SU:


JB-AW -- FL014 -- 6213 10/28/92 16:23 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 28, 1992
Words:446
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