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TORCHMARK ANNOUNCES VERDICT AGAINST LIBERTY NATIONAL LIFE INSURANCE

 BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Oct. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Torchmark Corporation (NYSE: TMK) announced today that a verdict for $1 million in punitive damages was rendered last Thursday against its subsidiary, Liberty National Life Insurance Company, by a jury in state court in Mobile, Ala.
 The case in question involves alleged fraud by Liberty National in the exchange of a previously owned cancer policy for a newer cancer policy issued by the company. The jury also found that the actual damages were only $1,000. h?e company contends that the aggregate benefits under the new policy were greater than under the old policy and since the plaintiff never incurred cancer or filed claims for benefits, she incurred no actual damages. Although the plaintiff claimed the old policy was better than the new policy, she never requested that her old policy be restored. Less than a month ago, another judge from the same circuit court granted summary judgment in favor of Liberty National on virtually identical claims made by another plaintiff. Liberty National plans to appeal the verdict and to vigorously pursue the appeal.
 A class action suit is currently pending in Barbour County, Ala., on behalf of Liberty National policyholders who owned a cancer policy on Aug. 29, 1986. Approximately 200,000 policyholders exchanged their Liberty National cancer policies after this date. This suit has been tentatively settled pending the outcome of a fairness hearing before the court on Nov. 4, 1993. Policyholders affected by the proposed settlement have been mailed notice of the settlement and the fairness hearing. According to the terms of the tentative class action settlement, individual cases filed after March 10, 1993, would be included within the class. More than 100 individuals have filed separate suits in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi and Georgia and over 300 people have intervened in the Barbour County suit to object to the proposed settlement. Subsequent to the Barbour County suit, additional class action suits have been filed in Mobile County, Ala., and Polk County, Fla., based on substantially the same allegations and seeking to displace the original Barbour County class action. On Tuesday, Oct. 26, 1993, the Alabama Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on writs of mandamus on this issue.
 Liberty National is an Alabama corporation which is rated A++ Superior by A.M. Best and AAA by Standard & Poor's, the highest ratings an insurance company can receive. Torchmark's other principal operating companies are Globe Life and Accident Insurance Company, United American Insurance Company, United Investors Life Insurance Company, Waddell & Reed, Inc. and Torch Energy Advisors, Inc.
 -0- 10/25/93
 /CONTACT: William T. Graves, 205-325-4251, or Lee Bartlett, 205-325-4204, both of Torchmark Corporation/
 (TMK)


CO: Torchmark Corporation; Liberty National Life Insurance Company ST: Alabama IN: INS SU:

RA-BN -- AT020 -- 6542 10/25/93 17:03 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 25, 1993
Words:464
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