McKool Smith has secured a $10 million verdict on behalf of Apex Parks Group (“Apex”) against Protective Life Insurance Company (“Protective”). The plaintiff, Apex Parks Group is a privately held operating company based in Aliso Viejo, California that owns and operates family amusement parks.
The verdict was announced on Sept. 21, 2018, after a seven-day jury trial before Judge Michael Graffeo in State Court in Alabama. After hours of deliberations, jurors awarded Apex $10 million in damages finding that Protective unjustifiably breached its contract with Apex when it refused to pay death benefits owed under a key man insurance policy issued on the life of Apex’s Chief Executive Officer, Alexander “Al” Weber, Jr., after his untimely death.
Key man life insurance is an insurance policy a business buys on a key partner’s, executive’s, or employee’s life. The company pays the premiums and is the beneficiary of the life insurance policy. A death benefit would be paid out to the company if the insured partner or employee dies.
“We are pleased with the decision,” said McKool Smith principal Robin Cohen, one of the lead counsel who represented Apex. “The jury weighed the evidence carefully, and their verdict affirms our position regarding Protective’s failure to honor its contractual obligations after receipt of substantial premiums.”
Apex is represented by Scott L. Cole, Natasha Romagnoli, and Michelle R. Migdon of McKool Smith, and Harlan F. Winn III and Robert E. Battle of Alabama firm, Battle & Winn.
The case is Apex Park Group, LLC v. Protective Life Insurance Company, CV-17-0165-MGG, in the Circuit Court of Jefferson County, Alabama.
McKool Smith made headlines last month when it won a $145 million patent infringement verdict for WiLAN against Apple Inc.