Corporate Owned Life Insurance (or “Dead Peasant”) Litigation
Scott learned that certain businesses were routinely purchasing life insurance on the lives of their rank and file employees, the best example being Wal-Mart secretly taking out policies on over 360,000 of its employees in a day. The insurance companies called this insurance “dead peasant” insurance, a reference to the employees. Many white-shoe corporate law firms advised these businesses this practice was legal; Scott thought otherwise – realizing that the employers had no insurable interest in these employees and failed to obtain the consent of the employees as required by Texas law. A class comprised of the estates of deceased employees represented by Scott recovered over $12 million dollars (again net of attorney’s fees and cost) from these employers in claims paid out wrongfully to the businesses on the lives of the employees.