George R. Golson v. Provident Life and Accident Insurance Company, et al.

Analysis Group was retained on behalf of the disability insurance providers Provident Life and Accident Insurance Company, Unum Life Insurance Company of America, and Unum Group (Provident), the defendants in a breach of contract class action brought by policyholder George Golson. Golson alleged that Provident improperly calculated cost-of-living adjustments (COLA), which resulted in a shortage of benefits to policyholders on a monthly basis. He sought to sue on behalf of a class of similarly situated individuals.

An Analysis Group team led by Managing Principal Mark Gustafson and Manager Shannon Ward supported academic affiliate George Zanjani of the University of Alabama, who filed an expert report. Professor Zanjani opined on whether it was possible to assess injury and potential damages on a class-wide basis, as well as whether the plaintiff was harmed by the defendants’ alleged actions. He also critiqued the accuracy of the analyses that the plaintiff’s expert performed to support the plaintiff’s claim of underpayment. Finally, Professor Zanjani analyzed the impact of the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) on policyholder insurance data over multiple years to determine whether the calculation of COLA benefits using a particular CPI-U base year series systematically harmed putative class members.

The case was subsequently settled, and Professor Zanjani’s analyses were used to secure a favorable settlement for the defendants.

Associated Experts & Consultants