GREENSBORO, N.C., Dec. 9, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- On September 24, 2013, Mid-Town Body Repair, a Greensboro, North Carolina-based automotive repair shop, its President, Dennis Reittinger, and Karen Reittinger, his wife, filed a class action complaint in Guilford County, North Carolina Superior Court against The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company, the successor-in-interest to Jefferson-Pilot Life Insurance Company. The lawsuit raises claims on behalf of a class of employers and employees to whom Jefferson-Pilot sold life insurance policies in connection with welfare benefit plans known as Benistar 419 Plans. Mid-Town's complaint alleges that Jefferson-Pilot promoted and sponsored Benistar 419 Plans without informing participants that the plans did not comply with Section 419A of the Internal Revenue Code but instead were illegal tax shelters. Participation in Benistar 419 Plans, according to the complaint, exposed participants like Mid-Town and the Reittingers to IRS audits and substantial tax liabilities and related penalties.
On October 25, 2013, Lincoln National removed the lawsuit to the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina on the grounds of diversity of citizenship. Reittinger v. The Lincoln National Life Ins. Co., No. 1:13-cv-00954 (M.D.N.C.). Lincoln National has not yet responded to the complaint, and the federal court has not yet considered whether a class should be certified.
Plaintiffs are represented by Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphey & Leonard, LLP, Greensboro, North Carolina. Questions about the lawsuit can be directed to Robert J. King, a partner in the firm's Greensboro office, or Julia C. Ambrose, a partner in the firm's Raleigh office.
Source:Brooks Pierce McLendon Humphrey & Leonard LLP