The State Worker

CalPERS long-term care lawsuit questions answered

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Photo illustration jvillegas@sacbee.com

This week’s State Worker column reported that a lawsuit over CalPERS alleged mismanagement of its long-term care program has been granted class-action status by a Los Angeles County judge.

Since the item ran Wednesday, we’ve fielded calls and emails from a dozen readers who want to be part of the lawsuit. Attorney Stuart Talley says that his office has received inquiries from about 300 people since the litigation began a few years ago, which he said is an inordinately high number for a case such as this.

Talley’s firm and two others handling the case, have a website with the latest updates, court documents, a client questionnaire and contact information. The website also answers the kind of questions that always come our way after each report:

Do I need to do anything to be included in the lawsuit?

No. If you purchased purchased LTC1 and LTC2 policies from 1995 to 2004 with lifetime coverage and built-in inflation protection, lifetime policies without inflation protection, or 3-year and 6-year policies with inflation protection from CalPERS at any time, you’re in the class.

If you’re in the class, you will receive notice and be automatically included in the case unless you decide to opt out.

133,000Number of long-term care program purchasers identified as potential class members suing CalPERS.

What’s the remedy?

The attorneys haven’t been specific beyond stating they want “various forms of relief including damages, a return of all premiums paid by class members, and an order from the court to prevent CalPERS from increasing premiums.” It’s not clear where the money will come from should the plaintiffs prevail.

(Worth noting: The long-term care program is a private business transaction between individuals and a public entity. Unlike pensions, there are no public dollars or government-backed benefits at stake. That makes it highly unlikely that public dollars could be tapped for refunds or to back fill the fund loses that prompted sky-high rate hikes this year and last.)

How long will this go on?

The first court documents were filed in August 2013. The plaintiffs’ attorneys estimate it will be at least three years for a resolution.

For more information, check out http://www.calpersclassactionlawsuit.com/.

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