California Grandmother Awarded $15 Million in Lawsuit Against MetLife
By Zac Pingle
Christine Ramirez, 75, won a lawsuit against MetLife and its subsidiaries in the Los Angeles Superior Court on August 31st. The jury found that MetLife and its former partner, Bruce Friedman, practiced in willful negligence and financial elder abuse. The actions of MetLife led Ramirez to lose her life savings, and also caused financial damage to 97 other people who have since sued MetLife with similar claims.
“I am grateful to the jurors for seeing through MetLife’s finger-pointing argument that they weren’t responsible for the loss of my retirement savings.” Ramirez said in statement.
Ramirez was awarded punitive damages from MetLife for $10 million, New England Securities for $2.5 million, New England Life Insurance Co. for 2.5 million, $330,000 from Russon She also received nearly $240,000 in compensatory damages.
Details of the Case
MetLife had allowed Tony Russon, a former managing partner, to promote Friedman’s $200 million real estate scam in insurance sales meetings. Federal authorities later referred to Friedman’s find as a classic Ponzi scheme which would repay some early investors but would leave many with nothing.
“MetLife was aware that the branch office run by Tony Russon was not following MetLife’s own policies and procedures, and… failed to act to correct this dangerous behavior. If they had, Ms. Ramirez and hundreds of others like her would not have been victimized by this investment fraud.” according to attorney Thomas Foley.
Bruce Friedman fled to Europe after being sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission, where he was later arrested in France.