Last year, the Texas Supreme Court concluded that life settlements agreements in a case before it were investments and therefore securities.
This year, a Texas Court of Appeals case looked at a similar set of facts and concluded there was no reason to distinguish the case from the Texas Supreme Court opinion.
In Matlock v. Hill, the Court of Appeals of Texas, Seventh District (Amarillo), affirmed an award of damages based on claims of “fraud arising under both the Texas Securities Act and common law”:
Like that recently addressed by our Supreme Court in Life Partners, Inc. v. Arnold, 464 S.W.3d 660 (Tex. 2015), the primary issue before us is whether a life settlement is a security under the Texas Securities Act. Charles Matlock marketed life settlements on behalf of A&O Life Fund and induced Gerald and Martha Hill to purchase same via two different transactions. The total sum the Hills paid for those interests was $100,000.00. After A&O filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and the Hills lost approximately 9/10th of the value of their investment, they sued Matlock individually and as Matlock Insurance Agency (his company’s name). The causes of action sounded in fraud arising under both the Texas Securities Act and the common law. They sought damages, the rescission of the transactions, and attorney’s fees. Trial was to the court which entered judgment for the Hills. Though the trial court did not specify in the decree the particular cause of action upon which it allowed recovery, it nonetheless awarded ‘Plaintiffs . . . actual damages from the Defendant in the sum of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00), less the eleven thousand nine hundred and sixty dollars and thirty-six cents ($11,960.36) received by the Plaintiffs through different sources, which totals eighty-eight thousand thirty-nine dollars and sixty-four cents ($88,039.64).’ Findings of fact and conclusions of law were subsequently executed by the trial court in effort to illustrate the grounds underlying its decision. Matlock appealed. We affirm.
Last year’s Secondary Insurance Market Blog posts on the Texas Supreme Court’s decision on Life Partners v. Arnold and aftermath are here:
- Texas Supreme Court: Life Settlements Agreements Were Securities;
- How the Texas Supreme Court, in Life Settlements v. Arnold, Concluded that Life Settlements Agreements Were Investments and Thus Securities;
- Texas Supreme Court Describes Life Settlements Transactions in Detail; and
- Report: Life Partners Decision Breathes New Life into Securities Lawsuits.