Prudential Financial, Inc.
Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements
Commitments and Guarantees, Contingencies and Litigation (continued)
terms of the settlement and the number of claim forms received. The Company also recorded additional charges of $390 million before taxes to recognize the increase in estimated total additional sales practices costs.
In 1998, the Company recorded an additional charge of $510 million before taxes to recognize the increase of the estimated total cost of remedying policyholder claims to a total of $2,560 million before taxes. This increase was based on (1) estimates derived from an analysis of claims actually remedied (including interest); (2) a sample of claims still to be remedied; (3) an estimate of additional liabilities associated with a claimant’s right to “appeal” the Company’s decision; and (4) an estimate of an additional liability associated with the results of an investigation by a court-appointed independent expert regarding the impact of the Company’s failure to properly implement procedures to preserve all documents relevant to the class action and remediation program. The Company also recorded additional charges of $640 million before taxes to recognize the increase in estimated total additional sales practices costs.
In 1999, the Company recorded an increase of $199 million of the estimate of total additional sales practices costs. This increase was partially offset by a $99 million release of the previously recorded liability relative to remedy costs reflecting a decrease in the estimate of the total costs of remedying policyholder claims.
In 2000, the Company recorded an increase of $54 million of the estimate of total additional sales practices costs. This increase was offset by a $54 million release of the previously recorded liability relative to remedy costs reflecting a decrease in the estimate of the total costs of remedying policyholder claims.
In addition, the Company retained all liabilities for the litigation associated with its discontinued healthcare business that existed at the date of closing with Aetna (August 6, 1999), or commenced within two years of that date, with respect to claims relating to events that occurred prior to the closing date. This litigation includes purported class actions and individual suits involving various issues, including payment of claims, denial of benefits, vicarious liability for malpractice claims, and contract disputes with provider groups and former policyholders. Some of the purported class actions challenge practices of the Company’s former managed care operations and assert nationwide classes. On October 23, 2000, by Order of the Judicial Panel on Multi-district Litigation, a number of these class actions were consolidated for pre-trial purposes, along with lawsuits pending against other managed health care companies, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida in a consolidated proceeding captioned In Re Managed Care Litigation. Some of these class actions allege, among other things, misrepresentation of the level of services and quality of care, failure to disclose financial incentive agreements with physicians, interference with the physician-patient relationship, breach of contract and fiduciary duty, violations of ERISA, violations of and conspiracy to violate RICO, deprivation of plaintiffs’ rights to the delivery of honest medical services and industry-wide conspiracy to defraud physicians by failing to pay under provider agreements and by unlawfully coercing providers to enter into agreements with unfair and unreasonable terms. The remedies sought include unspecified damages, restitution, disgorgement of profits, treble damages, punitive damages and injunctive relief. Motions to dismiss certain of the amended complaints and plaintiff’s motions to certify nationwide classes in the consolidated proceedings are pending. In one of the consolidated actions the court granted our motion to dismiss, in part.
A joint venture in which an affiliate of Prudential Securities Group Inc. is a participant brought an arbitration claim against Kyocera Corporation alleging, among other things, claims of breach of contract relating to the manufacture and distribution of computer disk drives. The arbitration panel decided in favor of the claimants. The Company’s share of damages, with interest, would exceed $250 million. A federal district court in the Northern District of California has confirmed the award and entered judgment in favor of the claimants. Kyocera Corporation has appealed the decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. As with any litigation, the outcome remains uncertain until all appeals have been concluded or the time to appeal has expired and, accordingly, the Company has not included the award in its results of operations.
The Company’s litigation is subject to many uncertainties, and given the complexity and scope, the outcomes cannot be predicted. It is possible that the results of operations or the cash flow of the Company in a particular quarterly or annual period could be materially affected by an ultimate unfavorable resolution of pending litigation and regulatory matters depending, in part, upon the results of operations or cash flow for such period. Management believes,
Prudential Financial 2001 Annual Report