The final touches on the Prudential Insurance churning scandal, which began close to a decade ago, were approved by a federal judge this week. U.S. District Judge Alfred Wolin, who has presided over the case for most of that decade, approved $90 million in fees for the attorneys who directed the $3 billion case against the insurer. The $90 million was the maximum allowed per the settlement made 3 years ago.
“This is the last chapter being closed,” said Prudential spokeswoman Mary Flowers. “Paying the legal fees really completes the remediation process.”
Melvyn Weiss, of the New York law firm Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach, led the team of attorneys representing more than 20 firms. The first received $44.5 million in 1998 for fees and expenses, drawing an additional $10 million last year. Judge Wolin’s ruling means they may draw the remaining $35.5 million from an escrow account.
“We ended up doing much more work than contemplated,” Weiss said, “and the remediation was much more than anyone thought.”
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