A Montana legal services charity will receive $1.2 million from a law firm that represented plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit over insurance fees, state regulators said Friday.
Montana Securities and Insurance Commissioner Monica Lindeen said the money for Montana Justice Foundation will help bolster its efforts to provide legal services for people who can't afford an attorney.
The class-action case, settled last year for $355 million, stemmed from allegations that Farmers Group Inc. charged excessive fees to customers.
After less than a third of more than 160,000 eligible Montanans submitted claims in the case, much of the settlement money was to be returned to subsidiaries of Farmers. That drew objections from Lindeen's office and officials from four other states.
Lindeen's chief legal counsel, Jesse Laslovich, said the plaintiffs' attorneys agreed to the payment to the Montana Justice Foundation rather than risk having the $455 million settlement unravel. Laslovich said the attorneys received more than $70 million from the case.