I will preface this blog entry by stating that I do not fault the Texas Department of Insurance for the Rule 11 Agreement if giving up litigation against NPS/Lincoln Memorial (and the various individuals) was the price extracted for gaining control of the companies and the preneed records. Someone needed to take action, and I commend Texas for taking the lead.
However, the Texas Department of Insurance has requested that I clarify my May 27th (Texas Hold’em) blog entry. Here is their statement:
I would like to address the comments that you posted on the Death Care Compliance Law website on May 27, 2008 concerning the Rule 11 Agreement. To clarify: the Receiver has not agreed to forgo bringing litigation against anyone. In order to avoid the expense, time, and uncertainty of a trial, the Receiver agreed not to bring suit against certain entities and individuals in Texas. The Receiver and the SDR have not foreclosed an analysis of whether it would be efficient and in the best interests of Memorial, Lincoln, and NPS to file lawsuits to recover any and all available assets. We would appreciate your including this clarification in your blog, as well a link to http://www.tdi.state.tx.us/life/cpmmemorial.html, which includes Frequently Asked Questions concerning the companies.
Funeral directors and consumers would take comfort in the fact that the Texas Department of Insurance (or any other of the various states agencies) will do what is necessary, including litigation, to recover at least a portion of the missing funds. However, it does not make sense to state that Texas regulators gave up bringing a lawsuit in Texas (as opposed to Missouri) to avoid expense, time and the uncertainty of a trial.
Texas did what it had to for the sake of gaining control of NPS and its records. If other states (Missouri) do not step up to do their share in recovering assets, then it looks like Texas has found its ‘out’ with regard to the Rule 11 Agreement. However, Texas should not have to go this one alone.