Jarrett E. Ganer
Phone: (713) 337-5585
Fax: (713) 337-8845
Jarrett E. Ganer is a partner at McDowell Hetherington LLP and has been with the firm since its inception. Jarrett’s commercial litigation practice focuses on serving clients in the insurance and financial services industries. Over the past decade, Jarrett has actively and successfully represented clients in some of the most complex and novel litigation facing the insurance industry, including several high-profile RICO and antitrust cases.
Jarrett is recognized as one of the nation’s leading trial lawyers on the issue of life settlements and stranger-originated life insurance (STOLI), with extensive experience litigating matters related to secondary market transactions involving life and annuity products. Jarrett also has significant experience advising and representing clients with respect to cost of insurance rate adjustments and market conduct and regulatory issues. The strength in Jarrett’s practice though lies in his ability to bring the same high-quality advocacy and attentive client representation to straightforward coverage disputes as he does to multifaceted, multi-billion dollar class actions.
Beyond insurance, Jarrett provides first-party representation to clients in the energy, construction, and real estate industries. Jarrett seeks to smartly, effectively and efficiently build long term relationships with his clients and puts their needs first. Jarrett’s practice is truly nationwide, having acted as lead counsel on matters in at least 25 states, in both state and federal courts.
Outside of practicing law, Jarrett spends his time with his wife, Loyola, his young daughters, Laura and Emilie, and his German Shepherd Dog, Spock.
- Successfully represented through trial and appeal life insurance carrier seeking rescission of $10 million life insurance policy due to fraud in the application. An affiliate of KBC Bank intervened in the action and counterclaimed, seeking payment of the $10 million death benefit and additional damages. Following a 6-day trial, the Court declared the policy rescinded and EMH’s client was permitted to retain significant premiums paid. The verdict was affirmed by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a life insurer from a federal court in Rhode Island, where the court held that the STOLI policy in question “was void as against public policy”, that the insurer was “the clear innocent victim of the STOLI scheme”, and that the insurer was entitled to retain premiums paid on the policy as special damages. In a published opinion, the First Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s order.
- Successfully defended to unanimous jury verdict life insurer in bad-faith litigation regarding alleged delayed payments of $20 million in death benefits. The jury verdict was affirmed by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Obtained a critical victory for life insurers in a closely watched case before the Delaware Supreme Court. In answering three certified questions, the Court held that life insurers can contest policies for lack of insurable interest beyond the two-year contestability period and reaffirmed the illegality of STOLI under Delaware law. The opinion was examined in a September 26, 2011 article in the Wall Street Journal and has served as a landmark decision in the area of insurable interest and STOLI.
- In an action to rescind a fraudulently obtained life insurance policy in which the policy owner counterclaimed for bad faith and sought payment of $10 million in death benefits, obtained a significant order entering judgment in favor of the life insurance carrier, rescinding the policy and permitting the carrier to retain premiums paid on the policy, over the objection of the third-party premium finance company. In a published opinion, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s order, which is considered a significant victory for life insurance carriers in the ongoing effort to curtail fraud and other STOLI abuses.
- Obtained summary judgment for insurance carrier seeking recovery of several hundred thousand dollars of commissions paid to agents on rescinded life insurance policies.
- In actions in Florida and California to rescind fraudulently obtained life insurance policies, obtained orders denying the defendants’ motions to strike portions of the complaint that sought retention by the carrier of premiums paid. Significantly, the latter order expressly rejected contrary holdings in two prior reported decisions from the Central District of California.
- Obtained dismissal of claims against an insurance carrier in a suit brought by an insured under a policy seeking to hold the carrier liable for negligent issuance of a life insurance policy and vicariously liable for an insurance agent’s misrepresentations.
- In an action to compel arbitration, obtained dismissal with prejudice for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted.
- In an action for breach of contract, violation of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, and fraud, obtained final summary judgment in favor of American General Life Insurance Company. The district court’s decision was affirmed by the Texas First Court of Appeals.
- In an action for breach of contract, bad faith, and violations of the Texas Insurance Code, obtained final summary judgment in favor of Standard Guarantee Insurance Company.
- Successfully obtained a temporary restraining order, precluding a lockout of energy traders by former partners in a joint-venture agreement.
PUBLICATIONS & SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS
“STOLI: Hedging Insurable Interest,” white paper presented at numerous conferences (with Tom Hetherington and David McDowell).
- United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas
- United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
- United States District Court for the Western District of Texas
- United States Court of Appeals for the First, Eighth and Ninth Circuits
- Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., 2006
- Rice University, B.A., Political Science/Slavic Studies, 2003