Beneficiary Causing The Death Of The Insured

Arlington life insurance lawyers should read this 1918 case. It is still good law with good reasoning. It is from the Beaumont Court of Appeals and is styled, Murchison et al. v. Murchison et al. The case says:
It was alleged in the petition that G.R. Murchison was the father, and Dailey Murchison and Ross Murchison, Jr., were the brothers, and said Dora Faris the sister, of the said R.H. Murchison, who, it was alleged, died on the 14th of April, 1915; and it was further alleged that the said Margurite Murchison was the wife of said R.H. Murchison at the time of his death. It was further alleged that the said R.H. Murchison left no child or children surviving him. It was further alleged that the policy of insurance made the basis of the suit was issued by the Royal Indemnity Company and was in full force and effect at the time of the death of said R.H. Murchison. It was further shown by the petition of plaintiffs that said policy provided that upon the death of said R.H. Murchison, the proceeds thereof should be paid to the said Margurite Murchison as sole beneficiary. It was further alleged in the petition that the said R.H. Murchison met his death at the hands of his said wife, Margurite Murchison, who feloniously killed and murdered him with the intention and for the purpose of securing and obtaining the money which it was provided by the terms of said policy should be paid to her upon the death of said R.H. Murchison.
It was then alleged, substantially, that because of the fact that the said Margurite Murchison did feloniously kill and murder the said R.H. Murchison, she forfeited all right and interest that she otherwise might have had in and to the proceeds of said policy of insurance as the beneficiary named therein; and, further, it was substantially alleged that because of the fact that the said Margurite Murchison feloniously killed and murdered said R.H. Murchison, she was not only prevented from claiming and recovering from the Royal Indemnity Company the amount of money stipulated to be paid her as beneficiary in said policy, but also that she thereby forfeited any and all right and interest in and to the proceeds of said policy in the hands of said Royal Indemnity Company, and was not, in law, entitled to have said proceeds or any part thereof under the law of descent and distribution of this state, but that plaintiffs, as the father, brothers, and sister of said R.H. Murchison, by reason of such relationship to him, immediately upon the death of said R.H. Murchison became and were entitled to recover of said Royal Indemnity Company the proceeds of said policy still in its hands, as the heirs and next of kin of the said R.H. Murchison. The petition is quite lengthy, and for the purposes of this opinion it is entirely unnecessary to quote the same in full, and we think that the foregoing substantial statement of the material allegations will be sufficient for the disposition here.
The first question is this: Can one who is named as sole beneficiary in a life insurance policy, and who feloniously kills the insured for the purpose and with the intention of accelerating the due date of such policy and collecting the money to be paid to such beneficiary thereunder, recover the proceeds of such policy against the company issuing same, in accordance with the provisions of the policy? In other words, can such beneficiary, under such circumstances, recover upon the contract of insurance? The Supreme Court of this state has never decided this question, in so far as we have been able to ascertain, but we are not left in the dark in the matter, because we find that no less eminent authority than the Supreme Court of the United States long ago decided this very question. In that case we find this expression in the opinion of the court:
“It would be a reproach to the jurisprudence of the country, if one could recover insurance money payable on the death of a party whose life he had feloniously taken. As well might he recover insurance money upon a building that he had willfully fired.”
This case discussed a couple of other issues not relevant here. What is relevant the findings of this case are now found in Texas Insurance Code, Section 110.151.

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