Life insurance claims which are denied, often end up being litigated in Federal Court. Here is a case from the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division, which illustrates why an experienced insurance law attorney is needed, particularly when the case is going to be litigated in Federal Court. The opinion discusses more than will be discussed here and is a must read for lawyers handling a case in Federal Court. The opinion is styled, State Farm Life Insurance Company v. Mae Katheryn Bryant and Amy Cannon.
Factually, Cannon and Bryant both submitted claims to recover Policy proceeds of $300,000.00 after the insured’s death. Cannon contends that she is entitled to the policy proceeds as the primary beneficiary under the Policy. Bryant maintains that she is entitled to the Policy proceeds as the successor beneficiary under the Policy and as the mother and heir of her son because the Insured’s and Cannon’s divorce decree did not designate Cannon as a beneficiary under the Policy,and the Insured did not re-designate Cannon as his beneficiary under the Policy after their divorce as required by Texas law. The Court eventually ruled against Cannon being entitled to any policy proceeds.