Articles Posted in Life Insurance

For attorneys handling life insurance cases here is news:

In early November, the Law Offices of Mark S. Humphreys, settled another life insurance case. The details are confidential as part of the agreement but here is what can be discussed.

The case involved a lady who had purchased coverage on herself years ago but when she moved from one state to another, she changed banks without forwarding the information to the insurance company and thus, the automatic bank drafts ceased and she had a lapse in coverage. She corrected the lapse within three months but as part of renewal of the policy she had to re-affirm her health conditions. In doing so, the insurance company claimed that her health condition had changed for the worse and that this change was not truthfully disclosed in the renewal application. When the lady died eight months later, her daughter, the beneficiary under the policy, made a claim for benefits. The life insurance company began an investigation and discovered the health conditions that had not disclosed in the renewal application and denied the daughter the life insurance benefits.

Here is another case for life insurance lawyers to read and make part of their knowledge of life insurance cases involving ERISA.  The case is from the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division.  The case style is, Stephanie Taylor v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.

This ERISA life insurance case was decided on motions for summary judgment in favor of MetLife.

Stephanie is the beneficiary under a policy of life insurance insuring her husband, Jonathan.  They had a policy of Basic Employee Life Insurance for $136,000 and $271,000 of Supplemental Employee Life Insurance.

The Law Office of Mark S. Humphreys, P.C. is pleased to announce a settlement in a life insurance dispute between Mark’s client and the wife of a lady who killed her husband, claiming the killing was self-defense.

Mark’s client was the daughter of the deceased husband and the secondary beneficiary under the life insurance policy.

The primary beneficiary was the wife.

How does Federal law work with the Texas Slayer Statute, Texas Insurance Code, Section 1103.151?

This question is answered in the 1992, Fifth Circuit opinion styled, Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. v. White.

This is a summary judgement case.  Terri Yohey was the named insured under a group life insurance policy issued by Metropolitan under the Federal Employees Group Life Insurance Act (FEGLIA).  At the time of her death she had not designated a beneficiary.  Her widower, Leslie Yohey, was convicted of her murder.

What happens when the named beneficiary on a life insurance policy intentionally causes the death of the insured?  That was the question in this case from the Western District of Texas, San Antonio Division, opinion styled, Garrett Bean and Aneila Bean v. Minerva Alcorta.

Plaintiff’s father,Garry, has a $130,000 life insurance policy under which Alcorta was named the primary beneficiary and Garrett and Aneila were secondary beneficiaries of 50% each of the policy.

Alcorta was charged with intentional first degree murder of Garry.

The Law Office of Mark Humphreys, P.C., is pleased to announce the settlement of a life insurance case wherein the life insurance company recognized they owed the policy benefits but was unsure who was entitled to the money.

In this case, the deceased had named his wife as the primary beneficiary and his wife’s son, from a previous marriage, as the secondary beneficiary.  The deceased had divorced his wife prior to his death without changing the beneficiaries under the policy.

By operation of Texas law and no exceptions applying, the divorce resulted in the ex-wife being automatically excluded as a beneficiary under the policy.  This meant the claim went to the secondary beneficiary, the son of the ex-wife and Mark’s client.

Life insurance claims that are denied for missed payments of premiums is pretty common.  This issue was discussed in a Southern District of Texas, Houston Division, opinion styled, Colonial Penn Life Insurance Company v. Ashley E. Parker, et al.

Robert Parker applied for a whole life policy with Colonial on October 30, 2014.  Ashley Parker and Aden Barron were beneficiaries of the policy.  The policy was issued on November 20, 2014.

On June 22, 2015, seven months later, Parker died in a car wreck.  A claim for benefits were made on the life insurance policy.

The Law Office of Mark S. Humphreys, P.C., recently got a surprise for his client when contesting an ERISA life insurance claim.

The insured worked in Louisiana and had a life insurance policy through his employer. The insured was not married and did not have any children. Thus, the insured named his brother’s child as the beneficiary of his life insurance policy. The amount of the policy was $100,000. The insured was killed in a one vehicle accident. A claim was made for benefits. The plan administrator denied the claim benefit based on an exclusion if the deceased died as the result of intoxication. The toxicology report indicated proof of cocaine in the body of the insured at the time of the accident.

Mark hired a toxicology expert to write a report and contested the denial of benefits through the administrative process that has to be followed in ERISA claims. The report pointed out that the amount of cocaine in the system of the deceased was stated as being a “trace” amount. The toxicology expert report pointed out there was no way to prove intoxication had anything to do with the cause of death when the amount is just a “trace.”

Here is a life insurance case that involves a plan under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).  It is a 2018, 5th Circuit Court of Appeals case styled, Jason Crawford v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.

This is a summary judgment case granted in favor of MetLife.  This Court sustained the ruling in favor of MetLife.

The deceased, Tracy Crawford, worked as a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines.  Tracy enrolled in the company offered life insurance benefit plan in 2008, and submitted a paper document naming her great-nephew as the primary beneficiary.

Life Insurance cases can have a surprising number of twists to them.  Readers of the DallasFortWorthInsuranceBlog have seen some of these various twists.

The U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division, issued an opinion in a case styled, Reliastar Life Insurance v. Trina R. Wiemer, Laura R. Weimer, and Roderich W. Weimer, Jr., which is interesting.

This case is an interpleader action.  Reliastar issued a life insurance policy on the life of Vincent H. Weimer, who died on August 19, 2017.  The policy was for $3,000,000.00 and this amount is claimed by competing persons.  Because of these competing persons, Reliastar filed this interpleader action pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 22 and 28 U.S.C. Section 1335.