Life Insurance Denial

Fort Worth life insurance attorneys will want to ready this Dallas case. The case is styled, Bich Ngoc Nguyen v. Allstate Insurance Company and Lincoln Benefit Life Insurance Company. The opinion is from the Dallas Court of Appeals and was issued on May 29, 2013.
Here is some relevant information from this summary judgement case:
On May 12, 2008, Bich’s mother, Anh Nguyen (Ahn), contacted Suong Truong, an insurance agent, about purchasing life insurance. Anh did not speak, read, or write English and discussed the purchase with Truong in Vietnamese. Truong completed the application for life insurance in English, and Anh signed the application. In the application, Anh answered “no” to questions about any existing health conditions, including whether, in the past ten years, she had been treated for, had any sign or symptom of, or been told that she had a lung disorder. She also denied that she had seen a doctor or been hospitalized during the five years preceding the application. Truong submitted the application for life insurance to Lincoln.
On May 21, 2008, Anh underwent a physical examination in her home as part of the application for life insurance. Kryston Fautheree conducted the examination and asked Anh a series of questions about her medical history. Fautheree did not speak Vietnamese, and one of Anh’s relatives translated the questions and Anh’s answers. The questionnaire from the examination indicates Anh answered “no” when questioned about existing health conditions, including lung or breathing problems, and denied that she had seen a doctor during the last five years. Anh signed the completed questionnaire from the examination.
In June 2008, while a patient in a hospital, Anh signed an “Amendment of Application and Statement of Health” indicating that since the original application date she (1) had not applied for life insurance elsewhere, (2) had not consulted with or been examined or treated by a physician or practitioner, or (3) had any change in health and insurability as indicated in the application or exam. On June 9, 2008, Lincoln issued the life insurance policy. Anh was diagnosed with lung cancer on June 17, 2008, and died from the cancer on September 8, 2008.
Bich, the primary beneficiary of the life insurance policy, filed a claim on the policy with Lincoln on September 29, 2008. On October 9, 2008, Lincoln informed Bich that it was conducting a routine investigation because Anh had died within two years of the policy’s start date. Allstate conducted the investigation for Lincoln and learned Anh had a history of lung problems dating to September 2007. Anh had seen a doctor about coughing and shortness of breath over fifteen times prior to applying for life insurance, had abnormal lung x-rays and CT scans, had been taking a number of prescription medications for coughing and shortness of breath, had been hospitalized for a week in January 2008 due to coughing and shortness of breath, and had received a tentative diagnosis of tuberculosis. On December 11, 2008, Lincoln rescinded the policy based on Anh’s alleged misrepresentations in the application process and refunded the premiums Anh had paid.
Bich sued Truong, and The Suong Truong Insurance Agency based on Lincoln’s rescission of the policy. Lincoln filed a counterclaim seeking to recover its attorney’s fees. Shortly before the scheduled trial date, defendants filed a combined no-evidence and traditional motion for summary judgment. Bich responded to the motion and filed almost 650 pages of summary judgment evidence. Defendants filed objections to Bich’s summary judgment evidence and a reply to Bich’s response. Defendants asserted in their reply that Bich had made global assertions in her response that the 650 pages of summary judgment evidence raised an issue of material fact. Defendants argued it was insufficient to respond to a motion for summary judgment by referring to entire documents attached as evidence without identifying where an issue is addressed in the documents.
The plaintiffs lost this appeal. Without knowing more facts than we are told, it appears that there were many things done wrong in this case. Or it may have been a situation where the court ruled in favor of the defendants because there were two times when the alleged misrepresentations were made during the application process. One thing is for certain – an experienced Insurance Law Attorney needs to be involved in these cases when a life insurance policy is denied due to alleged misrepresentations in the application.

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