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life insurance

Oct 25, 2017

Ex-wife can get life insurance proceeds

A Charleston County woman will be able to receive the proceeds from her ex-husband’s life insurance policy, a federal judge has ruled. In a case issue of first impression, the judge said that an order resolving the couple’s marital debt and custody of their children qualified as a divorce order for the purposes of a […]

Mar 29, 2016

ERISA ruling shows strength of law’s preemption provision

Sometimes, it’s just hard to get around ERISA. The federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act sets a number of minimum standards for voluntary employee benefit plans, with the aim of protecting plan participants and beneficiaries. But the law also includes expansive preemption provisions, which make it exceedingly difficult for beneficiaries to bring claims against plan […]

Dec 8, 2014

Insurance — Life – Breach of Implied Contract Claim – Reconsideration Motion

McKown v. Symetra Life Insurance Co. (Lawyers Weekly No. 002-241-14, 6 pp.) (R. Bryan Harwell, J.) 4:13-cv-00982; D.S.C. Holding: A reasonable jury could determine that, by accepting a premium payment and depositing the funds, and only returning the premium after three weeks had passed and the defendant-insurer had been informed of the insured’s death, an […]

Dec 4, 2014

Insurance — Universal Life – Cancellation – Breach of Implied Contract Claim

McKown v. Symetra Life Insurance Co. (Lawyers Weekly No. 002-239-14, 8 pp.) (R. Bryan Harwell, J.) 4:13-cv-00982; D.S.C. Holding: After plaintiff’s father’s life insurance policy lapsed due to an insufficient premium payment, plaintiff sent in the outstanding premium amount but not the additional documentation that defendant had requested. There is a jury question as to […]

Feb 1, 2013

The difference between lying and committing fraud

Lorenzo Smallwood fibbed when he filled out an application for life insurance in 2007. He wrote that he’d never been treated for a mental disorder or alcohol dependency, and hadn’t recently used cocaine. In fact, the year before, he expressed concerns to a doctor that he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder from his time in Iraq and reported that he drank heavily and used cocaine.

Jan 29, 2013

Insurance – Life – Application – Misrepresentations – Intent to Defraud – Directed Verdict

Shenandoah Life Insurance Co. v. Smallwood The evidence would have supported several explanations for why the decedent gave false answers to questions on his life insurance application about his alcohol and drug use.

Jun 27, 2012

Bankruptcy – Exemptions – ‘Liquid Asset’ – Life Insurance – Cash Surrender Value

In re Wilde The cash surrender value of a life insurance policy is not a “liquid asset”; therefore, the debtor cannot claim the cash surrender value of his life insurance policy as an exemption under S.C. Code Ann. § 15-41-30(A)(5). The trustee’s objection is sustained, and the debtor’s claimed exemption is disallowed. Black’s Law Dictionary defines a “liquid asset” a[...]

Oct 18, 2011

Attorneys – Fiduciary Duty – Question of Law – Breach – Question of Fact – Former Client – Trusts & Estates – Life Insurance

Spence v. Wingate Although the existence of a fiduciary duty is a question of law for the court, our Court of Appeals was correct that there is a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the defendant-attorney breached his fiduciary duty to his former client. We modify and affirm the Court of Appeals’ decision, which reversed the circuit court’s grant of partial summary judgmen[...]

May 20, 2011

Labor & Employment – ERISA – Life Insurance – Benefits Denied – Premiums Refunded

McCravy v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co. A bank employee who paid for life insurance for her daughter through her employee benefit plan, but who was denied insurance benefits when her 25-year-old daughter died, is not entitled to the insurance proceeds as "equitable relief" for the insurance carrier's breach of fiduciary duty after the daughter was no longer eligible for the insurance; the 4[...]

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