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The Collaborative Clearinghouse for Lawsuits and Other Claims Against ACE Group Insurance Companies

COMBINED INSURANCE COMPANY OF AMERICA v. SWIFT et al

ATTENTION: It is possible that this information may no longer be current and therefore may be inaccurate. The index contains both open and closed cases and is not a complete list of cases in which an ACE Insurance Group company is involved. This information is provided to give interested persons an idea of the issues disputed in the indexed cases. For a full understanding of a case, one should read the rest of the court file, including the response. For the most up-to-date and complete information on a case, visit www.pacer.gov or contact the clerk of the relevant court.

Case Number: 
5:13-cv-00086 Search Pacer
ACE Group party(s): 
Court Type: 
Federal
US District Court: 
Northern District of West Virginia
Date Filed: 
Jul 8 2013

"
8. On or about September 25, 1987, Joan Swift (decedent) applied for an American Agency Life Insurance Company ("American Agency") flexible premium adjustable life insurance policy. On the Application for Life Insurance ("Application"), Joan Swift designated as her primary beneficiary: "Edwin L. Swift, Husband." At the time of Application, Edwin L. Swift was the husband of Joan Swift. Likewise, Joan Swift initially designated "Divided Equally among" as her contingent beneficiary. A Ratification of Change was made to the Policy to designate the Contingent Beneficiary as changed to read "Divided Equally Among Surviving Children." Joan Swift signed the Application verifying the information contained within. See, Application for Life Insurance attached hereto as "Exhibit A" (redacted where necessary).

9. On October 27, 1987, Plaintiff issued a flexible premium adjustable life insurance policy, Policy Number N04055067 ("Policy") on the life of Joan Swift with Edwin L. Swift, named as the primary beneficiary and her surviving children "divided equally" as contingent beneficiaries (Jerry Swift, Vickie Baker, Michael Swift and Bryant Swift, a.k.a. the Defendants). The face amount of the Policy was $100,000.00 and the Policy was set to expire on October 27, 2023. See, Policy attached hereto as "Exhibit B" (redacted where necessary).

10. American Agency was a subsidiary of The Life Insurance Company of Virginia when the Policy was issued and all paperwork received at that time reflected the American Agency name. In December 1987, Globe Life Insurance Company, an affiliate of American Agency, assumed all of American Agency's obligations under the Policy. Globe was later merged into Combined Insurance Company of America. During both of these transitions, the servicing of all policies remained at The Life Insurance Company of Virginia. In 1996, General Electric purchased The Life Insurance Company of Virginia, and the company changed its name to General Electric Life and Annuity Assurance Company ("GELAAC"). In January 2006, GELAAC changed its name to Genworth Life and Annuity Insurance Company ("Genworth"). The Policy at issue is a Combined Insurance Company of America policy, which is serviced by Genworth's customer service center.

11. The insured, Joan Swift, died on September 27, 2009, within the term of the Policy, and the life insurance proceeds of the Policy became due and payable. See, Certificate of Death attached hereto as "Exhibit C" (redacted where necessary).

12. Edwin L. Swift, the original primary beneficiary of the Policy, predeceased his wife.

13. Combined was notified of the death of Joan Swift on or about October 6, 2009, by her son, Defendant Bryant Swift.

14. On October 14, 2009, Combined forwarded to Defendant Bryant Swift, an acknowledgement of Ms. Swift's death, a request for a "Claimant's Statement", a request for an original death certificate and a request for the complete original policy. See, letter attached hereto as "Exhibit D."

15. Defendant Bryant Swift was cooperative in providing the initially requested documentation, but was unsuccessful in obtaining the necessary endorsements of the remaining Defendants (Joan Swift's other surviving children) on a necessary Surviving Children's Statement.

16. Plaintiff unsuccessfully sought the cooperation of the additional Defendants Jerry Swift, Vickie Baker and Michael Swift, so that the Policy proceeds could be paid out, along with any legally accrued interest, and the matter could be amicably resolved, but that cooperation was not forthcoming.

17. On November 30, 2012, Plaintiff contacted Defendant Bryant Swift by letter (improperly spelled as Brian) and advised that "it appears we [plaintiff] will not be receiving the requested signed surviving children's statements...." Likewise, in the same letter, Plaintiff advised Defendant Bryant Swift "that there may be a dispute among the children over entitlement to the proceeds." See, letter attached hereto as "Exhibit E."

18. To date, and in spite of requesting the same, Plaintiff has only received a completed Surviving Children's Statement from Defendant Bryant Swift. See, attached "Exhibit F."

19. As a result of the conflicting claims to the proceeds of the Policy, Plaintiff cannot determine an appropriate distribution of the Policy proceeds without exposing itself to potential multiple liabilities. Plaintiff does not know which of the Defendants it may safely pay the proceeds of the above-mentioned Policy without concern of recourse from the remaining Defendants.

20. Plaintiff has no title, claim or interest in the Policy proceeds and is ready and willing to deposit the lump sum of the Policy proceeds, plus any legally accrued interest, into the Registry of the Court.

21. For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff wishes to interplead the lump sum of the Policy proceeds due under Policy Number N04055067, plus any legally accrued interest, with the Clerk of this Court, said sum to abide the further order of this Court.

22. Plaintiff respectfully requests this Court determine and declare who is the proper party or parties to receive the benefits of the Policy proceeds in question and make a determination as to how the Policy proceeds should be distributed.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff, Combined, respectfully prays that this Court grant relief as follows:

A. This Court approve Plaintiff's deposit of admitted liability in the form of the Policy proceeds in the sum of One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000.00), plus any legally accrued interest (in an amount to be determined), with the Clerk of this Court, said sum to abide the further

Order of this Court;
B. That Defendants each be temporarily enjoined during the pendency of this suit, and thereafter permanently and perpetually enjoined, from commencing any proceeding or prosecuting any claim against Plaintiff and/or its agents in any state or federal court or other forum, with respect to the Policy, and that said injunction be issued without bond or surety;
C. That the Defendants interplead together and among themselves concerning their respective claims to the life insurance proceeds;
D. That this Court enter an Order declaring the rights of the parties to the subject Policy proceeds and directing the Court Registrar as to whom to disburse the Policy proceeds;
E. That this Court enter an Order dismissing Plaintiff from this case, with prejudice, and discharging Plaintiff and/or its agents from any and all liability in relation to Policy Number N04055067 and the subject of this Complaint; and
G. That this Court, in its discretion and to the extent allowed by law, award Plaintiff all of its costs and expense, including but not limited to attorneys' fees incurred in connection with this action, and any such other and further relief as this Court deems appropriate."

The provided text is an excerpt from a document filed in this case. For a full understanding of the case, one should read the complete court file, including the response.

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