West Virginia Record

Monday, December 9, 2019

Man files suit over validity of father's life insurance forms

By Cara Bailey | Feb 2, 2007

CHARLESTON - A Kanawha County man filed a suit on behalf of the estate of his deceased father against the company that issued his father's life insurance and a woman claiming her infant child is the decedent's son.

Walter Paul Wyatt McDerment III filed the suit Jan. 23 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, Kanawha Eagle Coal and Rachel Skeens, the woman who claims her child's father is Walter McDerment Jr.

McDerment Jr. died Dec. 24, 2006, as a result of trauma. His employer, Kanawha Eagle Coal, provided a life insurance policy for him which was to be paid to McDerment's beneficiaries.

The suit states that on the beneficiary forms, the infant is identified as the decedent's son.

"However, an employee of Respondent Insurance Services advised there were inconsistencies existed in the signatures and other handwriting on decedent's life insurance application and beneficiary forms," the suit states.

McDerment III claims in his suit that the designation of the infant as the beneficiary may not have been the voluntary act of his father, and there is doubt if the infant is actually the son of the decedent. There is no paternal information on the birth certificate, and McDerment III was told the mother receives support from another individual, the suit says.

The signature and designation of the said beneficiary raised questions as to the validity of the forms, and McDerment seeks no money be paid by the insurance companies to anyone until further notice from the court. Also, he asked an attorney be appointed for the minor and the court hear evidence on the matter.

Also named as defendants in the suit are Medical Life Insurance Company, Insurance Services and Newtown Energy.

Gerald R. Lacy is McDerment's attorney, and the case has been assigned to Judge Louis Bloom.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 07-C-141

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