MARTINSBURG – Two daughters are suing Life Insurance Company of North America for not paying out their father’s insurance benefits to them.
Forrest J. Boggs III died on April 29, 2016, and, at the time of his death, he had two policies of life insurance—one for $80,000 and one for $15,000, both issued by LICNA, according to a complaint filed May 9 in Mineral Circuit Court and removed to federal court on June 14.
Tina Lynch and Cynthia Rounds claim at the time of his death, Boggs’ ex-wife, who was his second wife and not their natural mother, was designated at the beneficiary of his life insurance policies.
After his divorce, Boggs had attempted to change his beneficiary designation, making Lynch his designated beneficiary for both policies, unbeknownst to Lynch.
After Boggs’ death, Lynch contacted an employee of Verso in an effort to determine what, if any, benefits were due the estate and, following an exchange of information, she was informed that she was the beneficiary, according to the suit.
Lynch and Rounds claim Verso handed the claim off to LICNA and Lynch was informed that the claim for life insurance benefits would be paid “according to the preference clause” in the policy.
In December, Rounds received a check from the defendant for $47,533.80 and Lynch was informed that her claim had been approved for $47,533.80, according to the suit.
Lynch and Round claim on Dec. 27, Lynch received a phone call from an employee with LICNA that informed her that a mistake had been made and that the insurance benefits paid to both Lynch and Rounds must be returned.
On Jan. 12, a letter was sent to Lynch informing her that an employee of LICNA had removed the current balance from her Cigna assurance account and closed the account. The employee further demanded that Lynch return the $7,000 that Lynch had withdrawn, according to the suit.
The plaintiffs claim Lynch sent a check for the $7,000 as instructed by the employee.
On Feb. 22, Lynch received a check to the “Forrest J. Boggs Estate” in the amount of $7,000 from Cigna Group Insurance with no further explanation, according to the suit.
The plaintiffs claim LICNA paid the entirely of the insurance policies benefits to Boggs’ ex-wife.
The defendant’s actions were done in bad faith and, in removing the balance of Lynch’s Cigna Assurance account in January, its actions constituted theft, according to the suit.
The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory and punitive damages. They are being represented by James M. Barber of the Law Office of James M. Barber.
The defendants are represented by John C. Lynch of Troutman Sanders.
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia case number: 3:17-cv-00070