ORLANDO — The Prudential Insurance Co. of America is seeking the court's assistance in determining who is the beneficiary to a life insurance policy.
The Prudential Insurance Co. of America filed a complaint
on Aug. 5 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida against Michelle K. Dinkins, Carol L. Hoffman, Brenda Michelle Rucker-Penland and Alisha L. Penland-Kowsky.
According to the complaint, the late Mark E. Penland was a veteran of United States Air Forces and was eligible for Veterans' Group Life Insurance amounting to $250,000 provided by the plaintiff through the Office of Servicemembers Group Life Insurance. The suit states that Hoffman is Penland's mother, Dinkins is his widow, Rucker-Penland is his former spouse, and Penland-Kowsky is his daughter.
The suit states that Penland died on March 23 with the death being ruled as a homicide and that death benefits in the amount of $250,000 became payable to the beneficiaries. Hoffman, Dinkins and Rucker-Penland have all filed claims to the benefits, the suit states. However, the plaintiff alleges Dinkins might be disqualified from receiving the benefits because she was initially a suspect in connection with Penland's death, but the state attorney's office declined to file charges due to the state's Stand Your Ground Law and the investigation was closed.
The plaintiff states it is ready to pay death benefits to whomever the court designates, but it cannot determine who is entitled to the benefits.
The plaintiff seeks requirement of the defendants to answer this complaint in interpleader, permission to deposit with the court full death benefit amount, discharge the plaintiff from any and all further liability, attorney's fees, costs and further relief that the court deems just and proper. The plaintiff is represented by Sheena M. Murray of Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer PA in Orlando.
U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida case number 5:16-cv-00506