PENSACOLA — An insurer is suing policy beneficiaries First United Methodist Church of Pensacola and Joseph Donald Weatherford, seeking interpleader.

Jackson National Life Insurance Co. filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida against the defendants alleging that they breached their duties of good faith and fair dealing.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that on April 8, 1993, it issued a life insurance policy to William D. Weatherford that has a death benefit of approximately $192,000. On Aug. 22, 2016, William Weatherford died and had First United Methodist Church of Pensacola as the designated beneficiary of the death benefit under the policy. However, on Sept. 6, 2016, the plaintiff received a Beneficiary Designation Supplement Form designating Joseph Weatherford as the primary beneficiary to receive 100% of the benefit, which was signed on Sept. 2, 2015, William Weatherford but was not submitted for recording. 

The plaintiff holds First United Methodist Church of Pensacola and Joseph Donald Weatherford responsible because they allegedly caused confusion about the true and lawful beneficiary of the death benefit under the insurance policy as a result of the adverse claims made by both parties, was exposed to multiple liability and caused the plaintiff to retain services and pay for legal fees.

The plaintiff seeks indemnify and/or discharge plaintiff from any liability, order each defendant to interplead and settle among each other their respective rights, attorney's fees, costs incurred and further relief that the court deems just. They are represented by D. Ty Jackson, George T. Levesque and Ashley Hoffman Lukis of Gray-Robinson PA in Tallahassee.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida Case number 16-cv-00622

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