ORLANDO — A plan administrator is suing two woman seeking interpleader.
Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. filed a complaint on Nov. 23, in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida against Barbara M. Avery of Suffolk County, Massachusetts, and S. Avery Smith of Seminole County, alleging that they failed to settle among themselves the rightful beneficiary.
According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that it issued a basic life insurance coverage to the the defendants' father for $22,000 naming his spouse, Irene Avery, as primary beneficiary. However, Irene Avery died before him, which entitled contingent beneficiary, Barbara Avery, to receive 100% of the benefits upon his death on Oct. 13, 2015. But in November 2015, Smith contacted the plaintiff alleging that she is the sole beneficiary as evidenced by a letter from the decedent. The letter was not processed and the plaintiff has denied her potential claim. Smith further challenged that the proceeds of the policy should flow to the estate of the insured.
The plaintiff holds Barbara Avery and Smith responsible because they allegedly caused confusion to the plaintiff as to the true and lawful beneficiary of the death benefit under the insurance policy, as a result of the adverse claims made by both parties and becomes exposed to multiple liability and caused the plaintiff to retain services and pay for legal fees.
The plaintiff seeks to require the defendants to litigate or settle between themselves their claim for the plan benefits, permit the plaintiff to pay into the registry of the court the plan benefit and upon such payment dismiss plaintiff from any further liability and further relief, including attorney's fees and costs, as the court deems just. The company is represented by Stephanie A. Segalini and Andrew J.J. Collinson of Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP in Tampa.
U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida Case number 16-cv-02047