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How To Win A Denied Accidental Death Life Insurance Claim

At the DiGeorge Life Insurance Law Firm, we see all kinds of interesting cases from every state in the country. The first step to winning a denied accidental death (AD&D) life insurance claim is to hire the right law firm so do your research. Bigger does not mean better. There are some giant law firms that have lots of commercials on TV; but that does not mean they are better at winning denied life insurance claims. Think of two fishing boats. One boat is a beautiful sport fishing yacht and game fish are line hooked and reeled-in, one at a time. The other fishing boat is a giant trawler that lays out miles of net. It scours everything from the ocean keeping a few and discarding the rest. Now imagine that those big firms are like that factory fishing boat. Chances are good that unless your case is a lay-up, they are going to throw it back into the ocean. They keep the easy, quick to pay cases and discard the rest.

Find a firm that knows how to win the hard ones! The DiGeorge Firm wins the tough ones. We win many previously denied accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) claims. We win many cases involving murder and homicide. We win cases where the coroner got the cause of death wrong.

When the life insurance companies see an appeal come from the life insurance policy lawyers at DiGeorge Life Insurance Law, they know we aren’t just throwing mud at the wall. Contact us anytime, day or night for a completely free consultation. Remember, we don’t get a penny unless we win.

Victims in Colorado Springs nightclub shooting identified

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Nov 21 (Reuters) – Colorado Springs officials on Monday identified the five shooting victims who died and the two heroes who prevented further bloodshed at the LGBTQ nightclub where a gunman opened fire on Saturday night.

Another 17 people were wounded by gunfire in the rampage. Police said they had yet to determine a motive, but the city’s mayor and LGBTQ rights groups said the attack bore the hallmarks of a hate crime. The suspected shooter, a 22-year-old man, remained under arrest at a hospital, presumably for injuries sustained when a decorated former Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran pummeled him in a successful effort to stop the assault at Club Q in Colorado’s second-largest city.

Club Q, one of the only places for LGBTQ people to gather in Colorado Springs, attracted a diverse crowd of queer people and straight allies. On Sunday, which was Transgender Day of Remembrance, the club was planning to mark the occasion with a “drag brunch” and a nighttime show “with a variety of gender identities and performance styles.”

Police held him on initial charges including five counts of first-degree murder and bias crimes, but prosecutors said they expected to file formal criminal charges that may differ once he is out of the hospital. The suspect, Anderson Lee Aldrich, was known to law enforcement, having been arrested in June 2021 after his mother reported he threatened to detonate a bomb and harm her with multiple weapons, according to a news release from the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office.

Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez instead tried to focus Monday’s news conference on the victims. He identified the dead as Kelly Loving, Daniel Aston, Derrick Rump, Ashley Paugh and Raymond Green Vance.

Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers also paid tribute to the heroes who rushed the shooter: Richard Fierro and Thomas James. Fierro is a U.S. Army veteran who did three tours of duty in Iraq and one in Afghanistan.

“I’m straight. My kids are straight, but we go there … Why? Because it’s about community,” Fierro told reporters. When the shooting broke out, Fierro said he rushed the gunman, pulled him to the ground, then grabbed the gunman’s pistol and hit him with it. James helped by removing the shooter’s rifle, which Fierro described as an AR, and kicking him. Meanwhile a drag performer stomped him with high heels, Fierro said.

“I wish I could have done more,” Fierro said. “But those (five) people aren’t home tonight, and I am. And I’m really upset by that. It’s not something I’m proud of.”


U.S. Army veteran one of two men who took down Colorado shooter

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Nov 21 (Reuters) – A decorated Iraq and Afghanistan veteran who had taken his family to support a drag show performer who was one of his daughter’s friends said his U.S. Army training took over when gunfire broke out at a Colorado LGBTQ club.

“It’s the reflex,” Rich Fierro told reporters gathered on the snow-covered front yard of his suburban Colorado Springs home Monday evening. “Go. Go to the fire. Stop the action. Stop the activity. Don’t let no one get hurt.”

Fierro described grabbing the suspect by the armor the gunman was wearing, dragging him down and using the shooter’s pistol to beat him late Saturday after five people were killed and at least 17 wounded. The dead included the boyfriend of Fierro’s daughter, identified by Colorado Springs police as Raymond Green Vance.

At an earlier news conference, Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers had identified Fierro as one of “two heroes,” along with Thomas James, who “saved a lot of lives” at Club Q in Colorado Springs. Fierro said many others deserved credit, including a young man who had been dancing with his daughter and dragged her to safety when the shooting started, and a drag performer who kicked the gunman with her high heels as Fierro held him down.

“I’m not a hero,” Fierro said. “I’m just some dude.”

Officials did not elaborate on the men’s actions, and Fierro’s comments provided details investigators have not spoken about. Fierro said he was detained for about an hour by police who found him with a pistol in his hand in the confused aftermath of the shooting. He mourned his daughter’s boyfriend, who he said he had known since his daughter was in high school.

“He’s a good kid. And I loved him,” Fierro said.

The wounded included a couple, close friends of Fierro who have two young children.

“I wish I could have saved everybody in there,” Fierro said. “I wish I could have done more.”

Fierro and his wife Jess Fierro own a Colorado Springs brewery. Their Atrevida Beer Company was closed on Monday as family members gathered at their home in a quiet Colorado Springs suburb to mourn. Jess Fierro had said earlier that her husband’s hands, knees and an ankle were injured in the struggle with the gunman.

Speaking from her doorstep, Jess Fierro told Reuters the violence sparked her husband’s post traumatic stress disorder. Rich Fierro served 14 years in the military and was awarded the Bronze Star twice as he served as a field artillery officer during three tours of Iraq and a tour of Afghanistan, U.S. Army records show.


Bad Faith Case Against MetLife Moves Forward

This is the case of Spina v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, in the U. S. District Court District of New Jersey where the court has allowed the plaintiff’s bad faith claim against MetLife to proceed to trial. Plaintiffs Dante C. Spina Sr. and Lyndajean K. Spina allege that MetLife denied long-term health benefits, based on its investigation that allegedly revealed facts that indicated the plaintiffs were not as incapacitated as they claimed.

As a result, the insurer contacted the district attorney and pursued insurance fraud claims against the plaintiffs. The D.A. presented its claims to the grand jury, but the charges were dismissed the same day. The plaintiffs filed suit against the insurer seeking coverage, damages for bad faith conduct, and violation of the Consumer Fraud Act (CFA).

In response, the insurer moved to dismiss all counts. However, the court found that the plaintiffs properly pleaded their claim for a breach of contract; the court then addressed the plaintiff’s bad faith claim and also allowed those claims to proceed to trial.

The Plaintiffs had successfully argued two bases for the bad faith claim:

  1. The insurer’s coverage denial after an improper investigation was knowingly reckless; and
  2. The insurer acted in bad faith in reporting the insured to the county prosecutor for an alleged violation of the New Jersey Insurance Fraud Prevention Act.

The court found that the carrier relied on two facts when it denied coverage, but according to the court, these two factors did not create a debatable reason for denying coverage.

The court also made it clear that even though the county prosecutor decided to bring the case to a grand jury, this alone did not create a fairly debatable basis to deny coverage; particularly when the grand jury discarded those charges on the same day they were presented.

As to the plaintiff’s claims related to the Consumer Fraud Act (CFA) based upon the denial of insurance coverage, the court did dismiss this count, as beyond the CFA’s scope. However, the court did permit the CFA claim to move forward based on the insurer’s making an insurance fraud claim to the county prosecutors.


Florida Man Murders Wife For Life Insurance

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Supreme Court has denied the appeal of Mark Sievers for his first-degree murder conviction for his involvement in the death of his wife.

The court also denied Sievers appeal of his corresponding death sentence and his conviction for conspiracy to commit murder.

According to court documents, Sievers’ lawyers made several claims against the ruling, including that a polygraph was not performed on one of the accused killer’s Curtis Wayne Wright. He also claims testimony provided by neighbors should not have been allowed due to it being irrelevant.

The Supreme Court rebuffed all of these claims.

“As to the first-degree murder count, the State had to prove that Dr. Sievers was dead, that Sievers’ criminal act caused her death, and that her death was premeditated,” The Court stated in ruling. “Because Sievers was not present at the murder, the jury was instructed on the principal theory of liability. Under that theory, Sievers could be found guilty of first-degree murder if he had procured, hired, or aided Dr. Sievers’ killing.”

In 2019, Sievers hired Curtis Wayne Wright to stage a home invasion and kill his wife Dr. Theresa Sievers. Wright would enlist the help of Jimmy Rodgers to help carry out the murder in exchange for nearly $100,000 in life insurance proceeds.

While Mark Sievers was on a vacation with this two daughters, Wright and Rodgers would travel from Missouri to Bonita Springs, where they would bludgeon Dr. Sievers to death with hammers.

Two weeks later, Wright was targeted as a suspect and later search warrants uncovered evidence that connected him to the death of Dr. Sievers.

Wright would receive 25 years in prison after accepting a plea deal to testify against Mark Sievers and Jimmy Rodgers.


Ex Spouse Gets Divorced Spouses Life Insurance

While an Illinois law doesn’t allow a divorced spouse to claim life insurance payouts under their ex-spouse’s policy, that law doesn’t apply to divorces finalized before the law took effect three years ago, a state appeals panel has ruled. In 2018, Illinois lawmakers amended the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act to stipulate a divorce agreement negates any existing life insurance policy beneficiary designation, unless the divorce judgment expressly includes that condition; if the insured party formally redesignates their ex-spouse as a beneficiary; or if the former spouse is the recipient of funds in trust for a dependent of the decedent.

That law took effect Jan. 1, 2019.

The reach of the law was called into question in a lawsuit pitting plaintiff Beverly Shaw against her ex-husband’s son over who should be entitled to the proceeds of a life insurance payout. According to court documents, Beverly Shaw divorced Tyrone Shaw in March 2016 in Cook County Circuit Court. The couple had married in 1991. When Tyrone died in 2020, Beverly sought to collect as the beneficiary of his U.S. Financial Life Insurance Company’s policy.

The company declined the payout, prompting Beverly to sue the company and Tyrone’s three adult children, Terrance Shaw, Michelle Shaw McKay and Phillip Shaw, who were the named contingent beneficiaries. Beverly Shaw is Phlilip Shaw’s mother. Cook Couty Judge Anna Loftus granted summary judgment in Beverly’s favor, a decision Terrance challenged before the Illinois First District Appellate Court.

Justice Jesse Reyes wrote the panel’s opinion, issued Nov. 16; Justices Robert Gordon and Eileen Burke concurred. During Cook County proceedings, U.S. Financial successfully asked to be discharged from liability by depositing the challenged funds for disbursal pending resolution. Michelle Shaw McKay and Phillip Shaw didn’t file appearances, leading Judge Loftus to enter default findings. Terrance Shaw challenged Beverly’s claims/ McKay later rejoined the action.

Loftus issued her ruling Aug. 10, 2021, holding “the statute at issue was a substantive, not procedural, one, meaning that it had only prospective effect and could not be applied retroactively,” Reyes said. He added: “The operative date for purposes of application of the statute was the date of the dissolution judgment, not the date of the insured’s death, meaning that the statute would not apply here.”

That opinion also characterized Terrance Shaw’s affirmative defenses as “woefully underpled,” and after Loftus later denied a motion to reconsider, his appeal focused only on the issue of whether the state legislature’s action applied to divorces that had already been finalized. Reyes explained that before the 2018 amendment, the only state law governing how divorce may affect such life insurance payouts was the Probate Act of 1975, which “provided that a dissolution judgment automatically operated to revoke an ex-spouse’s status in a will.”

The panel further noted “the amendment was not the subject of extensive debate in the Legislature” and said the issue in the Shaw litigation is whether the a divorce should be considered the “operative act” triggering how a judge should apply the law, or whether it should be the death, which happened after the law was enacted. The panel quoted former state Rep. Chuck Weaver, R-Peoria, who said the idea was to ensure “a person going through a divorce isn’t penalized for forgetting about an old insurance policy stuck in a drawer and thereby reduces litigation and clarifies who should be the beneficiary.”

Reyes said Beverly rooted her arguments in Illinois cases concerning wills, while Terrance’s positions came from litigation in other states regarding life insurance policies. In siding with Beverly, the panel explained the 2018 amendment was written in the present tense and included in a section governing property at the time of a divorce, suggesting “it was intended to apply in the context of dissolution proceedings, not at some later time.”

The panel further said the Illinois Supreme Court “has repeatedly rejected” arguments a beneficiary’s interest vests only upon death and observed the General Assembly could’ve included Uniform Probate Code language regarding this question, as other states have done, but a failure to do so supports Beverly’s position.

“The date of the dissolution judgment preceded the effective date of the statute,” Reyes wrote. “The statute does not apply.” Beverly Shaw was represented in the matter by attorney Berton N. Ring, of Chicago. Attorneys Richard Lee Stavins and Riccardo A. DiMonte, of Robbins DiMonte, of Chicago, represented Terrance Shaw.


Buster Murdaugh’s murder trial

EXCLUSIVE: Richard “Buster” Murdaugh Jr.— the lone surviving son of disgraced South Carolina lawyer and accused killer Alex Murdaugh — is living a quiet life with his longtime girlfriend in a resort town ahead of his father’s hotly anticipated murder trial, Fox News Digital has learned. “They’re a really nice couple,” said a neighbor, who wasn’t aware of Buster’s identity or tragic family circumstances. “They always smile and say, hi.”

Buster, and Brooklynn White, both 26, live with their beloved golden retriever, Miller, in a modest one-bedroom Hilton Head Island condominium — a far cry from the sprawling 1,700-acre hunting farm, known as Moselle, where he grew up in Islandton, South Carolina. Alex, 54, is accused of fatally shooting Buster’s only sibling, 22-year-old Paul Murdaugh, and their 52-year-old mother, Maggie Murdaugh, June 7, 2021, near the estate’s dog kennels.

The fallen patriarch is slated to go to trial Jan. 23 for the shocking double homicide. Buster has continued to support his disbarred and jailed father. On Tuesday morning, Buster, wearing a downcast expression, pulled up in his gray GMC Yukon outside the apartment, then carried a basket of laundry inside before leaving.

The home, which features a blue Marlin decoration on the front porch, is in a complex with a communal pool, a tennis court and a gym. It’s unclear when Buster and White began dating — but she accompanied him to the joint funeral of Paul and Maggie, according to a source.

She was seen comforting her beau as he cried at the service, and she affectionately interacted with his father, the source added. White, who’s from Rock Hill, South Carolina, bought the Hilton Head condo for $180,000 in July 2021 after landing her first job out of law school at Olivetti McCray & Withrow, where she specializes in probate and estate planning, according to the firm’s website.

She declined to answer questions Wednesday morning on her boyfriend’s state or the case against his father, politely responding to several requests for comment with a simple, “No, ma’am.” The apartment on Hilton Head, a vacation destination known for its pristine beaches and golf courses, is about 70 miles from Buster’s childhood home.

White attended the University of South Carolina Law School alongside Buster, who was allegedly kicked out in his second semester for plagiarism, the Wall Street Journal reported. Alex paid an attorney $60,000 to try to get Buster readmitted, according to FitsNews.

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Life Insurance Companies Deny Most Homicide Claims

Author: America’s Best Life Insurance Lawyer


In Accidental Death and Dismemberment Life Insurance Policies, Homicide is considered an Accidental Cause of Death. Nevertheless, life insurance companies routinely deny AD&D Claims when the Cause of Death is listed as a Homicide. This is especially true if the murder victim happens to be a minority. Unfortunately, there is almost a presumption that if someone has been murdered, they must have been doing something wrong themselves.

Life Insurance Companies understand that these Homicide and Murder claims typically involve a lengthy police investigation. The police investigation and potential criminal trial that follows can easily last one or two years. Until the police investigation and/or trial are completed, it is generally impossible to obtain the information needed to exonerate the victim of potential wrongdoing.

Life Insurance Companies often deny these AD&D Claims by alleging that the deceased had a criminal record or was involved in some sort of illegal activity at the time of the murder. These are often completely groundless accusations, but the beneficiary is left to prove otherwise. The large majority of life insurance beneficiaries who receive a claim denial eventually give up and reluctantly accept the life insurance company’s denial of their completely valid AD&D claim.

The DiGeorge Life Insurance Law Firm has tremendous experience winning all types of denied accidental death claims and especially denied murder claims. We know how to work with the police and prosecutors to get the information we need.

Beneficiary of a Denied Life Insurance Claim? Discrimination Is Rampant

Are You The Beneficiary of a Life Insurance Policy?

Did your mother or father…or your husband or wife name you as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy? Our loved ones make us the beneficiary of their life insurance to help protect us financially when they die. It is a great comfort for someone to know that they are leaving behind some financial protection.

Unfortunately, life insurance companies have different plans for your money. Once a death claim is filed, life insurance companies will do everything possible to avoid paying the claim. We all understand that life insurance companies make money by collecting premiums and they lose money each time they have to pay out a death claim.

Was Your Life Insurance Claim Denied?

Here’s where things get interesting. How do life insurance companies decide which claims will be paid and which claims will be denied? It’s supposed to be a matter of contract law. Yet, surprisingly, claim denials often have little to do with the underlying contractual liability. In many cases, a life insurance company decides which claims gets paid the same way a mugger in the subway decides who to mug.

If someone looks like they will fight back, then the mugger moves on to someone less likely to fight back. Life insurance companies often do the same thing. You are far more likely to have your life insurance claim be denied if the life insurance company thinks you won’t fight back. To a life insurance company, fighting back means hiring a lawyer.

Life Insurance Denials Are Not Random

The poorer you are, the smaller your policy, the more rural your zip code, your ethnicity, your socio-economic status, age, education, etc. all play a role. Most life insurance companies systematically deny death claims that they know should be paid. Their denial letter is usually preceded by a long delay as the insurance company reviews your claim or gathers more information. They are testing you and they are setting you up for a denial. If your claim isn’t paid within a few weeks, call a lawyer before you get the denial. Life insurance companies use all sorts of smoke and mirrors to convince beneficiaries that policy coverage is no longer in effect and therefore they owe you nothing.

Maybe they explain that there was misrepresentation on the application for insurance. For any contestable policy less than two years old this is the standard response. They will claim that there was false information provided regarding a health question for example. Very often, they flat out make it up. Without the aid of a lawyer, beneficiaries have no way to prove otherwise so they give up and walk away without collecting on a perfectly valid death claim. If a lawyer obtains the insurance company’s files, they often find that there was never any misrepresentation and they are able to get the denial reversed. It’s estimated that more than 90% of all beneficiaries whose death claims are denied simply give up without ever contacting a lawyer. Most beneficiaries think they can’t afford to hire a lawyer; but lawyers will take life insurance cases on a contingency basis so the beneficiary never pays anything unless the lawyer is successful.

When it comes to accidental death and dismemberment claims, insurance companies will often use their own medical experts to dispute the accidental cause of death. The insurance company will claim that the deceased actually died of natural causes rather than as the result of an accident. We see these kinds of shenanigans every day.

Claim Denials Unfairly Target Certain Beneficiaries

The bottom line is that life insurance companies treat some of their customers differently than others. Life insurance companies are trying to deny as many claims as possible and they tend to hand out the majority of those denials to beneficiaries who are least likely to hire a lawyer. It is particularly easy for life insurance companies to deny smaller policies because most life insurance lawyers can’t afford to accept very small cases on a contingency. The beneficiaries eventually give up and the life insurance company avoids paying a completely legitimate claim.

Call A Life Insurance Dispute Lawyer

Here’s the good news. If you are the beneficiary of a denied life insurance claim, there’s a good chance that you can still get your claim paid, but you must contact an experienced  life insurance lawyer to help you.

The life insurance policy lawyers at DiGeorge Life Insurance Law are nationally known for our skillful and aggressive representation of our beneficiary clients. The life insurance companies certainly know who we are. We only handle life insurance cases and we are highly experienced with every cause of death or scenario leading to a denial. Life insurance denials fit patterns that an experienced life insurance lawyer can immediately recognize and dismantle. So, if you have been denied a life insurance claim, don’t just walk away. You can get that denial reversed. Remember, you don’t pay the lawyer anything unless the lawyer is able to get your death claim paid. The life insurance policy lawyers at DiGeorge Law are available to you 24/7. Let us know how we can help.

Life Insurers Ponder How to Underwrite COVID-19 Survivors

Life Insurers Ponder How to Underwrite COVID-19 Survivors

DiGeorge Law Firm cited in National Publication

Call A Life Insurance Lawyer

Here’s the good news. If you are the beneficiary of a denied life insurance claim, there’s a good chance that you can still get your claim paid, but you must contact an experienced  life insurance lawyer to help you.

DiGeorgeLifeInsuranceLaw.com is nationally known for our skillful and aggressive representation of our beneficiary clients. The life insurers certainly know who we are. We only handle life insurance cases and we are highly experienced with every cause of death or scenario leading to a denial. Life insurance denials fit patterns that an experienced life insurance lawyer can immediately recognize and dismantle. So, if you have been denied a life insurance claim, don’t just walk away. You can get that denial reversed. Remember, you don’t pay the lawyer anything unless the lawyer is able to get your death claim paid.

The DiGeorge Life Insurance Law Firm can answer your questions about life insurance beneficiary rules and help guide you through the process of filing a successful insurance claim. We are here to help, so please email or call us any time @ 800-210-5397.