Father sues to obtain deceased son's life insurance proceeds

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Apr. 21, 2010, 6:52am

Although his son died in 2007, Fritz C. Purgahn has been unable to collect the $15,000 supplemental life insurance policy he had on his son.

Purgahn states he was initially denied the proceeds and was in the processing of appealing the claim when Hurricane Ike struck his community and destroyed all papers and records relevant to the life insurance claim.

According to court papers, Purgahn requested an extension of the appeal and asked for a copy of the key documents, but the insurance company told him it would need more time to evaluate his claim.

With no response from the insurance company more than a year later, Purgahn filed suit against Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. on April 14 in the Beaumont Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

The plaintiffs states, "Met Life's denial of benefits was made in bad faith and not supported by substantial evidence."

Purgahn is asking the court to award all insurance benefits due, refund all life insurance premiums paid since his son's death, attorney fees, interest, court costs and expenses

Beaumont attorney Kenneth W. Lewis of Bush Lewis PLLC is representing the plaintiff.

U.S. District Judge Marcia A. Crone is assigned to the litigation.

Case No 1:10cv00213

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