Widow sues insurer to claim husband's death benefits

Kelly Holleran Jan. 27, 2011, 3:00am

After losing her husband, a Port Arthur woman attempted to claim benefits from his life insurance policy only to wrongly be denied access to payment, according to recently filed court documents.

Sherrail Thibodeaux filed a lawsuit Jan. 20 in Jefferson County District Court against Wells Fargo Financial Texas and Centurion Life Insurance Co.

According to the complaint, Sherrail Thibodeaux attempted to collect her husband's life insurance benefits from Centurion after he died on July 11. However, Centurion denied coverage, saying Darrell Thibodeaux had a disease that the Thibedeauxes failed to reveal in their application for life insurance coverage, the suit states.

Sherrail Thibodeaux contends Wells Fargo never questioned the couple about the existence of the disease in their application for life insurance coverage. In addition, Sherrail Thibodeaux claims a Wells Fargo representative, who obtained the coverage for the couple, told her and her husband they were not required to circle items on the life insurance application, but merely to state "yes" or "no" for each question.

Because of Wells Fargo's relationship with Centurion � Centurion is a subsidiary of Wells Fargo � Sherrail Thibodeaux names the company as a defendant.

She alleges breach of contract, deceptive insurance practices and a breach of good faith and fair dealing against the defendants.

In her complaint, Sherrail Thibodeaux seeks a judgment in excess of the minimum jurisdictional limits of Jefferson County District Court, plus costs, pre- and post-judgment interest and other relief the court deems just.

E. Hart Green of Weller, Green, Toups and Terrell in Beaumont will be representing her.

Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. A189-201

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