Widow sues insurer to recover death benefits

Kelly Holleran Dec. 6, 2011, 2:00am

A Jefferson County woman claims her recently deceased husband's insurance company failed to pay her his life insurance benefits.

Debbie L. Short filed a lawsuit Nov. 29 in Jefferson County District Court against Globe Life and Accident Insurance Co.

In her complaint, Debbie L. Short alleges her husband, John L. Short, had an insurance policy through Globe Life and Accident Insurance Co. when he died on April 17, 2010.

Following her husband's death, Debbie L. Short filed a claim for his life insurance policy, according to the complaint.

However, Globe Life denied her the full benefits of the policy, the suit states.

"Globe misrepresented to Plaintiff that the policy did not owe the payment in the event of Mr. Short's death, even though the benefit was owed as Mr. Short was covered by the policy at the time of this death," the complaint says.

Debbie L. Short does not specify how much money she was owed under the policy or how much the insurance company paid her.

Debbie L. Short alleges breach of contract and breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing against Globe Life and Accident Insurance Company and unfair settlement practices and failure for prompt payment of claims, which are violations under the Texas Insurance Code.

Debbie L. Short seeks actual, treble, punitive and exemplary damages, plus attorney's fees, costs, pre- and post-judgment interest and other relief the court deems just.

Ryan C. Scott of The Scott Law Firm in Beaumont will be representing her.

Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. E191-395.

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