Port Arthur family in dispute over life insurance benefits

Andrea Dearden Sep. 30, 2014, 11:22am

The death of a Port Arthur man has allegedly left his family in a dispute over who is entitled to receive his life insurance benefits.

Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. filed a petition in interpleader Aug. 20 in Jefferson County District Court against Sally Williams Keller, Melvin Roy Keller Jr. and June Raynetta Keller. 

According to the petition, Melvin Roy Keller Sr. worked for Valero Services Inc. and was enrolled in the company's benefits program, including basic life insurance, provided by MetLife. Keller Sr. died in February 2013, and $284,000 became payable to the proper beneficiaries. 

However, according to MetLife, the most recent beneficiary named on the plan was dated February 2013. June Keller, allegedly having her father's power of attorney, named herself and her brother, Melvin Keller Jr., as equal benefactors. The next most recent beneficiary designation occurred in November 2002, giving his wife, Sally, June and Melvin Jr. equal shares of the benefits.

Then in March 2013 and June 2013, June and Melvin Jr. filed separate claims with MetLife to receive benefits, according to the petition, with Sally contesting the payment in July 2013. Sally Keller alleges her deceased husband did not have the mental capacity to give the power of attorney to his children.

Because of the conflicting claims, MetLife asks the court to determine who should receive the benefits if the defendants are unable to come to a resolution on their own. The insurance company also seeks to be reimbursed for court costs.

Jefferson County District Court case number: E196-026

This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed at Jefferson County District Court. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note that a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt and it represents only one side of the story.

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