Man sues travel insurance company for failing to cover mother's death in Nigeria

John Suayan Sep. 1, 2015, 8:25am


Texas resident Eseoghene Ogbu-Sifo has filed a federal lawsuit, claiming Travelex Insurance Services, Inc. should cover his mother’s 2013 death as a result of a motor vehicle accident in Nigeria.

Ogbu-Sifo’s suit, filed Aug. 19 in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas, accuses Travelex of engaging “in deceptive practices for the sole purpose of avoiding payment of the plaintiff’s bona fide claim.”

Court documents show that Ogbu-Sifo purchased the policy in question for his mother, Abiwaye Sifo, on Nov. 15, 2013 at the same time he bought her a roundtrip ticket from Houston to Lagos, Nigeria, through CheapOair’s Web site. He subsequently bought a ticket to Lagos for himself in addition to the same policy.

According to the suit, Sifo sustained critical injuries from a collision with an 18-wheeler during her scheduled trip on Dec. 16, 2013. Ogbu-Sifo says he immediately notified Travelex in an attempt to quickly examine the terms of his travel insurance policy and transport his mother back to the United States to receive medical care.

Travelex, however, allegedly delayed these requests and denied the complainant’s claim on grounds Sifo’s transport was not covered by the policy.

Sifo succumbed to her injuries at a hospital in Lagos on Dec. 24, 2013.

The original petition further explains that Ogbu-Sifo returned to the U.S. the next month and attempted to secure coverage from Travelex for his mother’s passing to no avail, asserting the ordeal inflicted “severe stress, lack of sleep, depression and anxiety” upon him.

“The plaintiff timely submitted valid claims for policy benefits,” it says. “The defendant breached the contract by stalling and mishandling the plaintiff’s valid insurance claim, then failing to pay the benefits under the policy.”

Consequently, Ogbu-Sifo seeks unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.

He is represented by attorneys David M. Feldman and Christin L. Grant of the law firm Feldman & Feldman, P.C. in Houston.

Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas Case No. 4:15-CV-2394

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