Insurance Company Sued For Not Paying Heath Ledger’s Benefit
It has been a couple of months since Heath Ledger died. But apparently his name is still attached to another problem.
This time in a lawsuit filed to an insurance company that refuse to pay the actor’s $10 million life insurance policy. Ledger was found dead in his New York apartment in January this year. Investigators concluded that Ledger’s death was an accidental death from an overdose of painkillers and other medicines, but lawyers for the ReliaStar insurance company have claimed his death was suspicious and possibly a suicide, that would nullify the policy.
The “Brokeback Mountain” cowboy took out the policy in 2007, and named his daughter Matilda Rose as the sole beneficiary. Insurance specialist lawyer William Shernoff who filed the suit on behalf of Ledger’s daughter in July said on Monday that the insurer acted in bad faith and engaged in the “illegal and unfair practice” of post-claim underwriting by insisting the deceased actor may have committed suicide even though his death was officially ruled an accidental overdose.
As Shernoff explained, “ReliaStar want to investigate the possibility of suicide, and we think that is inappropriate because the coroner’s report and all the official reports say it was accidental. It is distressing for everybody. The insurance company wants to spend months, if not years, investigating this so they can hold on to their money”. Shernoff also added that ReliaStar told him they wished to take legal statements from the masseuse who found Ledger’s body, his colleagues, agents, doctors and actress Mary-Kate Olsen, Ledger’s friend and the first person called by the masseuse.
In ReliaStar’s answer to the complaint, the company asserts that it “is entitled to investigate plaintiff’s claim to determine if the ‘suicide’ provision is applicable”. A ReliaStar spokesman said the company was still investigating the claim on the policy and had not yet made a decision. In court filings, the company said that it was entitled to investigate because Ledger died within two years of taking out the policy, and accused the other side of failing to cooperate.
Hmm… kinda complicated and so heartbreaking…, for the sake of late Ledger. Hopefully this problem will soon resolved and cute Matilda got what her right to own.
insurance company not paying beneficiary