Missouri woman claims insurance companies failed to pay benefits after husband's death

By Noddy A. Fernandez | Aug 8, 2017

ST. LOUIS — A surviving spouse from Missouri is suing insurance companies, citing alleged breach of contract by refusing to provide insurance benefits.

Charity Pennington filed a complaint July 28 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri against Life Insurance Co. of North America and Cigna Intellectual Property Inc., alleging that they violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that on March 28, 2016, her husband was killed in a car accident. Pennington claims she was entitled to receive benefits under the Group On-the-Job Accident policy from the defendants because her husband died during travel to and from various work locations as part of his job responsibilities. The plaintiff claims she failed to receive any benefits despite appealing. 

The plaintiff alleges the defendants failed to conduct a proper investigation and obtain necessary information that would support her claim, interpreted the insurance policies in a manner that makes their terms inconsistent and ambiguous, and failed to provide plaintiff with a complete administrative file even though she requested it.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks judgment in the amount of $1 million, plus pre- and post-judgment interest, attorneys' fees, cost and further relief the court deems just and proper. She is represented by Derrick S. Kirby of The Kirby Law Firm PC in Doniphan.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri case number 4:17-cv-02167

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The Kirby Law Firm, PC U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri

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