Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Another Life Insurance Conundrum

We've previously discussed how one is prohibited from collecting life insurance proceeds on folks one has murdered:

"California dad charged with insurance fraud after he drove off cliff, killing autistic sons"

But what about a person who's a beneficiary of a life insurance policy, who then goes on to murder someone else? In other words, two completely different circumstances, connected only by the person in the middle?

The facts:

The mother of the monster responsible for last year's Parkland shootings passed away a few months prior to the tragedy. It then took about a year and a half for her life insurance claim to be processed [ed: it's unclear why the long delay]. After her death, but before the claim was paid, her son murdered his classmates and teachers.

And here's where it gets, well, murky (and we're only going to discuss the life insurance issues here):

The murderer is due approximately $430,000 from his mother's policy, and so he's about to lose access to his public defenders:

"Parkland school shooting suspect['] ...public defenders asked to withdraw from his case on Wednesday because the defendant stands to inherit more than $432,000 through an insurance policy."

Okay, that makes sense, PD's are (ostensibly) for those in poor financial straits. But this raises a few issues, as well:

If he hasn't actually received the money, then how can they withdraw?

And what if he doesn't actually receive it?

How would that work, you ask?

Well, according to the (poorly written and researched) news article:

"A judge could award the money to families of the shooting victims, some of whom have sued [the defendant] in civil court."


How would that work? These are two completely separate cases and courts: one civil, one criminal. The defendant's mother had no connection to the murders; indeed, he would have received the money before them had the claim been processed more quickly. Would he have then been forced to just hand over the cash in that circumstance? One doubts it, absent a plaintiff's win in civil court.

What would compel the insurance company to write the check to ... well, who knows? This just seems very unlikely.

Or am I missing something obvious?

(And by the way, if the judge did funnel the insurance money directly to ... whomever ... wouldn't that necessarily obviate the PD's recusal request?)
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