Life insurance policy paid to wrong beneficiaries, suit claims

Steve Gonzalez Jan. 3, 2008, 5:55am

The estate of Kenneth Bigham filed suit against the Knights of Columbus alleging the wrong beneficiaries were paid on a life insurance policy.

Donna Mitchell, as the administrator of Bigham's estate and also his sister, claims her brother was the primary beneficiary of a life insurance policy Damian Weidler entered into with the Knights of Columbus in Edwardsville.

According to the suit filed Dec. 26 in Madison County Circuit Court, Weidler was traveling south on Interstate 55 in Macoupin County when a vehicle crossed the median hitting him head-on resulting in his immediate death. The accident occurred on March 25, 2007.

Mitchell claims her brother was a passenger in Weidler's vehicle and survived the impact, but died shortly after and asserts because he was still alive at the time of Weidler's death was entitled to collect on the policy.

Mitchell claims Knights of Columbus breached its contract and paid the policy benefits to Weidler's two sisters, co-defendants Kathleen Matway and Mary Eilert, the contingent beneficiaries to the policies.

"By receiving the policy benefits due to the estate of Kenneth Bigham, Defendants Kathleen Matway and Mary Eilert retained a benefit to the Plaintiff's detriment and (their) retention of the benefit violates the fundamental principles of justice, equity, and good conscience and constitutes an unjust enrichment," the complaint states.

Represented by John Leskera of Collinsville, Mitchell is seeking a judgment of $148,683.69 plus costs of the suit.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Nick Byron.

07 L 1077

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