Insurer paying out claim to wrong person, suit claims

Andrea Dearden Sep. 20, 2010, 6:50am

An Iowa-based insurance company is accused of paying out a life insurance policy to the wrong person, despite a court order to stop.

Henrie Wicks, as administrator of the Estate of John W. Wicks, filed a lawsuit against Equitrust Life Insurance Company Sept. 9 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

According to the complaint, John Wicks died in July 2008. He was survived by his wife and seven children from a previous marriage. At the time of his death, Wicks owned two Equitrust life insurance policies worth a total of $200,600.

Henrie Wicks argues John Wicks' estate was named as the only beneficiary of the life insurance policies. He says after John's death, however, Ann Wicks allegedly provided false information and documentation to the insurance company and asked that she be named owner of the policies.

Based upon the alleged false documentation, Equitrust now claims that Anna Wicks is the owner of the annuities and is allegedly paying her monthly distributions from the policies.

According to the complaint, in May, a St. Clair County probate court ordered Equitrust to stop sending money to Ann Wicks. Equitrust has allegedly ignored that order.

Wicks says the breach of annuity contracts has cost the estate $200,600. He is asking to be paid the entire amount plus interest, court costs and attorney fees

Attorneys P.K. Johnson of Johnson & Johnson in Belleville and Michael J. McKitrick in St. Louis are representing Wicks.

St. Clair County Circuit Court Case No. 10-L-462

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