Family Sues Over Life Insurance Benefits

Family Fights for Life Insurance Payment After Tragic Accident – NBC 6 South Florida

Surveillance video obtained exclusively by NBC 6 shows a truck hitting a man at a Key West parking lot in March.

Jose “Carlos” Rodriguez, a father of three, died days later.

“He was a beautiful person. Everyone who knew him loved him,” said his wife, Kathleen Burns.

In an interview with NBC 6, she says her husband was leaving the parking lot of a hardware store on March 7.

“He was on a moped because Key West is crazy downtown — nowhere to park,” she said.

Surveillance video obtained by NBC 6 shows Rodriguez heading out of the store’s parking lot from a distance, just moments before a truck hits him.

According to the accident report, the truck’s driver was “inattentive” and violated Rodriguez’s right of way.

Key West police body cameras captured the aftermath of Rodriguez being thrown from the scooter. The accident report states that he was unconscious and suffered “serious injuries”. He was eventually airlifted to Jackson South Hospital where he died just over a week later.

“We just miss him, you know, every day,” Burns said.

A few months later, Burns says her husband’s insurance, Fidelity Life, paid the family $75,000.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court in Miami, she claims the family should also have received $175,000 because the death was an accident and there are additional benefits under her husband’s life insurance policy. But the company was slow to process that claim.

“It’s shameful. It really is,” Burns said. “You are already going through one of the most tragic experiences of your life … there should be no more stress added to this situation,” she said.

Fidelity Life’s lawyers tried to dismiss the case, arguing that the company had not denied her claim or failed to pay all her benefits “on time,” but the policy required “proof of accidental death.” . They must also rule out that there was no improper use of alcohol, prescription or illegal drugs involved – all listed in the policy as reasons to deny payment.

“It’s not like he’s leaving a bar or restaurant to make them believe he might have been drunk. He’s leaving a hardware store,” said the family’s attorney, Michael Shepherd.

He says they provided a lot of evidence to the insurance company to prove it was an accident. But in court filings, Fidelity Life says it lacks the toxicology information from the hospital, which Shepherd says it doesn’t have.

“It’s frustrating that you know you can use this money and you make your timely payments that you expect when the time comes, they’ll do the right thing,” Burns said.

Experts NBC 6 spoke with say it’s important to read the fine print of your policy and keep track of all the records you need to process your claim.

Fidelity Life’s attorneys did not respond to NBC 6’s multiple requests for comment, but after we reached out, the company sent Sheperd a letter saying the payment had been approved and would be processed immediately. They eventually settled the civil case.

Related Posts