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METROPOLITAN LIFE INS. CO. v. KELLEY

June 22, 1995

METROPOLITAN LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY, Plaintiff,
v.
LAVERNE KELLEY, FRAN SCOTT, MARTHA HENLEY, EDWINA KELLEY, and EDWARD KELLEY, Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: RUBEN CASTILLO

 BACKGROUND

 The facts in this case have been gleaned from LaVerne's 12(M) Statement. *fn1" Edward Kelley, Sr. was employed by the United States Postal Service and he opted to purchase certain life insurance benefits under the Federal Employee's Group Life Insurance ("FEGLI") policy, number 17000-G, issued by MetLife to the United States Office of Personnel Management pursuant to FEGLIA. (Rule 12(M) P 2.) His wife, LaVerne Kelley, was also a federal employee, and she maintained Option C insurance coverage on her husband's life. (Rule 12(M) PP 1, 3.)

 On June 17, 1993, at approximately 6:00 p.m., Edward came home drunk, got into and argument with LaVerne, and began beating her. (Rule 12(M) P 8.) She left the house, but when she returned at 10:30 p.m. the fight continued. (Rule 12(M) P 8.) In an effort to try to get away from Edward, LaVerne went into the kitchen. (Rule 12(M) P 8.) He followed her, however, and she grabbed a can opener and he grabbed a large kitchen knife. (Rule 12(M) P 8.)

 He began slashing at her with the knife and threatening to "cut" her. (Rule 12(M) P 9.) LaVerne dropped the can opener and ran to their bedroom, where she grabbed his rifle and pointed it at him. (Rule 12(M) P 9.) Using the rifle for protection, she was able to back up into the dining room. (Rule 12(M) P9.) He followed her, though, and said again that he was going to "cut" her. (Rule 12(M) P 9.) As he moved towards her, she shot him. (Rule 12(M) P 9.) LaVerne called 911, and Edward was taken to Christ Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 10:18 a.m. on June 18, 1993. (Rule 12(M) PP 9, 10.) After a review of the case, the State Attorney's Office declined to file charges against LaVerne. (Chicago Police Supplementary Report p. 4.)

 As a result of Edward's death, the proceeds of his coverage under the FEGLI policy and under LaVerne's Option C policy became payable. (Rule 12(M) P 4.) LaVerne was the named beneficiary of the Option C policy. (Rule 12(M) P 6.) The FEGLI policy did not have a designated beneficiary, (Rule 12(M) P 5), and its proceeds are payable according to FEGLIA:

 
The amount of group life insurance and group accidental death insurance in force on an employee at the date of his death shall be paid, on the establishment of a valid claim, to the person or persons surviving at the date of his death, in the following order of precedence:
 
First, to the beneficiary or beneficiaries designated by the employee . . .
 
Second, if there is no designated beneficiary, to the widow or widower of the employee.
 
Third, if none of the above, to the child or children of the employee . . .

 5 U.S.C. § 8705(a). LaVerne filed claims to recover the benefits due under both policies. (Rule 12(M) P 7.)


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