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Habibollah Tabatabai v. West Coast Life Insurance Company

December 16, 2011

HABIBOLLAH TABATABAI, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
WEST COAST LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE,



Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. No. 2:08-cv-00227-JPS-J.P. Stadtmueller, Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Bauer, Circuit Judge.

ARGUED SEPTEMBER 12, 2011

Before BAUER, ROVNER and WILLIAMS, Circuit Judges.

The plaintiff-appellant, Habibollah Tabatabai ("Tabatabai") sued defendant-appellee West Coast Life Insurance Co. ("West Coast Life") for breach of contract and for a violation of West Coast Life's implied duty of good faith and fair dealing. West Coast Life moved for summary judgment and the district court granted the motion on December 21, 2010. This appeal followed. We affirm.

I. BACKGROUND

On June 17, 2006, Tabatabai's wife, Firouzeh Keshmiri ("Ms. Keshmiri"), completed an application for a $500,000 life insurance policy with the assistance of Darrell Alvine ("Alvine"), a neighbor and licensed insurance intermediary. The application required Ms. Keshmiri to choose a specific rate classification for which she wished to apply. The options included "Super Preferred," "Preferred," "Standard," "Rated," and "Other." Ms. Keshmiri opted for the "Super Preferred" classification and delivered the application, together with an initial payment in the amount of $100, to Alvine. In addition to the $100 payment, Ms. Keshmiri signed a conditional receipt agreement ("CRA") with West Coast Life. "[A CRA] is a device used by the life insurance industry through which an applicant is immediately insured upon payment of the initial premium at the time of application and upon satisfaction of various conditions precedent to coverage." Tabatabai v. West Coast Life Ins. Co., No. 08-cv-227, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135507, at *13 (E.D. Wis. Dec. 21, 2010).

West Coast Life's CRA stated in part:

CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH INSURANCE MAY BECOME EFFECTIVE PRIOR TO POLICY DELIVERY

Unless each and every condition below has been fulfilled exactly, no insurance will become effective prior to policy delivery to the Owner:

(A) on the Effective Date the Proposed Insured(s) is (are) insurable exactly as applied for under the Company's printed underwriting rules for the plan, amount and premium rate class applied for;

(C) the Proposed Insured(s) has/have completed all examinations and/or tests requested by the Company;

TERMINATION AND REFUND OF PREMIUM

There shall be no insurance coverage under this Agreement and this Agreement shall be void if:

(B) if the application to which this Agreement was attached is not approved as applied for by the Company within ...


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