United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Springfield Division
RICHARD MILLS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE:
before the Court is Cross-Claim Defendant Clinton Allen's
motion for summary judgment.
Plaintiff Dawn Allen did not respond to the motion of Clinton
motion is granted.
Defendant Clinton Allen's (“Clinton”) motion
concerns a determination of the appropriate distribution of
the Minnesota Life Insurance Company (“Minnesota
Life”) policy of Peter Mark Allen, deceased. Clinton
claims he is entitled to the full amount of the life
insurance policy based on the contents of a certain
Beneficiary Designation and Change Request executed on August
20, 2018 by Peter Mark Allen (“the “BDCR”).
Cross-Claim Plaintiff Dawn Allen (“Dawn”)
believes she is entitled to the full amount of the life
insurance policy because she alleges that Peter Mark
Allen's signature on the BDCR was procured by fraud.
relevant times, Peter Mark Allen maintained a life insurance
policy with Minnesota Life as a benefit of his employment
with the State of Illinois. On May 11, 2018, a Minnesota Life
insurance document called the Portability Election
(“the PE”) was executed by Peter Mark Allen.
Although the Portability Election was signed by Peter Mark
Allen, the contents of the Portability Election, including
the “Employee Information” section and the
various responses thereon, were filled out by Dawn-who was
set to receive 50% of the life insurance proceeds under the
August 20, 2018, Minnesota Life sent an e-mail to Peter Mark
Allen to provide him with certain life insurance documents,
stating that he had “requested a form to make a change
to [his] life insurance coverage.” The email was sent
by Minnesota Life to firstname.lastname@example.org, which
the parties agree is an email address which belonged to and
was used by Peter Mark Allen at the time.
August 20, 2018 the BDCR, which designated Clinton to be the
100% beneficiary of the Minnesota Life Insurance policy, was
executed. Dawn did not personally witness the signing of the
BDCR. Peter Mark Allen died on September 9, 2018, leaving a
life insurance policy from Minnesota Life approximating $100,
000.00 at the time of his death.
immediate aftermath of Peter Mark Allen's death, Dawn
contacted Minnesota Life on multiple occasions and stated
that Peter's signature on the BDCR was
“fraudulent.” Dawn did not provide Minnesota Life
any corroborating evidence in support of allegation of fraud.
During this time frame, Clinton also contacted Minnesota Life
and requested payment of his 100% share of the life insurance
policy pursuant to the BDCR.
the lack of supporting evidence from Dawn, Minnesota Life
decided not to honor Clinton's request for payment of his
late father's life insurance proceeds and instead filed a
Complaint for Interpleader with this Court. Minnesota Life
has since been dismissed as a party to these proceedings. The
insurance proceeds have been deposited with the Clerk of the
Court's interest-bearing registry account and Dawn has
filed a Counterclaim against Clinton for fraud.
Dawn has filed her Counterclaim against Clinton, she has
failed to provide any evidence to corroborate her allegation
of fraud. No such evidence was provided in her initial
disclosures or upon counsel's subsequent requests.
judgment is appropriate if the motion is properly supported
and “there is no genuine dispute as to any material
fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of
law.” See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a). The Court
construes all inferences in favor of the non-movant. See
Siliven v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services, 635 F.3d
921, 925 (7th Cir. 2011). To create a genuine factual
dispute, however, any such inference must be based on
something more than “speculation or conjecture.”
See Harper v. C.R. England, Inc., 687 F.3d 297, 306
(7th Cir. 2012) (citation omitted). Because summary judgment
“is the put up or shut up moment in a lawsuit, ”
a “hunch” about the opposing party's motives
is not enough to withstand a properly ...