Negligent Issuance Of Life Insurance Policy Action Dismissed

While other jurisdictions recognize such claims, New York does not recognize a theory of recovery based on the negligent issuance of a life insurance policy. Last week the Second Department rejected a wrongful death and pain and suffering action based on such a theory in Katchalova v Perchikov, 2007 NY Slip Op 06640.

The administratrix of the decedent’s estate brought an action to recover damages for wrongful death and pain and suffering claiming that the defendant insurance companies and insurance agents negligently issued life insurance policies to the decedent and thereby helped to bring about her death. The complaint alleged that one Eugene Perchikov became intimate with the decedent and convinced her to apply for large amounts of life insurance naming him as the beneficiary. Perchikov then accompanied the decedent to meet with various insurance agents and served as her translator during the various application processes for life insurance policies. During the application processes, the decedent misrepresented her income, her occupation, and her relationship with Perchikov. After procuring one million dollar life insurance policies from the defendant insurance companies Perchikov allegedly murdered the decedent in order to obtain the proceeds of the life insurance policies.

The insurance companies moved to dismiss the action. The Second Department affirmed dismissal stating that the circumstances of the case did not even fall under any of the scenarios pursuant to which other jurisdictions had recognized such a theory of recovery.

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