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Standard Insurance Co. v. Lightfoot

United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas

April 23, 2018

STANDARD INSURANCE COMPANY, Plaintiff
v.
LATESEA LIGHTFOOT And LARONICA CONNER defaulted, Defendants.

          THOMPSON COBURN LLP Richard J. Pautler Attorneys for Standard Insurance Company

          RONALD L DA VIS JR. LAW FIRMP LLC Ronald Davis Attorneys for Latesea Lightfoot

          CONSENT FINAL ORDER AND JUDGMENT

         With the agreement and consent of all parties not in default, the Court hereby orders and adjudges:

         1. This Court has subject matter jurisdiction over this action pursuant to § 502(e)(1) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), 29 U.S.C. § 1132(a)(3). Venue is proper in this District pursuant to ERISA § 502(e)(2), 29 U.S.C. § 1132(e)(2).

         2. Defendant Latesea Lightfoot ("Lightfoot") submits to the jurisdiction of this Court and appears for the purpose of effectuating and facilitating the entry of the order and judgment in this action and the dismissal with prejudice of this entire matter, without fees or costs to anyone. Lightfoot acknowledges being properly served with the Summons and Complaint on file herein and she acknowledges that she has had the opportunity to consult with the attorney of her choosing.

         3. Wagner Industries, Inc. sponsors an "employee welfare benefit plan" that provides life insurance benefits to certain of its employees (hereinafter "Plan"). The Plan is an "employee welfare benefit plan" within the meaning of ERISA § 3(1), 29 U.S.C. § 1002(1)

         4. Plaintiff, Standard Insurance Company ("Standard"), issued Group Life Insurance Policy No. 159328-A (hereinafter "Policy"), to insure the benefits that became payable under the Plan.

         5. Upon the death of Cedric Devon Lightfoot, on October 26, 2017, Seven Thousand Dollars ($7, 000) (the "Disputed Funds") became payable under the Policy.

         6. Standard received conflicting claims to the Disputed Funds from former Defendant Laronica Conner ("Conner") and from Lightfoot, the daughter of Decedent.

         7. Confronted with conflicting claims and the possibility of making duplicative payments if it honored in whole or in part either the claim of Connor or that of Lightfoot, Standard filed this Interpleader action in good faith as an innocent stakeholder on January 17, 2018, naming both Conner and Lightfoot as defendants.

         8. On April 4, 2018, this Court entered a Default Judgment against Conner after she was properly served but failed to timely appear or file any answer or motion responsive to the Complaint in Interpleader.

         9. Following the entry of default against Conner, only Lightfoot was asserting any claim to the Disputed Funds.

         10. Decedent's last beneficiary designation form in the records of Standard designated Lightfoot as his sole beneficiary.

         11. Absent the timely appeal by Conner challenging the entry of the default judgment against her, the parties agree that Standard should pay the Disputed Funds of $7, 000 to ...


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