This case was last updated from PACER on 09/28/2021 at 06:54:33 (UTC).

Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada v. Bank of Utah

Case Summary

On September 27, 2021, Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada (“Sun Life” or “Plaintiff”), represented by Gregory J. Star, Ilya Schwartzburg, and Matthew L. Elkin of Cozen & O’Connor, Matthew A. Taulbee of Reminger Co., LPA – Ft. Mitchell and Michael J. Miller, filed an insurance lawsuit against Bank of Utah, as Securities Intermediary (“Bank of Utah” or “Defendant”), seeking declaratory relief along with attorneys’ fees and costs for allegedly procuring an insurance policy through a STOLI scheme which, under Kentucky law, lacked an insurable interest prior to and at its inception and was merely a wager on Ms. Turrell’s life. This case was filed in the U.S. District Court in the Western District of Kentucky with Judge Rebecca Grady Jennings presiding. 

 

In the complaint, Plaintiff alleged that, “In or around November 2004, Ms. Elizabeth H. Turrell (“Ms. Turrell”) was 79 years old and residing in Louisville, Kentucky.” “Upon information and belief, in or around 2004, insurance agents Andrew Westhem and Cory Grant, used Ms. Turrell to procure five $1 million life insurance policies from Sun Life— not for Ms. Turrell or her family or for a legitimate insurance purpose—but rather as a wager on her life. These policies include the policy at issue here, numbered 020106379 (the “Policy”).” “Upon information and belief, Mr. Westhem, Mr. Grant, and the others did not have an insurable interest in Ms. Turrell’s life.”

 

Plaintiff further alleged that, “In its Policy application, the Turrell Trust (upon information and belief, via the undisclosed stranger investors behind the Policy) selected Death Benefit Option A.” “On June 29, 2021, Bank of Utah and others filed suit against Sun Life in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleging that Sun Life breached the Policy by not approving Bank of Utah’s Death Benefit Option C change request.” “As a result of the New York Lawsuit, Sun Life has investigated the Policy and now reasonably believes that the Policy was procured through a STOLI scheme and that, under Kentucky law, the Policy lacked an insurable interest prior to and at its inception and was merely a wager on Ms. Turrell’s life.”

 

Plaintiff lists out three claims for relief. The first claim is for the declaratory judgment – Illegal Human Life Wagering Contract. The second claim is for the declaratory judgment – Lack of Insurable Interest, and the third claim is the alternative for declaratory judgment – Death Benefit Option.

 

In its prayer for relief, Plaintiff requested the court to declare that the Policy is void ab initio and that because of that the contract never existed. The plaintiff requested the court to leave the parties to the illegal contract as it finds them, thus permitting Sun Life to retain the premiums paid on the Policy, or, in the alternative, declare that Sun Life may retain some or all of the premiums paid on the Policy to effectuate an offset with respect to Sun Life’s costs and losses associated with the Policy. Further, in the alternative to this, the plaintiff requested the court to declare that Sun Life’s refusal to approve Bank of Utah’s post-issuance Death Benefit Option C change request was not a breach of the Policy and also award Sun Life attorneys’ fees and costs and any further relief this court deems appropriate.

 

This case summary may not reflect the current position of the parties to this litigation or the status of this case. Sign up to view the latest case updates and court documents.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    3:21-CV-00606

  • Filing Date:

    09/27/2021

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Insurance

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

Rebecca Grady Jennings

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada

Defendant

Bank of Utah

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorneys

Gregory J. Star

Attorney at Cozen & O'Connor - Philadelphia

1650 Market Street, Suite 2800

Philadephia, PA 19103

Ilya Schwartzburg

Attorney at Cozen & O'Connor - Philadelphia

1650 Market Street, Suite 2800

Philadephia, PA 19103

Matthew L. Elkin

Attorney at Cozen & O'Connor - New York

3 Wtc, 175 Greenwich Street, 55Th Floor

New York, NY 10007

Matthew A. Taulbee

Attorney at Reminger Co., LPA - Ft. Mitchell

250 Grandview Drive, Suite 550

Ft. Mitchell, KY 41017

Michael J. Miller

Attorney at LEAD ATTORNEY

 

Court Documents

#3

(#3) Summons Issued as to Bank of Utah. Counsel for Plaintiff is responsible for printing and serving the attached issued summons. (SRH) (Entered: 09/27/2021)

#2

(#2) Case Assignment (Random Selection): Case Assigned to Judge Rebecca Grady Jennings. (SRH) (Entered: 09/27/2021)

1 #3

Summons tendered

1 #2

Cover Sheet

1 #1

Exhibit A- Turrell Policy

1 #1

Main Document

 

Docket Entries

  • 09/27/2021
  • View Court Documents
  • Docket(#3) Summons Issued as to Bank of Utah. Counsel for Plaintiff is responsible for printing and serving the attached issued summons. (SRH) (Entered: 09/27/2021)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 09/27/2021
  • View Court Documents
  • Docket(#2) Case Assignment (Random Selection): Case Assigned to Judge Rebecca Grady Jennings. (SRH) (Entered: 09/27/2021)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 09/27/2021
  • View Court Documents
  • Docket(#1) COMPLAINT, filed by Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada, against Bank of Utah. Filing fee $402, receipt number AKYWDC-3438153. (Attachments: #1 Exhibit A- Turrell Policy, #2 Cover Sheet, #3 Summons tendered) (SRH) (Entered: 09/27/2021)

    Read MoreRead Less
related-case-search

Dig Deeper

Get Deeper Insights on Court Cases


Latest cases where Bank of Utah is a litigant

Latest cases where Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada is a litigant

Latest cases represented by Lawyer GREGORY J. STAR

Latest cases represented by Lawyer Matthew Lawrence Elkin