$26M life insurance coverage case is a matter of life or demise

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Is Eduardo Rosendi lifeless or alive? Was he a Mexican tech CEO value $70 million or a custodian who earned $12 a day? These are the $26 million questions introduced by two of the world’s largest insurance coverage firms, questions they’ll put earlier than a federal jury in Houston subsequent week.

“It’s probably the most attention-grabbing trial I’ve ever been concerned in,” stated Mikal C. Watts, a San Antonio plaintiffs’ legal professional representing Blanca Monica Villareal, Rosendi’s widow.

Villareal claims she’s entitled to gather on two term-life insurance coverage insurance policies Rosendi purchased in 2014, one for $10 million from Transamerica and one other for $16 million from Pruco Life Insurance coverage, a subsidiary of Prudential Monetary. Villareal is the first beneficiary on each insurance policies.

Transamerica and Pruco have refused to pay Villareal, elevating quite a few questions on her declare, foremost amongst them whether or not Rosendi is lifeless. The 2 sides sued each other and can current their broadly dissimilar accounts to a jury earlier than U.S. District Decide Lee H. Rosenthal starting Monday.

Initially, Pruco and Transamerica filed separate however practically equivalent lawsuits in opposition to Villareal, who countersued the insurance coverage firms. The instances have been consolidated for Monday’s trial.

Attorneys for the insurers declare in courtroom paperwork that nearly nothing Rosendi informed the businesses when he utilized for and was issued the insurance coverage insurance policies in 2014 was true, in line with findings of a non-public investigative agency, Diligence Worldwide Group.

Furthermore, they declare, proof exists that Rosendi’s 2016 demise was faked.

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The insurance coverage firms allege Rosendi lied when he offered himself as a CEO of tech firm Interactive 4 with an annual wage of $1.8 million and a internet value of $70 million. The insurers say a monetary assertion he submitted to help his utility for the big insurance policies was baloney.

They additional contend that myriad questions encompass his supposed demise in Mexico Metropolis 4 days after Christmas 2016, and his supposed cremation. Not the least of these questions is how a witness in Mexico Metropolis claimed to have seen Rosendi alive (and decidedly not cremated) greater than a 12 months after Villareal reported that her accomplice had breathed his final.

Among the many suspicious findings, the insurance coverage firms allege in courtroom paperwork, are that:

• Regardless of Rosendi’s claiming to personal actual property valued at greater than $38 million, personal investigators “couldn’t discover a single property in Mexico” he owned.

• On the time of his purported demise, he and Villareal lived in a rented home with rented furnishings in Mexico Metropolis, the place his liquid property totaled 300,000 pesos (about $14,500, primarily based on alternate charges then).

• His solely U.S. checking account was a checking account opened in Las Vegas with an preliminary deposit of $475 — an account used virtually solely to make premium funds on the 2 insurance coverage insurance policies.

• The one who licensed Rosendi’s written monetary assertion was not, as purported, a licensed accountant; he was Rosendi’s former brother-in-law, who informed investigators “he had not seen Rosendi for greater than 20 years, didn’t know something about Rosendi’s funds, and signed the monetary assertion just because a unique brother-in-law requested him to.”

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• The Mexico Metropolis physician who licensed Rosendi’s demise “modified his story a number of instances” in regards to the circumstances of the supposed demise.

• The funeral residence the place Rosendi’s physique was supposedly embalmed earlier than cremation — “and earlier than any medical examination may very well be performed” — had been vacated six months earlier than the cremation.

Villareal, in line with the insurance coverage firms, married Rosendi simply two months earlier than his supposed demise.

“Villareal stated she didn’t know any of Rosendi’s relations or even when he had any relations, whether or not he had been married earlier than, whether or not he had any youngsters, or the place he lived earlier than,” legal professionals for insurance coverage firms argue in courtroom paperwork.

Watts, Villareal’s legal professional, claimed in courtroom paperwork that Transamerica and Pruco primarily based their seemingly damning – however inaccurate – conclusions on personal investigators’ studies that had been incomplete, superficial and skewed to inform the insurers what they needed to listen to. He stated he was assured he would persuade jurors that, first, Rosendi did certainly die and that Villareal is entitled to money within the $26 million in insurance coverage insurance policies.

Noting {that a} fifth of Diligence Worldwide’s enterprise comes from Pruco and Transamerica, Watts wrote {that a} “cozy relationship” exists between the investigative agency and the insurance coverage giants.

“The trouble by Diligence was merely to develop a report that may justify denial of the declare,” he wrote. “The investigators understood that their process was to seek out bases for denying the claims to avoid wasting the insurer-clients hundreds of thousands of {dollars}.”

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Either side say they’re wanting to current their variations of the story to jurors.

“I’m very a lot trying ahead to this trial,” Watts stated. “Decide Rosenthal is an excellent choose, and my shopper is happy to be getting her day in courtroom.”

Winstead shareholder Jason Bernhardt, one of many lead legal professionals for the insurance coverage firms, stated that each bogus insurance coverage declare paid out raises premiums for different policyholders.

“Our purchasers have an obligation to their policyholders to make sure the validity of each declare that’s submitted,” Bernhardt stated. “We’re trying ahead to the chance to current our case to a jury.”

The trial is anticipated to final two to 3 weeks.

For an extended model of this text, go to TexasLawbook.internet.