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Transamerica Life Insurance Co. v. Estate of Randle

United States District Court, D. Oregon

June 17, 2014

TRANSAMERICA LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY, an Iowa corporation, Plaintiff,
v.
ESTATE OF ARIE RANDLE, PAMELA EDWARDS, and WILBUR H. RANDLE, JR., Defendants.

Claude F. Bosworth, Rizzo Mattingly Bosworth PC, Portland, OR, Attorney for Plaintiff.

Kevin Charles Brague, Kivel and Howard, LLP, Portland, OR, Attorney for Defendant Wilbur Randle, Jr.

OPINION & ORDER

MARCO A. HERNNDEZ, District Judge.

Plaintiff Transamerica Life Insurance Company filed this interpleader action to request a determination of the proper beneficiary of an annuity policy. Only Defendant Wilbert Randle, Jr.[1] has made an appearance. Defendant Randle moves for summary judgment [11] and requests an order of payment and distribution of the policy proceeds to the contingent beneficiaries-him and Defendant Pamela Edwards. I find that the statutory 120-hour survival requirement under ORS § 112.572 applies, and that the primary beneficiary Arie Randle did not meet this requirement. Therefore, I grant the motion because Defendants Randle and Edwards are the proper beneficiaries of the policy proceeds.

BACKGROUND

Gloria Jones bought an annuity policy, No. 0200US54584, for $50, 000 on August 23, 1999. Brague Decl. Ex. 1 at 1. The annuity commence date was also August 23, 1999. Id . Jones named Arie Randle as the primary beneficiary and named Wilbert Randle, Jr., Pamela Edwards, and Zachary Bouey III as equal contingent beneficiaries. Id. at 3. Jones died on March 1, 2010. Id . Ex. 4. Arie Randle, the primary beneficiary, died two days later on March 3, 2010. Id . Ex. 5. Zachary Bouey, a contingent beneficiary, predeceased Jones years earlier on November 3, 2001. Id . Ex. 6.

Under the annuity policy, if the primary beneficiary is alive at the time of death, but dies before receiving payment, the policy proceeds will be paid to the estate. Id . Ex. 1 at 9. Plaintiff Transamerica Life Insurance alleges that Defendant Edwards disputes that Defendant Estate of Arie Randle should receive the policy proceeds because Arie Randle did not survive Jones by at least 120 hours, a requirement of Oregon's Simultaneous Death Act, ORS § 112.572. Compl. ¶ 11. Plaintiff filed this interpleader action, seeking guidance from the court as to the applicability of ORS § 112.572 to Jones's annuity policy.

STANDARDS

Summary judgment is appropriate if there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The moving party bears the initial responsibility of informing the court of the basis of its motion, and identifying those portions of "the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, ' which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett , 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)).

Once the moving party meets its initial burden of demonstrating the absence of a genuine issue of material fact, the burden then shifts to the nonmoving party to present "specific facts" showing a "genuine issue for trial." Fed. Trade Comm'n v. Stefanchik , 559 F.3d 924, 927-28 (9th Cir. 2009) (internal quotation marks omitted). The nonmoving party must go beyond the pleadings and designate facts showing an issue for trial. Bias v. Moynihan , 508 F.3d 1212, 1218 (9th Cir. 2007) (citing Celotex , 477 U.S. at 324).

The substantive law governing a claim determines whether a fact is material. Suever v. Connell , 579 F.3d 1047, 1056 (9th Cir. 2009). The court draws inferences from the facts in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Earl v. Nielsen Media Research, Inc. , 658 F.3d 1108, 1112 (9th Cir. 2011).

If the factual context makes the nonmoving party's claim as to the existence of a material issue of fact implausible, that party must come forward with more persuasive evidence to support his claim than would otherwise be necessary. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp. , 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986).

DISCUSSION

Defendant Randle argues that Arie Randle did not survive Jones by at least 120 hours, as required by ORS § 112.572, and thus, the policy proceeds should be distributed to the living ...


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