Homicide victim’s family sues for life insurance proceeds
BY TERRIE MORGAN-BESECKER
Times Shamrock Writer
Already dealing with the tragedy of their mother’s shooting death, a Susquehanna woman and her family were subjected to needless additional agony by an insurance company that refused to pay a $50,000 life insurance policy, the woman’s attorney said.
Attorney Timothy Lenahan of Scranton said he was forced to file a lawsuit on behalf of Rebecca Perrington and her sister, Danielle Glover, after Monumental Life Insurance Co. hedged on paying on a policy held by their mother, Sharon Glover, who was allegedly murdered by her estranged husband, Donald Glover Sr.
In an email Friday, Greg Tucker, a spokesman for Monumental, denied the company acted in bad faith and said payment has been made to Mrs. Glover’s family.
Lenahan confirmed he received a check on Friday for the full life insurance proceeds. The action came one day after an attorney for the company was contacted by a reporter seeking comment on the lawsuit.
Mrs. Glover, 46, died after being shot during an Aug. 31, 2012, argument with Mr. Glover in the parking area of the couple’s home at 38 Way Lake Road, Thompson. Mr. Glover is awaiting trial for homicide. His son, Daniel Glover Jr., is also facing charges for allegedly helping his father try to cover up the crime by placing a gun in his mother’s hand.
Police say the senior Mr. Glover initially claimed he shot his wife after she fired a shot at him. His son, in an attempt to corroborate the story, fired a shot from a handgun, then placed it in his mother’s hand. Both men later admitted Mrs. Glover was unarmed, according to an arrest affidavit.
Mr. Lenahan initially filed a lawsuit in Lackawanna County Court, alleging the company acted in bad faith in refusing to pay the policy. Monumental recently transferred the case to federal court.
According to the suit, the senior Mr. Glover was the first beneficiary of Mrs. Glover’s life insurance policy. Pennsylvania’s Slayer’s Act precludes anyone who intentionally causes the death of another from profiting from the death, but Mr. Glover voluntarily waived any claims to the proceeds, the suit said. Donald Glover Jr., who was named as a secondary beneficiary along with his sisters, also withdrew any claim to his portion of the proceeds.
Despite those waivers, Monumental refused to pay the money and provided no legitimate reason for its decision, Mr. Lenahan said.
“The family is already trying to cope with a series of tragic events that are almost unimaginable. To have this added, needless distress heaped upon them is simply unconscionable,” Mr. Lenahan said.
Mr. Lenahan said the payment – which he believes was prompted by the media inquiry – does not end the lawsuit, however, as Mrs. Glover’s family is entitled to compensation for the stress and anguish they suffered in being forced to file suit.
“The payment does not excuse or exculpate the conduct that occurred. No one should ever be forced to hire counsel and file a lawsuit to get what they are undeniably and justly due,” Mr. Lenahan said.
Mr. Lenahan said the case is more egregious because Monumental has twice been fined a combined total of $175,000 by the Pennsylvania Insurance Department for similar conduct in other cases.
The Insurance Department filed a complaint that resulted in a 2010 consent decree in which Monumental promised to alter its practices. The company violated that agreement, which resulted in a second consent decree issued this April.
“This insurance company has been warned on other occasions by the Insurance Department,” Mr. Lenahan said. “This is just heaping tragedy upon tragedy, and it’s being done needlessly.”