A $600,000 payout for a slain Linwood radio host’s life insurance policies is now in a trust. But whether the money goes to the woman’s daughter or widower will be for a federal court to decide.
Years before her death, April Kauffman took out two life insurance policies — one for $100,000 and then one for $500,000 — naming Dr. James Kauffman as the beneficiary.
But after the woman was found shot to death in her bedroom May 10, 2012, Transamerica Life Insurance told James Kauffman that the policies could not be paid without official verification that he is not considered a suspect in his wife’s death.
James Kauffman sued Transamerica last June, charging breach of contract for not paying out the two policies, which have no clause relating to homicide, according to the suit. It also said there is no state requirement that the copy of the police report be submitted in such cases, as the company requested.
But Transamerica countered that it could not pay out the policy without assurances the doctor was involved, and it suggested the secondary beneficiary — April Kauffman’s daughter, Kimberly Pack — should be included in the suit.
In January, Pack sued her stepfather, charging for the first time publicly that she believes he was involved in the homicide.
The suit cites the “slayer statute,” which bars someone from benefiting after intentionally causing a death.
In his reply, Kauffman denied any involvement in his wife’s killing.
Shortly after that, Transamerica’s attorney, Robert Lesko, proposed that the company deposit the money with the court, and then be removed from any legal proceedings. U.S. District Judge Karen Williams granted that proposal, which became valid this week when the money was paid out.
As a result, the insurance company that sparked the lawsuit — and Pack’s involvement — cannot be sued by either party in this case.
“My firm does not litigate through the media,” said Ed Jacobs, who has represented the doctor since shortly after the homicide. “Therefore, we’ll say whatever we need to say in depositions, which are scheduled to occur this month, and court proceedings, which follow.”
Packs’ attorney, Patrick D’Arcy, could not comment on the case.
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