Life Insurance Interpleader Help
If you were served with an Interpleader lawsuit or are involved in an interpleader in Florida, you may have a very limited amount of time to file papers or your claim could be barred forever. Our Florida life insurance interpleader attorneys have the experience to help guide your case, advise you of your rights, and fight to get you the benefits you deserve. Call a life insurance attorney at the Law Offices of Jason Turchin today at 800-337-7755 for a free consultation, or submit your case information or question online.
What is a life insurance interpleader claim?
A life insurance interpleader lawsuit is a lawsuit typically filed by a life insurance company when there are competing life insurance claims made against the same life insurance policy. The interpleader lawsuit often lays out the fact that more than one claim was made against the policy, or that the life insurance company believes that there is a potential for more than one claim against the same policy. It is a tool the life insurance company may use so they don't have to pay out twice. They don't want to risk paying out to the claimant they think is the right one, but then get sued by the other and find out that they were the correct beneficiary under the law. Rather than pay out twice, the life insurance company files an interpleader.
When a life insurance company files an interpleader action, they ask the Court to allow it to deposit the life insurance benefits into the Court's registry, like a bank account, for safe keeping. They effectively admit that they owe the money, but they just are not 100% sure who is legally entitled to the benefits.
Interpleader filed in Florida state court
A life insurance interpleader lawsuit filed in state court is governed in part by the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 1.240. Rule 1.240 states:
Persons having claims against the plaintiff may be joined as defendants and
required to interplead when their claims are such that the plaintiff is or may be
exposed to double or multiple liability. It is not ground for objection to the joinder
that the claim of the several claimants or the titles on which their claims depend do
not have a common origin or are not identical but are adverse to and independent
of one another, or that the plaintiff avers that the plaintiff is not liable in whole or
in part to any or all of the claimants. A defendant exposed to similar liability may
obtain such interpleader by way of crossclaim or counterclaim. The provisions of
this rule supplement and do not in any way limit the joinder of parties otherwise
The purpose of an interpleader filed in state court is to avoid double liability. The life insurance company does not want to pay out once and then be forced to collect the money back if they were wrong.
A Florida life insurance interpleader may be filed in any Florida circuit court. Each Florida County has a circuit court which could hear these types of cases. An interpleader is usually filed in a Florida state court when the amount in controversy is less than $75,000.00, or when the parties are all from Florida, though a lawsuit for policy benefits far greater than $75,000.00 may also be filed in a Florida state court.
Interpleader filed in Florida federal court
When a life insurance interpleader is lawsuit filed in federal court in Florida, it is governed in part by the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 22. Rule 22 states:
(1) By a Plaintiff. Persons with claims that may expose a plaintiff to double or multiple liability may be joined as defendants and required to interplead. Joinder for interpleader is proper even though:
(A) the claims of the several claimants, or the titles on which their claims depend, lack a common origin or are adverse and independent rather than identical; or
(B) the plaintiff denies liability in whole or in part to any or all of the claimants.
(2) By a Defendant. A defendant exposed to similar liability may seek interpleader through a crossclaim or counterclaim.
(b) Relation to Other Rules and Statutes. This rule supplements—and does not limit—the joinder of parties allowed by Rule 20. The remedy this rule provides is in addition to—and does not supersede or limit—the remedy provided by 28 U.S.C. §§1335, 1397, and 2361. An action under those statutes must be conducted under these rules.
The purpose of an interpleader filed in federal court is also to avoid double liability.