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Sun Life And Health Insurance Company (U.S.) v. Colavito

United States District Court, S.D. New York

March 28, 2014

SUN LIFE AND HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANY (U.S.), Plaintiff,
v.
KATHLEEN COLAVITO, DOMENIC COLAVITO, and TERESA MAMONE COLAVITO, Defendants

For Kathleen Colavito, Defendant: Jeffrey Alan Hoerter, Esq., Martin Law Group, P.C., Wappingers Falls, NY.

For Domenic Colavito and Teresa Mamone Colavito, Defendants: Paul Joseph Goldstein, Esq., Goldstein & Metzger, LLP, Poughkeepsie, NY.

OPINION

Page 177

OPINION & ORDER

KENNETH M. KARAS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

Sun Life and Health Insurance Company (U.S.) (" Sun Life" ) brought this Interpleader Complaint against Kathleen Colavito, Domenic Colavito, and Teresa Mamone Colavito, to determine the proper distribution of benefits from a life-insurance policy held by Matthew Colavito. ( See Am. Compl. (Dkt. No. 3).) In their Answer, Claimants Domenic Colavito and Teresa

Page 178

Mamone Colavito (" Nonmovants" ) sought a judgment declaring themselves, collectively, to be the sole beneficiaries of the policy. ( See Answer to First Am. Interpleader Compl. & Req. for Declaratory J. 5 (Dkt. No. 6).) In her Answer, Claimant Kathleen Colavito (" Movant" or " Kathleen" ) sought a judgment declaring her to be the sole beneficiary. ( See Answer to First Am. Interpleader Compl. & Req. for Declaratory J. 5 (Dkt. No. 8).)

Before the Court is Kathleen Colavito's Motion for Summary Judgment, wherein she seeks a judgment " declaring that she is the rightful beneficiary/owner of the proceeds" of the policy. (Notice of Mot. for Summ. J. (" Mot." ) 1 (Dkt. No. 24).) For the reasons stated below, the Court grants the Motion.

I. Background

A. Factual History

For the purposes of evaluating this Motion, the following facts are not in dispute. Matthew Colavito (" Matthew" ) and Teresa Mamone Colavito (" Teresa" ) were married in September 1986 and had a son, Domenic Colavito (" Domenic" ), in September 1988. ( See Decl. of Att'y Jeffrey A. Hoerter, in Supp. of Mot. for Summ. J. (" Mot. Decl." ) at ¶ ¶ 3-4 (Dkt. No. 25).) In December 1988, Matthew and Teresa entered into a separation agreement, and in September 1991, they entered into a settlement agreement (" Settlement Agreement" ), which was later incorporated into a judgment of divorce. ( See id. ¶ ¶ 5-6; id. Ex. 1 (Settlement Agreement).) In August 2000, Matthew married Kathleen. ( See id. ¶ 7.)

Approximately seven years later, in October 2007, Matthew accepted a position as a Working Supervisor of Facilities at the Dutchess County Board of Cooperative Educational Services (" BOCES" ). ( See id. ¶ 8.) Thereinafter, Matthew enrolled in a number of benefits programs associated with his new position. In particular, on October 22, 2007, Matthew completed and signed RS Form 5420-I, which enrolled Matthew in a death-benefits program provided by the New York State and Local Retirement System (" NYSLRS" ). ( See id. ¶ 10.) In doing so, he designated Kathleen as the sole primary beneficiary and Domenic as the sole contingent beneficiary. ( See id. Ex. 4 (NYSLRS Membership Registration Form).) Furthermore, on October 26, 2007, Matthew completed and signed a form entitled " Genworth Financial Enrollment Request," wherein he elected to enroll in a life-insurance policy and designated Kathleen as the sole primary beneficiary and Domenic as the sole contingent beneficiary. ( See id. ¶ 12; id. Ex. 6 (Genworth Financial Enrollment Request).) The Parties do not dispute that this enrollment request resulted in Matthew's enrollment in the life-insurance policy at issue in ...


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