Procedural Posture

Plaintiff widow appealed the judgment of the Superior Court of the City and County of San Francisco (California) in favor of defendants, decedent husband’s former employer, in plaintiff’s action seeking recovery under a group life insurance policy. Plaintiff sought benefits after decedent husband retired and was terminated from defendants’ group insurance.

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Plaintiff widow, executor of decedent husband’s estate, appealed from a trial court judgment for defendants. Decedent was employed by defendant corporation and retired but failed to convert the low cost group life insurance offered through defendants, corporation and insurer, into an individual policy within 30 days after termination of employment or within the period prescribed by Cal. Ins. Code ยง 10209(d). Plaintiff brought suit seeking damages for the monetary value of the group policies alleging breach of contract by defendants for failing to provide decedent with notice of termination from the life insurance policy plan and negligence by defendant corporation for failure to give notice. The trial court held for defendants and plaintiff appealed. The court held the breach of contract claim based on the employment contract and insurance contract were improper and that courts could not make agreements for parties or rewrite contracts because they operated harshly or inequitably as to one of the parties. The court held plaintiff failed to prove negligence as defendants owed no duty to decedent. The lower court judgment for defendants was affirmed.


The judgment of the lower court in favor of defendants was affirmed.

Ellen Hollington

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