Decedent found very much alive in litigation of fraudulent life insurance claim

Bullivant was retained to defend a large national insurer in litigation arising out of a suspicious life insurance claim. The "decedent" was a Mexican citizen residing in the United States on a B1 Visa, but traveling in Mexico at the time of his alleged death. The beneficiary was a Ukrainian citizen, who had recently married the "decedent," and was with him in Mexico at the time of his demise.

Our lead trial counsel was asked to travel to Guadalajara, Mexico, to conduct perpetuated depositions of material witnesses, including the beneficiary, the doctor who declared the alleged death, the "decedent's" regular treating physician, witnesses to the alleged death, and the operator of the funeral home that prepared and cremated the "decedent." After conducting depositions of the "decedent's" treating physician and the funeral home operator, and interviewing additional witnesses our lead trial counsel obtained full confessions from the beneficiary and two accomplices involved in staging the alleged death. The confessions were followed closely by an angry telephone call and a series of e-mails from the very much alive "decedent," and the beneficiary's return to Ukraine to avoid prosecution.