Is Eduardo Rosendi lifeless or alive? Was he a Mexican tech CEO price $70 million or a custodian who earned $12 a day? These are the $26 million questions introduced by two of the world’s largest insurance coverage corporations, questions they’ll put earlier than a federal jury in Houston subsequent week.

“It is essentially the most fascinating trial I’ve ever been concerned in,” mentioned Mikal C. Watts, a San Antonio plaintiffs’ legal professional representing Blanca Monica Villareal, Rosendi’s widow.

Villareal claims she’s entitled to gather on two term-life insurance coverage insurance policies Rosendi purchased in 2014, one for $10 million from Transamerica and one other for $16 million from Pruco Life Insurance coverage, a subsidiary of Prudential Monetary. Villareal is the first beneficiary on each insurance policies.

Transamerica and Pruco have refused to pay Villareal, elevating quite a few questions on their declare, foremost amongst them whether or not Rosendi is lifeless. The 2 sides sued each other and can current their extensively dissimilar accounts to a jury earlier than US District Choose Lee H. Rosenthal starting Monday.

Initially, Pruco and Transamerica filed separate however practically equivalent lawsuits in opposition to Villareal, who countersued the insurance coverage corporations. The instances have been consolidated for Monday’s trial.

Legal professionals for the insurers declare in court docket paperwork that nearly nothing Rosendi informed the businesses when he utilized for and was issued the insurance coverage insurance policies in 2014 was true, in line with findings of a non-public investigative agency, Diligence Worldwide Group.

Furthermore, they declare proof exists that Rosendi’s 2016 demise was faked.

The insurance coverage corporations allege Rosendi lied when he introduced himself as a CEO of tech firm Interactive 4 with an annual wage of $1.8 million and a web price of $70 million. The insurers say a monetary assertion he submitted to assist his software for the massive insurance policies was baloney.

They additional contend that myriad questions encompass his supposed demise in Mexico Metropolis 4 days after Christmas 2016, and his supposed cremation. Not the least of these questions is how a witness in Mexico Metropolis claimed to have seen Rosendi alive (and decidedly not cremated) greater than a yr after Villareal reported that her companion had breathed his final.

Among the many suspicious findings, the insurance coverage corporations allege in court docket paperwork, are that:

• Regardless of Rosendi’s claiming to personal actual property valued at greater than $38 million, non-public investigators “couldn’t discover a single property in Mexico” he owned.

• On the time of his purported demise, he and Villareal lived in a rented home with rented furnishings in Mexico Metropolis, the place his liquid property totaled 300,000 pesos (about $14,500, primarily based on change charges then).

• His solely US checking account was a checking account opened in Las Vegas with an preliminary deposit of $475 — an account used virtually completely to make premium funds on the 2 insurance coverage insurance policies.

• The one who licensed Rosendi’s written monetary assertion was not, as purported, a licensed accountant; he was Rosendi’s former brother-in-law, who informed investigators “he had not seen Rosendi for greater than 20 years, didn’t know something about Rosendi’s funds, and signed the monetary assertion just because a special brother-in-law requested him to .”

• The Mexico Metropolis physician who licensed Rosendi’s demise “modified his story a number of occasions” concerning the circumstances of the supposed demise.

• The funeral residence the place Rosendi’s physique was supposedly embalmed earlier than cremation — “and earlier than any medical examination might be performed” — had been vacated six months earlier than the cremation.

Villareal, in line with the insurance coverage corporations, married Rosendi simply two months earlier than his supposed demise.

“Villareal mentioned she didn’t know any of Rosendi’s members of the family or even when he had any members of the family, whether or not he had been married earlier than, whether or not he had any youngsters, or the place he lived earlier than,” attorneys for insurance coverage corporations argued in court docket paperwork.

Watts, Villareal’s legal professional, claimed in court docket paperwork that Transamerica and Pruco primarily based their seemingly damning – however misguided – conclusions on non-public investigators’ studies that have been incomplete, superficial and skewed to inform the insurers what they wished to listen to. He mentioned he was assured he would persuade jurors that, first, Rosendi did certainly die and that Villareal is entitled to money within the $26 million in insurance coverage insurance policies.

Noting {that a} fifth of Diligence Worldwide’s enterprise comes from Pruco and Transamerica, Watts wrote {that a} “cozy relationship” exists between the investigative agency and the insurance coverage giants.

“The hassle by diligence was merely to develop a report that might justify denial of the declare,” he wrote. “The investigators understood that their job was to seek out bases for denying the claims to save lots of the insurer shoppers thousands and thousands of {dollars}.”

Either side say they’re desirous to current their variations of the story to jurors.

“I am very a lot trying ahead to this trial,” Watts mentioned. “Choose Rosenthal is an impressive choose, and my shopper is happy to be getting her day in court docket.”

Winstead shareholder Jason Bernhardt, one of many lead attorneys for the insurance coverage corporations, mentioned that each bogus insurance coverage declare paid out raises premiums for different policyholders.

“Our shoppers have an obligation to their policyholders to make sure the validity of each declare that is submitted,” Bernhardt mentioned. “We’re trying ahead to the chance to current our case to a jury.”

The trial is predicted to final two to a few weeks.

For an extended model of this text, go to TexasLawbook.web.

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