Happily married couple, Ethel and James Wrightman, both 62, were thrilled when their children surprised them on their 40th wedding anniversary with tickets to the beautiful city of Mérida, Mexico.
The Wrightmans hadn’t had a holiday in many years. Needless to say, they were quite excited to celebrate 40 years of wedded bliss against the romantic backdrop of this historic Mexican town.
After touching down in Mérida and settling into their hotel room, Ethel and James walked out onto the bustling cobblestone streets, hand in hand. They purchased food from a street vendor and sat on a ledge of a fountain in the middle of the square to enjoy their dinner.
Shortly after their meal, James began to sweat profusely and felt tightness in his chest, but he shrugged it off as indigestion. Figuring her husband had had too much excitement for one day, Ethel suggested that they head to their room and turn in for the night.
Back at the hotel, Ethel went to the bathroom to brush her teeth. Suddenly, she heard a loud thud from the bedroom. Ethel ran out to find James on the floor, unconscious.
An ambulance was called and James was taken to hospital. The medics informed Ethel that her husband had suffered a heart attack. They were unable to resuscitate him, and neither were the doctors in the hospital. James died in her arms.
Ethel, her children and the grandkids were devastated by James’ sudden death. This tight-knit family did their best to support each other as they started a life that no longer included their husband, father and grandfather. Unfortunately, their misfortune didn’t end there. When Ethel submitted a claim to James' private life insurance, the insurer quickly responded with a denial.
The insurer alleged 'material misrepresentation.' They claimed that James' medical reports showed that his doctor had been monitoring his high cholesterol for 20 years and James had failed to disclose this when he had purchased his life insurance in 2000.
Ethel and her children were outraged. Ethel knew that James was not aware that his doctor had been monitoring his cholesterol and could not, therefore, have disclosed something he was unaware of. In fact, even at James' age, he had always received a clean bill of health from his doctor. Ethel asked James' financial advisor for help, who told her to seek legal counsel immediately. He referred Ethel to Share Lawyers.
After a thorough review of James' medical files and application for life insurance, Share Lawyers successfully negotiated a settlement in Ethel's favour. The insurer relented and paid the Wrightmans the entire sum of James' life insurance policy.
*Names have been fictionalized to protect the privacy of our clients.