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TRAVELERS INS. CO. v. JOHNSON

February 9, 1984

The TRAVELERS INSURANCE COMPANY, a corporation, Plaintiff,
v.
Alice Perry JOHNSON and Carol M. Johnson, as parent, custodian, and trustee of Kim Johnson and Kelly Johnson, infants, Defendants/Third Party Plaintiffs, v. ESTATE OF Steven Brian JOHNSON and Alice Perry Johnson, Third Party Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: THOMPSON

 I. FACTS

 Carol J. Plumeri and Steven B. Johnson were married in November 1967 and divorced in October 1976. They had two daughters, Kim, who is now 14, and Kelly, who is now 13. On December 10, 1975, the couple signed a Support and Separation Agreement which was incorporated into the final judgment of divorce. Provision 33 of the Support and Separation Agreement states as follows:

 
Husband is covered by life insurance in a group policy through his employment. Husband shall continue said policy in force and effect and pay the premiums thereon.
 
Husband shall make Wife, as Trustee for the children, as primary beneficiary of said policy. Each child will be removed as a beneficiary at the time said child reaches the age of 18 years at which point said child's name will be deleted as beneficiary leaving the remaining child as beneficiary.
 
When all children have reached the age of 18 years, Husband may at his option cancel the policy.
 
Husband has the obligation, if he leaves his current employment, to convert his work related policy to not less than $60,000.00 and will provide as primary beneficiary Wife as a one-third beneficiary, if she is not remarried, and Wife in Trust for the children as a two-thirds beneficiary.
 
This one-third-two-thirds arrangement shall apply to the policy set forth unless Wife remarries then the primary beneficiary shall be Wife as Trustee for children equally.

 At the time that this agreement was made, Steven B. Johnson had two insurance policies. One policy was from the East River Savings Bank ["East River"] for the amount of $20,000. Carol was the beneficiary of this policy. The other policy was through his job at Crum & Forster. This policy, which appears to be the work-related policy to which the Support and Separation Agreement refers, was worth about $100,000. Carol was also the beneficiary of this policy.

 In support of her motion for partial summary judgment and in opposition to the motion for summary judgment, Carol J. Plumeri submitted an affidavit of Roger K. Bentley, III, Esquire, who represented her regarding her marital separation and divorce. He asserts that the agreement was as follows:

 
a) Mr. Johnson was obligated to continue his then current work-related policy in effect;
 
b) If he left employment with Crum & Forster and was rehired at employment where he was covered under a group policy, then the entirety of such proceeds were to be left to Mrs. Plumeri and/or the children as beneficiaries (in no event could that amount be less than $60,000);
 
c) if he left employment at Crum & Forster and was not rehired, or was rehired but not covered by a group insurance policy of at least $60,000.00, then he was additionally obligated to obtain such coverage with Mrs. Plumeri and/or the children as the designated beneficiaries.

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