ESTATE OF ARTHUR M. PICON, SANDRA PICON and DREW PICON, Plaintiffs-Appellants,
FBR GROUP, FINANCIAL BENEFITS RESEARCH GROUP, FINANCIAL BENEFITS RESEARCH SERVICES, and BARRY GIMELSTOB, Defendants-Respondents.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Argued September 23, 2013
On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County, Docket No. L-7461-11.
Leonard C. Leicht argued the cause for appellants (Morgan, Melhuish, Abrutyn, attorneys; Mr. Leicht, of counsel and on the briefs).
James Crawford Orr argued the cause for respondents (Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker, LLP, attorneys; Mr. Orr and Robert A. Berns, of counsel and on the brief; Robert C. Neff, Jr. and Charles F. Kellett, on the brief).
Before Judges Yannotti and Leone.
Plaintiffs Drew Picon, Sandra Picon, and the estate of Arthur M. Picon appeal an order granting summary judgment. They argue that the judge erroneously found their complaint barred by releases Drew and Arthur had signed. We affirm.
The following undisputed facts are taken from the parties' pleadings and motion certifications: Defendant Barry Gimelstob is licensed by the State of New Jersey as a life insurance producer. He is the principal of defendants FBR Group, Financial Benefits Research Group, and Financial Benefits Research Services.
Arthur and his sons Drew and Scott Picon communicated with defendants regarding insurance policies on Arthur's life. As a result, Gimelstob brokered the purchase of insurance policies on Arthur's life, which were issued by MetLife Investors USA Insurance Company.
Drew and Arthur later communicated with defendants regarding the sale of the policies. The Picons received offers to purchase the policies around May 2009. Scott accepted an offer to sell his policy to Coventry First, LLC. Drew and Arthur declined an offer from Coventry to sell the policies they each owned, which named Drew and Arthur's wife, Sandra, as beneficiaries. After another company's offer to purchase their policies fell through, Progressive Capital Solutions, LLC ("Progressive") offered to purchase each policy for $240, 000. On or about August 3, 2009, Drew and Arthur accepted Progressive's offer and completed the closing package.
Funding issues delayed the completion of the sale of the policies to Progressive. Progressive issued checks which bounced due to insufficient funds. Progressive later provided checks that cleared. Gimelstob eventually waived any commission for the sale of the policies.
On December 3, 2009, Drew and Arthur executed a release entitled "Letter of Agreement, " which referred to the policy owned by Drew on Arthur's life. Above their ...