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RCR Racing lawsuit 06 06 05
Welcome, N.C. (May 23, 2005) – Court proceedings in the lawsuit filed by Richard Childress Racing against the United of Omaha Life Insurance Company will begin on May 23, 2004, at 10:00 a.m., in Superior Court in nearby Lexington.
This case arises out of life insurance covering the death of Dale Earnhardt at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 18, 2001. It involves the three-year contract Earnhardt and Richard Childress signed in 2000 to cover the years 2001 through 2003.
Richard Childress Racing agreed to insure Earnhardt for $7.2 million, to be payable to Teresa Earnhardt if he died during the first year of the contract. A $3.5 million life insurance policy was already in effect with National Life of Vermont and Richard Childress Racing purchased an additional policy worth $3.7 million through agents of United of Omaha, a subsidiary of Mutual of Omaha prior to Earnhardt’s death.
The insurance policy application with United of Omaha was completed and signed in January 2001 by all parties involved: Richard Childress Racing, Dale Earnhardt personally, and United of Omaha. Two premium payments were made by Richard Childress Racing to agents of United of Omaha.
Within 24 hours of Earnhardt’s death, United of Omaha declined payment on the $3.7 million policy and stated they had closed their file on the case. Shortly after that, National Life of Vermont sent a check for $3.5 million to Richard Childress Racing, which was delivered to Teresa Earnhardt.
The lawsuit against United of Omaha is for violation of North Carolina laws dealing with bad faith and unfair and deceptive trade practices by insurance companies. Under those laws, insurance companies must conduct a reasonable investigation of all claims based upon all available information. Richard Childress Racing contends that United of Omaha did not conduct such an investigation and illegally refused to pay under the policy, thus violating the law and regulations applicable to insurance companies in North Carolina. He is pursing this case on behalf of Dale Earnhardt, Dale’s memory, and Teresa Earnhardt.
This trial is set for a special session of the Superior Court of Davidson County in Lexington, N.C., which will begin May 23, 2005, at 10:00 a.m. The case will be heard by a resident Superior Court judge in Davidson County, the Honorable Kimberly G. Taylor. This is to be a trial by jury that is expected to last for one to two weeks.
Updates on this...
5.31.05 Judge allows public to see edited version of Earnhardt contract
6.14.05 Judge rules for Childress in case against insurer
NASCAR insurance lawsuits