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ROSS S. ALESSANDRO v. BOROUGH BRADDOCK AND AMERICAN BANKERS LIFE ASSURANCE COMPANY (09/13/78)

decided: September 13, 1978.

ROSS S. ALESSANDRO, ADMINISTRATOR OF THE ESTATE OF JOSEPHINE ALESSANDRO, DECEASED, APPELLANT
v.
BOROUGH OF BRADDOCK AND AMERICAN BANKERS LIFE ASSURANCE COMPANY, A CORPORATION, AND BOROUGH OF BRADDOCK INSURED POLICE PENSION ANNUITY FUND, APPELLEES



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in case of Josephine Alessandro v. Borough of Braddock and American Bankers Life Assurance Company, a Corporation, and Borough of Braddock Insured Police Pension Annuity Fund, No. 2993 April Term, 1968.

COUNSEL

John M. O'Connell, Jr., with him O'Connell, Silvis & Godlewski, for appellant.

Thomas J. Kratzenber, with him Frances A. Murracca, for appellee, Borough of Braddock.

Judges Mencer, Rogers and DiSalle, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Mencer.

Author: Mencer

[ 37 Pa. Commw. Page 514]

This action in assumpsit arises out of a claim by Josephine Alessandro (plaintiff), now deceased, to the proceeds of a $10,000 life insurance policy issued

[ 37 Pa. Commw. Page 515]

    to the Borough of Braddock Insured Police Pension Annuity Fund (Fund) by the American Bankers Life Assurance Company.*fn1 The policy insured the life of plaintiff's brother, Stephen A. Andolina, a member of the Borough of Braddock (Borough) police force.

The Fund was established in 1957 by Borough Ordinance No. 642 (Ordinance 642), pursuant to Section 1 of the Act of May 29, 1956, P.L. (1955) 1804, as amended (Act), 53 P.S. ยง 767, in order to provide pension benefits to Borough police.

The Fund acquired the life insurance policy on February 10, 1958, covering the life of Andolina. Plaintiff was his designated beneficiary. The Fund maintained ownership of the policy, paid the premiums, and reserved the right to change the beneficiary. In January of 1962, in an effort to maintain the Fund's actuarial stability, the Fund was designated as beneficiary of all policies held by the Fund insuring the lives of Borough police. An endorsement naming the Fund as beneficiary was attached to the Andolina policy on January 3, 1962.

On October 12, 1966, Andolina died, prior to retirement and the receipt of pension benefits. The proceeds of the policy were paid to the Fund pursuant to its terms. Plaintiff then instituted this action in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County to obtain the proceeds of the policy.

The Honorable Rolf Larsen, presiding as trial judge, determined that (1) the proceeds were properly paid to the Fund, (2) the Fund was not unjustly enriched, (3) the plaintiff was entitled to $2,000 as a death benefit pursuant to Ordinance 642 as amended Borough Ordinance No. 734-A ...


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