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JUDITH A. LINDSEY v. RICHARD L. LINDSEY. APPEAL MARY WAITKUS (04/26/85)

filed: April 26, 1985.

JUDITH A. LINDSEY
v.
RICHARD L. LINDSEY. APPEAL OF MARY WAITKUS



No. 413 Harrisburg 1983, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division, of Cumberland County at No. 1709 Civil 1982.

COUNSEL

William J. Fulton, Harrisburg, for appellant.

Sally Jo Winder, Shippensburg, for appellees.

Wickersham, Wieand and Hester, JJ. Wieand, J., files a concurring opinion.

Author: Wickersham

[ 342 Pa. Super. Page 74]

Mary Ellen Waitkus appeals from the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Cumberland County directing the payment of the proceeds of certain life insurance policies to Judith A. Lindsey, widow of Richard L. Lindsey, the deceased insured.

At issue are two life insurance policies owned by Richard Lindsey. The first, paying a $10,000 death benefit, is a group policy provided by Mr. Lindsey's employer and issued by the Prudential Insurance Company. The second, providing a $500 death benefit was issued by the Washington National Insurance Company. Judith Lindsey, appellee herein, was originally named as the primary beneficiary on both policies. The Lindseys experienced marital difficulties, however, and separated. Subsequent to this separation, Mr. Lindsey substituted Mary Ellen Waitkus, appellant herein, as the primary beneficiary. Mr. Lindsey died on October 21, 1982. Judith Lindsey then brought this action to have the beneficiary changes declared null and void, and to have the proceeds of the life insurance policies distributed to her.

Mr. and Mrs. Lindsey separated in May of 1982. Mrs. Lindsey filed for divorce on June 2, 1982. On June 8, 1982, in conjunction with a request for interim equitable distribution, Mrs. Lindsey obtained a preliminary injunction enjoining Mr. Lindsey from disposing of any marital property, and permitting her to remove some assets from the marital home for use in her new apartment.

Mr. Lindsey changed the beneficiary designation on the Washington policy on July 8, 1982, and on the Prudential policy on October 8, 1982. Appellant Waitkus testified that she did not know of Mr. Lindsey's intention to change the

[ 342 Pa. Super. Page 75]

    beneficiaries until after the changes were made. Mrs. Lindsey learned of the changes in beneficiaries only after Mr. Lindsey's death.

The lower court found that the changes in beneficiary designations were in violation of the injunction issued on June 8, 1982. The court ordered, therefore, that the primary beneficiary designations on both the Prudential and the Washington policies be in the name of appellee Judith Lindsey and that the proceeds be distributed to her.

Appellant presents us with the following issues:

1. Whether changes in beneficiary designations on life insurance policies made on July 8 and October 8, 1982 violated a preliminary injunction issued on June 8, 1982 and never moved to a hearing or continued?

2. Whether the divorce action and ancillary claims abated with the ...


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