Talasek v. National Oilwell Varco, LP, No. 21-20069 (5th Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
The Fifth Circuit affirmed the denial of insurance benefits in an action brought by plaintiff, seeking benefits in the amount of $300,000 following her husband's death. The court concluded that plaintiff's estoppel claim failed where her reliance on NOV's statements and deductions were not reasonable because the provision of the group life insurance policy that required her husband to complete an Evidence of Insurability form before coverage could begin was unambiguous. In this case, plaintiff's husband was on notice that coverage applied for during an annual enrollment period began at midnight following the later of two conditions: (1) the first day of the next plan year; and (2) the date Unum approved his evidence of insurability form for life insurance. Furthermore, the Summary of Benefits made clear that this was also the case for changes in coverage, and that NOV's representations were not Unum's. Therefore, the district court did not err in granting summary judgment to NOV on plaintiff's estoppel claim.