Missouri Slayer Law Preempted by ERISA

In Mitchell, et. al. v. Marcus Tyrone Robinson, Sr., et. al. the Plaintiffs are the grandparents of some minor children of Marcus Tyrone Robinson and his deceased wife. The allegation is that Mr. Robinson killed his wife. The wife had $121,000.00 in life insurance through her employer, Unilever, and insurer MetLife. Mr. Robinson made a claim for benefits under the policy which was paid. Thereafter, the grandparents filed suit alleging that Mr. Robinson was not entitled to recover under the Missouri Slayer Statute, and claimed that the benefits were wrongfully paid as a result thereof. Plaintiffs asserted several state law claims to recover the money and named Unilever and MetLife as Defendants. In the attached order the court is deciding Unilever’s motion to dismiss the state law claims based upon ERISA preemption. The court holds that the Missouri Slayer Statute is preempted.

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