Aetna Life Insurance Company v. Boober

784 P.2d 186 (1990)

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Aetna Life Insurance Company v. Boober

Washington Court of Appeals
784 P.2d 186 (1990)

Facts

As a married couple, Alan and Marilyn Boober had one child, Joshua Boober (defendant). In 1981, Alan and Marilyn divorced. In 1983, Alan married Debbie Boober (defendant). Alan and Debbie had a tumultuous marriage, with each reportedly having extramarital affairs. Alan moved to California in late 1985 for a job but returned home to Washington in April 1986. Debbie gave birth to another child whose father was not Alan. Nevertheless, Alan and Debbie did not initiate a dissolution proceeding. According to Debbie, she and Alan continued to support each other emotionally and in other ways, socialized and appeared in public together, and had sexual relations. In August 1987, Alan started a new job and obtained term life insurance through his new employer. Alan designated Joshua as the sole beneficiary under the policy. In December 1987, Alan died. Marilyn, as guardian ad litem for Joshua, and Debbie filed competing claims to the life-insurance proceeds. Marilyn argued that Alan and Debbie had been effectively separated prior to 1987. Aetna Life Insurance Company (plaintiff) initiated suit to resolve the conflicting claims. On cross-motions for summary judgment, the court approved Marilyn’s claim and awarded all proceeds of the insurance policy to Joshua. Debbie appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Forrest, J.)

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