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Lack v. Lack
Texas Court of Appeals
584 S.W.2d 896 (1979)
Ralph Lack was a Texas fireman. Beginning in 1953, Ralph made contributions in the form of salary deductions to the firemen’s pension plan (the pension plan) (defendant), which was governed by a specified statute (the statute). Ralph’s employer additionally made contributions to the pension plan on Ralph’s behalf. In 1954, Ralph married Margaret Lack (plaintiff). In 1965, Ralph and Margaret divorced. The divorce decree did not mention the pension plan. After 1970, Ralph married Nora Lack (defendant). In 1975, Ralph died in the line of duty. Pursuant to the statute, if a fireman died “leaving a widow” or minor children, payments were made from the pension fund to the “widow and such child or children” in certain amounts. Margaret sued the pension plan and Nora, asserting a community-property interest in the death benefits. On summary judgment, the trial court ruled in Nora’s favor. Margaret appealed, arguing that she was entitled to a pro rata share of the death benefits because contributions were made using community funds.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Akin, J.)
Dissent (Robertson, J.)
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