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Iannello v. American General Life Insurance Co.

United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division

February 1, 2018

PAUL A. IANNELLO, Plaintiff,
v.
AMERICAN GENERAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          WAVERLY D. CRENSHAW, JR. CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This is an action for recision and breach of contract brought by Paul A. Iannello (“Iannello”) against American General Life Insurance Company (“American General”). American General has filed a Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. No. 33), that motion has been fully briefed by the parties (Doc. Nos. 33-7, 37-4 & 39). Summary judgment will be denied.

         I.

         American General's Motion for Summary Judgment is based upon the following undisputed facts[1]:

         1. For more than two decades, Iannello has owned and/or operated several businesses, most recently serving as the Chief Executive Officer of Torq-Comm., Inc. He has entered into several contracts on behalf of his companies, and understands that agreements govern the terms of a relationship between two parties.

         2. Over the years, Iannello has invested in businesses, mutual funds, and the stock market. He also sold term life insurance for two years early in his career.

         3. An application was submitted by Iannello on January 23, 2015 for a life insurance policy issued by American General. The initial premium was listed $250, 000, and Iannello paid that amount.

         4. Immediately above the signature line, the application form provided:

I agree that no agent of the Company [American General] . . . . has authority to waive any answer or otherwise modify this application or bind the Company in any way by making any promise or representation which is not set out in writing in this application.

(Doc. No. 33-2 at 68).

         5. Iannello received policy illustrations from American General. Iannello signed one policy illustration dated April 13, 2015, and his “bitmap” signature (which he agrees has the same effect as an actual signature) appears on a policy illustration dated March 10, 2015. Both provided:

BY SIGNING THIS FORM, YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU HAVE READ (OR HAVE HAD READ TO YOU), UNDERSTAND, AND AGREE TO THE FOLLOWING STATEMENTS:
1. Life Insurance is not an investment. I am purchasing an Indexed Universal Life Insurance Policy because I have a long term need for permanent life insurance.

(Doc. No. 33-3 at 40).

         6. The April 13, 2015 policy illustration indicates that, at the end of the first year, the cash surrender value of the policy would be $135, 884, and Iannello admits that, had he reviewed the illustration, he would have realized that this was the cash surrender value.

         7. Iannello received a policy issued May 20, 2015 from American General. The first page of the policy states that it is an “Individual Fixed Index Interest Flexible Premium Adjustable Life Insurance Policy.” That page also provides the following “NOTICE OF RIGHT TO EXAMINE POLICY”:

You may return this Policy within twenty days after delivery if You are not satisfied with it for any reason. This Policy may be returned to Us or the agent through whom it was purchased. Upon surrender of this Policy within the twenty day period, it will be ...

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