Fri, Apr 30, 2004
Says Army Helo Pilot's Policy Not Effective Until Two Days
The Tennessee widow of a special
forces helicopter pilot killed in Afghanistan says his insurance
company now refuses to pay up. Now, she's suing the Military
Benefit Association Inc. and the Government Personnel Mutual Life
Insurance Co. in a Nashville federal court.
Mark O'Steen was killed in a training accident January 30th,
2003 while in Afghanistan. The pilot, who went to Afghanistan with
the Army's 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment -- the "Night
Stalkers" -- bought insurance before being shipped overseas from
Fort Campbell (KY). The first payment was deducted from his January
31st paycheck and was made even after the accident. But the
insurance company says the $250,000 policy wasn't in effect until
two days after O'Steen was killed.
"The O'Steens told the defendants'
agent that Mr. O'Steen was going overseas in mid-January of 2003
and needed coverage to be in effect immediately," Amy O'Steen's
She says the agent told them the insurance would be effective as
long as they set up payments on a direct deposit basis from
O'Steen's military paycheck.
But the insurance company says it's all there in black and
white, signed an initialed in the right places by the Osteens
themselves. Government Personnel Mutual Life says O'Steen's death
was "unfortunate," but that his widow has no case.
Amy O'Steen has three children. Her husband was killed serving
his third tour of duty in Afghanistan.
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