Lawsuit: Error Costs Cop's Widow $200,000

Widow of former North Chicago officer seeks remaining life insurance payout

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A federal lawsuit blames a clerical error that cost a former North Chicago police officer's widow $200,000 in life insurance money. (Published Wednesday, Aug 31, 2011)

    A federal lawsuit blames a clerical error that cost a former North Chicago police officer's widow $200,000 in life insurance money.

    Dean Vincent had been making regular payments on his $300,000 life insurance policy, but his widow, Susan Vincent, only received $100,000 of the money since he died last year due to heart problems.

    "The money was taken out of his paycheck. He submitted all the forms, and somebody at the city simply dropped the ball," Susan Vincent's attorney, Keith Hunt, said Wednesday.

    For 20 years, Vincent worked hard to rise through the ranks of the North Chicago Police Department, but at the beginning of 2010, the husband and father began having problems with his heart.

    Months after the 44-year-old had bypass surgery, tragedy struck just a day after Vincent made a very important phone call to his employer.

    "He contacts his employer to make sure all his insurance benefits are set, and that there's no problems since he's been going through all these medical procedures," explained Hunt. "Unfortunately, the next day he passes away.

    Soon after, Susan Vincent confirmed with the city that she would receive a $300,000 payout from her husband's policy. It didn't happen.

    Her lawyers have filed a federal lawsuit against the city of North Chicago, claiming that the city didn't properly file the paperwork for Vincent and other employees. The lawsuit claims the city failed to submit the paperwork for a change in the benefit amount.

    The city's attorney said the municipality is investigating the situation.

    "We are looking into this claim and what the obligation to the city is in this regard," said Chuck Smith via telephone.

    Hunt wants the situation resolved because one of his client's children is opting out of college to save the family money.

    The director of human resources employed when the error was allegedly made is no longer working for the city.