Newsletter of the Insurance Law Practice Group: Scott Peterson's Murder Conviction Sufficient to Bar Entitlement to Life Insurance Proceeds Despite Pending Appeal


Almost everyone is familiar with the murder trial of Scott Peterson. In 2004, after a highly publicized criminal trial in California, Scott was convicted of the first-degree murder of his wife, Laci. In 2005, Scott was sentenced to death. He filed an appeal, which is currently pending before the California Supreme Court. In the meantime, Scott resides in San Quentin State Prison on California?s death row.

Fewer people may be aware of the battle that has raged during the past several years?largely unnoticed by the media?over Laci Peterson?s life insurance proceeds. In 2001, Principal Life Insurance Company issued a $250,000 variable life insurance policy to Laci, with Scott as the primary beneficiary. Laci was reported missing on Christmas Eve, 2002. Almost four months later, on April 14, 2003, Laci?s body washed ashore at the San Francisco Bay. A few days after that, Scott was arrested and charged with Laci?s murder.

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