A NY woman who was convicted of criminally negligent homicide after being connected with her fiancé’s death in a kayak on the Hudson River back in 2015 may be receiving a significant insurance payout from his policy. Angelika Graswald allegedly pulled the plug on her fiancé’s kayak and watched him struggle to stay afloat. She even moved his paddle away so he couldn’t grab onto it. Eventually, the frigid 40-degree water no longer permitted Vincent Viafore to fight to stay alive.
After her fiancé’s death, Graswald became a prime suspect in the case and was interrogated right after the incident first happened. She told cops “I wanted him dead and now he’s gone” [Source: The New York Post]. Prosecutors believed she was trying to cash in on his $250,000 life-insurance policy as this would have been her third husband. It was later revealed that she was just telling officers what they wanted to hear and that her soon to be husband actually died because he was drunk. The plug they claim she removed from his kayak was later retrieved from the center console of the car she was driving. While she retracted her first statement and claimed she didn’t actually allow him to die, she did, however, say that their relationship had been strained as “he pressed her for “sexual stuff” such as “threesomes, porn, everything.”
Graswald was eventually sentenced to a little over two years in prison and was recently released last month. The maximum sentence she could have received for the crime was four years, although she was initially looking at a murder charge and could have been faced with up to 25 years to life in prison. Now that Graswald has successfully completed her sentence, however, the family of Viafore is infuriated as she may be entitled to collect up to $500,000 from her fiancé’s insurance policy. Although she didn’t “intentionally” kill her fiancé, the family believes that she did allow him to die which is why they aren’t comfortable with the fact that this woman may receive an insurance payout for his death.
Although the family has expressed that they are ready to fight to “bitter end” for this money, they may have a difficult time getting it. Why? CBS New York points out that “Unlike someone who commits intentional murder or homicide and automatically forfeits any right to inherit from a victim, New York law does not automatically forfeit that right for someone who pleads guilty to criminally negligent homicide.”
The family issued a statement claiming that if the judge does choose to rule in Graswald’s favor, they will file a wrongful death lawsuit in civil court. And as for Graswald, she may not be facing deportation to back to her native home, Latvia.
Insurance issues aren’t easy to overcome. Some are more complicated like the one mentioned above while others are a little easier to deal with. Either way, if you are having trouble collecting on an insurance policy or your insurer isn’t complying with the terms set forth in your active policy, consider speaking with a Syracuse, NY insurance claims dispute lawyer.
The Syracuse insurance attorneys at Stanley Law are available to determine how they can best serve you and get your matter resolved. If you would like to contact this firm to get your consultation scheduled, call 1-800-608-3333 today.