LOS ANGELES (CN) - A grieving widow claims an insensitive insurance agent stood up before 250 mourners at her husband's funeral and said, "Who would have ever thought 10 years ago, when David and Irene signed up, that Irene would be set for life at such a young age?" Irene Cervantes says the mourners were "uniformly horrified." She sued the agent, Primerica Life Insurance and Citigroup for intentional infliction of emotional distress and other charges.
Cervantes claims that after her husband died of cancer, Anna Maria Lonigro stood up at his service at St. Cecilia's Catholic Church and said, "Hello, my name is Anna Lonigro, and I'm with Primerica Life Insurance. I am so happy to pay out this policy to Irene. It's the first one I've ever paid out. Who would have ever thought 10 years ago, when David and Irene signed up, that Irene would be set for life at such a young age?"
Cervantes adds, "The audience was uniformly horrified at Ms. Lonigro's statements," which she calls "offensive, false and misleading."
She also claims that the statement violated the insurer's confidentiality policy.
And in a final twist of the knife, the widow claims, her family believes she is "set for life," and several of them have asked for money, which she gave them, because she feared losing the relationships if she didn't pay.
Cervantes claims she received $140,000 from her husband's life insurance policy. She says that amount is not only not enough to make her "'set for life,' this meager amount was not enough to even pay off her mortgage."
She says that since the funeral she has not had a moment's peace, and was deprived the chance to mourn her husband properly. She suffers from insomnia and has needed medical help to deal with the stress.
Primerica is "now Citibank," according to the complaint.
Cervantes seeks punitive damages for emotional distress, negligence, false light, public disclosure or private facts and intrusion into personal affairs.
She is represented by Tina Locklear of Irvine.