Family of Kevin Smith victim retains attorney | New

The family of Taneka Gardner, whose throat was slit in a religious ritual at a church in Montego Bay last October, has hired a lawyer to represent their interests regarding the late payment of her insurance policy -life to his son and mother, who relatives claim to be the designated beneficiaries.

Gardner, 39, and Michael Scott, 38, were killed in a sacrificial sacrament presided over by Pastor Kevin O. Smith at Pathways International Kingdom Restoration Ministries in Montego Bay, St James. In the October 17 incident, 18-year-old Kevaughn Plummer was also shot and killed when he allegedly attacked an approaching police team with a machete.

But since his death and burial, his family said they had been unable to obtain any details from his employer, Appliance Traders Limited (ATL), or insurers, Guardian Life, about the status of the undetermined police claims.

This fueled speculation that the mother-of-two, like several Pathways loyalists, may have made changes to her life insurance and named Smith as beneficiary.

bizarre incident

Smith died in a car crash shortly after the bizarre incident that rocked the nation.

But Gardner’s sister, Shelana Gardner, who is acting as a proxy for the family, rejects the suggestion, despite her unsuccessful attempts to glean information from ATL and Guardian Life.

“We are having discussions with a lawyer now, because no one is going to cheat on us because we are poor,” she said. Sunday’s Gleaningr last week. “Because he’s dead, they’re using this Kevin Smith rumor so they don’t have to pay us, but I won’t stop until we get what’s rightfully ours.”

Shelana’s interest goes beyond representing her sick mother and nephew, as she awaits reimbursement for the $450,000 she spent burying Taneka. She said there was an agreement between family members that she would be reimbursed when the claim was honored, although the potential payment was never disclosed.

Michelle Johnson-Whyte, head of ATL’s human resources department, mentioned The Sunday Gleaner to the insurer when contacted two weeks ago, informing them that the company no longer had any role to play in the process.

Without addressing the Gardner case, Constance Hoo, vice president of benefits administration at Guardian Life, said The Sunday Gleaner that his company would only provide policy information to authorized client company human resources personnel, beneficiaries, beneficiary trustees or their legal representatives.

The insurance manager explained that her company normally honors claims within five to seven days of receiving all required information and prescribed documents. She indicated that if the beneficiary also dies before the payment is honored, the proceeds will be payable to his estate.

But just six weeks from the first anniversary of Taneka’s death, her family refuses to accept that she had pledged to further enrich a man who already possessed substantial wealth and who contemptuously dictated the personal lives of his followers to the point that they would ignore the welfare of their loved ones.

“I watch her corpse on my phone almost every day, always hoping I can get some answers as to why she didn’t listen,” said her father, Septimus Gardener. The Sunday Gleaner. “Now even a situation that should bring good to his son is working against him.”

Approach of the insurer

insurance expert and Gleaner Columnist Cedric Stephens questioned the insurer’s approach to handling the issue and accused Guardian Life of having a moral duty to inform the family of the true nature of the policy.

He noted what might appear to be “a lack of respect and empathy on the part of the insurance company towards the family members of the deceased – who may or may not be the beneficiaries – and the absence of any discussion on contractual, ethical or regulatory aspects. obligations on the part of the insurer and the former employer of the deceased ATL”.

In the meantime, the Major Investigations Division continues its investigation into Smith’s estate, with his affairs apparently handled by his mother who lives overseas.

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