Self-Serving Affidavits Sufficient to Preclude Summary Judgement

Saul Guzman purchased a life insurance policy from Allstate in August 2017. He disclosed his history of seizures but denied using tobacco or nicotine products. He died in January 2019 after suffering a seizure at work. Allstate conducted a contestable-claims investigation after Guzman’s wife and beneficiary Mirna Guzman filed a claim. The company uncovered medical records that described Guzman as a smoker and rescinded the contract. Mirna sued Allstate. The main dispute between the parties was whether or not Guzman was a smoker when he completed the life insurance application. Mirna and Guzman’s sister submitted affidavits that claimed neither saw Guzman smoke or smelled tobacco on his clothes. The district court granted Allstate’s motion for summary judgment due to no genuine dispute of material fact. The Fifth Circuit reversed and remanded the case. Although the two affidavits may have been self-serving, they were “sufficient to create a genuine issue of material fact.” Read the full case here.


At Webb Sanders & Williams, we handle every aspect of insurance litigation under all types of policies and all types of coverage matters including analysis of the duty to defend and indemnify, bad faith claims, extra-contractual claims and coverage, interpretation of policy language, in addition to the defense of both insurer and insured. If you need assistance regarding an insurance case contact our office