FRANKFORT (AP) — Kentucky’s Democratic attorney general is trying to revive a lawsuit the state’s Republican governor has dropped.
Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration decided to drop its defense of a state law designed to protect life insurance benefits. Attorney General Andy Beshear said he is outraged and will ask the Supreme Court to substitute his office for the governor so the lawsuit can continue.
The 2012 law requires life insurance companies to check the state’s death master file to verify if any policyholders have died and notify their heirs so they can start receiving benefits. Several life insurance companies sued, saying the law could not be applied to policies written before the law was passed.
A circuit judge ruled in the state’s favor, but the state Court of Appeals reversed the decision. Arguments before the state Supreme Court were scheduled for Friday before the Kentucky Department of Insurance asked to dismiss the case.
Bevin said after a “thorough analysis” of the appeals court ruling, he believed it was illegal to apply the law retroactively.
“The idea we would use taxpayer money to fight something that was illegal was not determined to be a wise use of taxpayer money,” Bevin said.
Beshear said he has 10 days to ask the Supreme Court to reconsider its order dismissing the case.
“The citizens of Kentucky have been abandoned by the Department of Insurance,” Beshear said. “There are people out there who, if this is abandoned, will never know that their mother or grandmother or loved one who passed on had an insurance policy at all.”
Beshear said the case would be “an uphill battle” because the case was already so far along in the process.