Law of Hollywood Land

Entertainment Legal Bouts and Justice

Heath Ledger’s Life Insurance Company Claiming Suicide to Avoid Paying?

Did Heath Ledger commit suicide over Joker?

Did Heath Ledger commit suicide over Joker?

ReliaStar Life Insurance Company, who wrote a $10 million life insurance policy for Heath Ledger just six months before he died, is claiming that Ledger may have committed suicide, which would make the policy null and void. Instead of paying out the policy, they have begun their own investigation to determine the cause of death, despite the New York City Medical Examiner’s ruling that his death was accidental.

Lawyers for Ledger’s daughter are now suing the company, saying that their claim is an obvious ploy to avoid having to pay out. Matilda’s lawyers claim that ReliaStar is flagrantly violating California law, which prohibits insurance companies from re-examining insurance applications after the policyholder dies.

ReliaStar has stated that no decision has been made about the policy.

September 29, 2008 - Posted by | Celebrity, Lawsuit | , , , ,


  1. This case has prompted many questions about how life insurance companies deal with death claims when possible suicide is involved. The fact is, life insurance companies are not obligated to pay death claims if death occurred by suicide during the first two years of the policy. They have a right to investigate the case and determine whether or not it can reasonably be deemed a suicide. The fact the officials initially ruled the death accidental is probably going to help his family’s case for getting the carrier to pay. However, it is not unfathomable that if the insurance company discovers additional information to indicate that it was, in fact, a suicide, the official cause of death could be modified.

    Comment by Byron Udell | September 30, 2008 | Reply

  2. i thought he *did* commit suicide? When was that ever a question? Does “accidental” overdose really ever happen (in adults?)

    Comment by lauren | October 2, 2008 | Reply

  3. ohh…i know…

    Comment by Wharzutility | February 21, 2009 | Reply

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