Heath Ledger’s insurance lawsuit finally settled


A year after Heath Ledger’s death, one of the last pieces just fell into place. In September, MSat reported that the insurance company covering Heath’s policy was refusing to pay the claim because his death could have been a suicide – even though all medical evidence proved that it was accidental. Lawyers representing Heath took action against the insurance company, and his now $10 million claim will be paid out.

A lawsuit involving Heath Ledger’s $10 million life insurance policy has reached a confidential settlement, documents filed Wednesday in a Los Angeles court show.

The suit had been filed by a lawyer, John S. LaViolette, working on behalf of the actor’s daughter Matilda, 3. The suit claimed that ReliaStar Life Insurance Company had refused to honor the policy because it asserted that Ledger’s death could have been a suicide.

“The parties are pleased they were able to reach an amicable settlement,” said attorney William Shernoff, who represents Matilda and LaViolette.

The New York Medical Examiner found that Ledger, 28, died of an accidental drug overdose in January 2008.

The papers also show that LaViolette is seeking to be appointed as guardian of Matilda, who is the beneficiary of the insurance policy.

[from People]

There has been an excessive number of controversies and legal disputes over Heath’s death. Immediately after his passing, there were concerns within Heath’s own family over his father’s ability to execute the will, then he was exploited by a woman who said that they had a child together (which proved untrue). There were even questions – because Heath’s will was outdated – whether his daughter Matilda would get anything. It’s good to see that this is finally all being put to rest.


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16 Responses to “Heath Ledger’s insurance lawsuit finally settled”

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  1. vdantev says:

    Such a sad story. 🙁 Hopefully this brings some closure to it all. Miss you, Heath.

  2. Madelyn Rose says:

    Yes, it is so sad. I hope Matilda grows up to handle the fortune that she will inherit well. It’s so hard to be rich so young – there are so many temptations. All the best to that cute little girl.

  3. luckystar says:

    All has been put to right. RIP Heath.

  4. Goddess711 says:

    I don’t understand why this lawyer representing a 3 year old would be audacious enough to think he/she could be appointed a “guardian” to a child that has a mother with sole custody?
    Sounds like the lawyer wants something more than just the legal fees he/she makes from this?

  5. MT says:

    Goddess, I agree.

    But to be honest, I am not sure the insurance company has to pay anything.

    Everyone in NYC knows Heath had a serious drug problem.
    I don’t think it’s like suicide, but an insurance is supposed to cover cases in which you are not risking your life and something unexpected happened.

    If you chose to use drugs, then it’s like voluntarily risking your life, and that’s not what an insurance company supposed to cover.

  6. JUDY says:

    The insurance company had to pay up.
    I doubt very much if Heath had a severe drug problem as he didnt have that many drugs in his system but he mixed 2 drugs that act against one another and that is what killed him ,they call it an Od. I doubt also if everyone in NY knew he had drug problems lol He was not a drug addict ,he took pills now and then but not everyday and also he had a prescription for those drugs ,he was not buying them off the street. You make it sound like he couldnt hold a job or fucntion because of his “servere drug problem lol

  7. elainebenes says:

    I have an insane case of insomnia, alot of the medication I tried gets used to my body quickly. My point is that I’ve tried to get life insurance & have had a hell of a time because of the medication, especially if it has to to with mental abilities like insomnia, depression, bi-polar. It’s considered high risk.

    I’m so glad the insurance company did pay up for Matilda. Michelle is doing such a great job, it still must be so hard for her too.

    Heath, you are not forgotten.

  8. elainebenes says:

    Candace, please STFU & stay on the DMX thread. Or just go away.

  9. elainebenes says:

    oh god, sorry, “candice”

  10. orion70 says:

    all righty then….

    back OT…that photo is so tragic…Matilda looks so happy with her Dad. How sad that she will grow up without him.

  11. Keekee says:

    Good news, Matilda should have that money.

    RIP Heath.

  12. Cha Cha says:

    So weird, I had a dream about him last night and woke up to this thread. He was so sweet and charming in it too. 🙁

    I’m glad his family got that.

  13. Bodhi says:

    That header picture kills me every time I see it 🙁

    I’m glad Matilda will be taken care of.

  14. Jane says:

    Heath I swear..

  15. Sara says:

    How on EARTH does a lawyer decide to seek guardianship when the child has all the family support and love she needs? Am I missing something apart from the huge dollar sign over his head?

    I rewatched “10 things” yesterday. It still kills me to think about “what could have been”.

  16. carey says:

    It’s not unusual (OMG, I just quoted Tom Jones!) to have a conservator on money in trust for a child. This is to make sure the money alloted actually goes to the child instead of being used by a parent.