United States District Court, S.D. Florida
BLOOM UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
CAUSE is before this Court upon Defendant Nancy
Prewitt's Motion for Default Judgment on Cross-Claim
Against Defendant Rizzi, ECF No.  (the
“Motion”). Having considered the Motion,
Plaintiff's Response, the record in this case, and being
otherwise fully advised, the Motion is granted.
case arises from a dispute among potential beneficiaries to a
$23, 164.00 life insurance policy. Roy Prewitt
(“Decedent”) was enrolled through his employer
General Electric (“GE”) in Basic Life Insurance
coverage funded through an insurance policy by Plaintiff
Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (“MetLife”).
On May 3, 2002, Decedent executed a beneficiary designation
naming Gilda Rizzi (“Ms. Rizzi”) as the primary
beneficiary for all GE Benefit Plans, including Basic Life
Insurance. Decedent married Nancy Prewitt (“Mrs.
Prewitt”) on October 30, 2003. On November 7, 2003,
Decedent executed a second beneficiary designation naming
Mrs. Prewitt as the primary beneficiary for three GE benefit
plans but did not check the box for the Basic Life Insurance
died on January 11, 2019. Shortly thereafter, Ms. Rizzi filed
a claim for life insurance benefits. Mrs. Prewitt contacted
MetLife and contested that Ms. Rizzi was the proper
beneficiary. MetLife thereafter filed the instant Complaint
for Interpleader. ECF No. . On February 11, 2019, Mrs.
Prewitt filed a crossclaim against Ms. Rizzi. ECF No. .
The Clerk thereafter entered a default as to Ms. Rizzi for
failure to respond to the Complaint or otherwise appear in
this action. ECF No. . On February 25, 2019, the Court
entered Default Judgment against Ms. Rizzi as to
Plaintiff's interpleader claim. ECF No. . On March 5,
2019, the Clerk entered a default as to Ms. Rizzi for failure
to respond to Mrs. Prewitt's crossclaim. ECF No. . On
March 12, 2019, the Clerk filed a Receipt for deposit into
the Court registry, in the amount of $23, 296.64. ECF No.
. Mrs. Prewitt filed the instant Motion on June 21, 2019,
seeking default judgment as to her crossclaim against Ms.
Rizzi. ECF No. .
procedure governing entry of default and default judgment is
found in Fed.R.Civ.P. 55, which provides in pertinent part,
“when a party against whom a judgment for affirmative
relief is sought has failed to plead or otherwise defend,
” the clerk must enter the party's default. Default
judgment may be entered by the Court pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P.
55(b)(2). The Clerk entered default on Mrs. Prewitt's
crossclaim against Ms. Rizzi on March 5, 2019. ECF No. .
Ms. Rizzi has indeed failed to answer or otherwise respond to
the crossclaim. Since Ms. Rizzi has “failed to plead or
otherwise defend, ” the Court finds default judgment is
defaulting, a defendant is taken to admit the well-pleaded
allegations of fact in a plaintiff's complaint. Eagle
Hosp. Physicians, LLC v. SRG Consulting, Inc., 561 F.3d
1298, 1307 (11th Cir. 2009) (quoting Nishimatsu Const.
Co., Ltd. v. Houston Nat'l Bank, 515 F.2d 1200, 1206
(5th Cir. 1975)). “In an interpleader action in which
all but one named interpleader defendant has defaulted, the
remaining defendant is entitled to the res.” Valley
Forge Life Ins. Co. v. Rockmore, No. 7:07-cv-0063, 2008
WL 1805450, at *1 (M.D. Ga. Apr. 18, 2008) (citing
Nationwide Mut. Fire, Ins. Co. v. Eason, 736 F.2d
130, 133 n.4 (4th Cir. 1984); New York Life Ins.
Co., 700 F.2d at 95-96; Sun Life Assur. Co. of
Canada v. Conroy, 431 F.Supp.2d 220, 226 (D.R.I. 2006)).
Mrs. Prewitt and Ms. Rizzi have competing claims to the life
insurance proceeds at issue. Mrs. Prewitt's crossclaim
establishes that she is entitled to the proceeds of the life
insurance policy at issue. Accordingly, it is ORDERED
AND ADJUDGED as follows:
Motion, ECF No. , is
Prewitt is entitled to recover the full amount of $23,
296.64, plus any additional accrued interest, deposited with
the Court's registry by Metropolitan Life Insurance
Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 58, the Court will separately enter
an Order of Final Judgment.