The fight over who should receive $500,000 from a Precious Martin life insurance policy continued in court this week in State Farm v. Crystal Martin and Brandi Barnett. Ms. Barnett charged that the deceased attorney had numerous affairs when he was alive in an answer to a cross-claim filed by Crystal Martin. The saga began when State Farm filed a complaint for interpleader and asked the court to decide the proper beneficiary for the policy. The life insurance policy named Ms. Barnett as the beneficiary although Precious Martin was married to Crystal at the time of death.
Mrs. Martin included a lawsuit seeking damages against Brandi Barnett for alienation of affection in a cross-claim filed against Ms. Barnett. Mrs. Martin charged in her lawsuit:
In January of 2014, Crystal Wise Martin became aware that Brandi Barnett, the bookkeeper at Precious Martin, Sr. & Associates Law Firm, the place of employment of Precious Martin and Crystal Martin, had seduced and continued to recklessly engage in certain solicitous conduct and activities with Precious Martin. Unbeknownst to Crystal Martin, Brandi Barnett resided in Hinds County, Mississippi in a home owned by a Limited Liability Company in which Precious Martin was the sole member and provided to Barnett by Precious Martin. At the time of said solicitous conduct by Barnett, Precious and Crystal Martin resided together with their children in Madison County, Mississippi.
5. On May 11, 2014, Precious Martin tragically died in an ATV accident while riding in his Madison County, Mississippi neighborhood. Subsequent to Mr. Martin’s death, Crystal Martin learned that the application for the State Farm Premium Term Life Insurance Policy purchased by Precious Martin named Brandi Barnett as the primary beneficiary.
6. The home provided to Barnett by Martin as well as the naming of Barnett as the beneficiary of Martin’s State Farm Life Insurance policy are the results of Barnett’s actions in seducing Precious Martin and engaging in and encouraging a continuing elicit relationship between Barnett and Precious Martin for the purposes of receiving material benefits from Precious Martin. Barnett seduced Precious Martin and encouraged and pursued a continuing sexual relationship with Precious Martin for the purpose of unduly influencing Precious Martin to provide material benefits to Brandi Barnett that should have been given to Crystal Wise Martin and her children, including but not limited to exerting undue influence on Precious Martin to name Brandi Barnett as the beneficiary in his application for Precious Martin’s State Farm Life Insurance Policy.
However, Ms. Barnett is having none of it and had a few things to say in her response to the cross-claim:
Defendant Martin and Precious Martin did not have any affections to lose when Defendant Barnett first met Precious Martin.Attorney Nick Norris represents Ms. Barnett. Mrs. Martin is represented by Chuck McRae. Apparently the dead hand of Precious Martin is still very much alive.
Defendant Barnett did not seduce Precious Martin. However, Precious Martin did seduce numerous other women that he had adulterous affairs with over an eight year period prior to his death.
Defendant Martin consented to Precious Martin engaging in numerous adulterous affairs as long as Precious Martin did not divorce her.
Defendant Martin failed to reasonably attempt to mitigate her damages by not taking any legal action to prevent any alleged alienation of affection until long after Precious Martin died....
Kingfish note: What is interesting is Ms. Barnett may win her claim and obtain the $500,000 - only to lose it in the alienation lawsuit. Stay tuned.
Earlier post with copy of complaint.