Court asked to name beneficiary

Life insurer wants to avoid competing claims in case of slain I.C. woman

The company that holds a life insurance policy for murdered Iowa City woman Frances Bloomfield stated in a court record it is ready to pay out the $100,000 claim.

But first, the Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, based in New York, wants the Johnson County District Court to determine who is entitled to the money.

A petition filed May 10 in Johnson County District Court by Guardian Life states Bloomfield was insured for $100,000 in 1989 and that her sons, Stuart and James Bloomfield, are her natural heirs.

NOTE: This story was originally published May 15, 2001.

The petition states that Frances' husband, John Bloomfield, has filed for bankruptcy protection in a U.S. district court in Massachusetts.

Mark A. Roberts, a Cedar Rapids attorney representing Guardian Life, who is acting as an interpleader in the case, said Monday he could not comment about specifics of the case, leaving open the question of whether John Bloomfield is entitled to a death settlement from his wife's life insurance policy.

Frances Bloomfield, 57, was reported missing Sept. 22, 1997, by her husband, John, who had just returned home from a business trip.

Three days later, her body was found in a ditch near Rockford, Ill. Investigators believe Bloomfield was killed several days earlier at her home at 38 Wakefield Ct., Iowa City. There have been no arrests in the case.

Guardian Life is ready to pay the benefit under Bloomfield's policy, the court petition states, but can't do so without subjecting itself to multiple and conflicting claims.

That is why the company wants the court to decide who is entitled to the policy, Robert said. "They are generally filed to ask the court who should be entitled to payment," he said about the company's motion.The Bloomfields moved to Iowa City in 1995 from Minneapolis when John Bloomfield accepted a job at the University of Iowa.

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