THE FEDERAL INSURANCE CO. v. SMITH
objection to amend its complaint to add a claim against Susan for unjust enrichment as to insurance proceeds from 1998.1
The court gave FIC a judgment of $229,449.24 against Susan on its conversion claim, representing the portion of the $300,000 that was used to pay Susan’s personal obligations as well as obligations for which Susan and Myron were jointly responsible. The court calcu- lated this figure based on disbursements it broke into four categories. Category 1 reflected checks drawn by Myron on the USAA account totaling $57,261.52, which Myron used to satisfy Susan’s individual and joint obligations. Category 2 reflected one $56,000 check drawn on the USAA account by Myron and given to Susan, who deposited the check into their joint NWFCU account and directed NWFCU to pay off various joint NWFCU loans. Category 3 reflected one $137,000 check drawn by Myron on the USAA account that was deposited in the NWFCU account and used to pay off assorted bills, loans, and other obligations of Susan and Myron. Category 4 was a single $4,500 USAA account check made payable to Susan, which she deposited into the NWFCU account. See Federal Ins. Co. v. Smith, 144 F.Supp. 2d 507, 512-16 (E.D. Va. 2001). The district court also found that FIC was entitled to judgment on a portion of this amount ($96,687.72) on the alternative ground of unjust enrichment. The lower figure on the unjust enrichment claim resulted from the expiration of the statute of limitations on a portion of the loss amount.
By the time FIC brought this action to recover the stolen money, the two-year statute of limitations had apparently run on a consider- able portion of FIC’s unjust enrichment claim, sharply limiting the amount of recovery available under that theory. Thus, in order to recover the total sum paid out to Myron, FIC pursued a claim for con- version, which carries a five-year statute of limitations. In my judg- ment, the need to proceed under conversion has compelled FIC to try to fit a square peg into a round hole.
1It appears that plaintiff limited this motion to the 1998 proceeds because any claim to prior proceeds was barred by the statute of limita- tions.