Dallas-based lawyers from Fears Nachawati Law Firm have secured a $166 million verdict against relatives of a North Texas woman who was killed in 2014 for the proceeds of life insurance policies totaling $5 million.
Jurors in Tarrant County’s 141st Judicial District Court determined Mark and Virginia Buckland, the daughter and son-in-law of Anita Fox, were central figures in the conspiracy that led to Ms. Fox’s stabbing death. Her murder was carried out by two members of a nomadic ethnic clan known as Irish Travellers. The multimillion-dollar verdict is believed to be among the largest in Tarrant County this year.
Fears Nachawati announced the verdict yesterday. Partner Matthew McCarley and attorney Brice Burris represented the plaintiff, Al Fox III, Ms. Fox’s son and executor of her estate.
“The main concern from the start was to make sure the Bucklands would not profit from their actions,” said McCarley. “Thanks to the jury’s understanding that they acted willfully in putting into motion the events that led to her death, we exceeded those objectives. There is no possible way they will ever be able to get a dime from the estate. We are exceptionally proud to be able to bring that closure to Al.”
Though the couple has never been charged criminally in the murder, the jury found that they had crafted an insurance scheme in which they would be the sole beneficiaries of a series of policies, in part without the knowledge of the 69-year-old decedent.
Following the recommendation from an insurance agent, the two allowed Pat Gorman to become a third-party investor in the policies. Looking for immediate returns on his investment, Mr. Gorman and his son allegedly stalked and eventually murdered Ms. Fox inside a Colleyville, Texas, house where she worked as a housekeeper.
The case is Al Fox III, Individually and as Personal Representative of the Estate of Anita Fox v. Mark and Virginia Buckland, Cause No. 348-277914-15.