CHICAGO (CN) – A man whose companion disappeared in Aruba as they vacationed there sued AmEx Assurance Co. for $3.5 million in her death benefits.
Gary Giordano sued AmEx Assurance in Cook Country Court.
Giordano, a 50-year-old businessman from Gaithersburg, Md., traveled to Aruba with 35-year-old Robyn Gardner on July 31, 2011, according to the Washington Post.
Giordano reported Gardner missing on Aug. 2, claiming he had lost track of her while they were snorkeling at Baby Beach, the Post reported.
ABC News reported that the two had met online on AdultFriendFinder.com, which describes itself as the world’s largest sex and swinger personals community.
After Gardner disappeared, Giordano was detained in Aruba for four months as a person of interest, and the FBI searched his Maryland home in August 2011, the Post reported. He was released with no charges filed against him.
In his complaint, Giordano claims he bought an American Express Travel Insurance Policy providing “coverage to plaintiff, Gary Giordano, and traveling companions enrolled for coverage subject to the terms and provisions of the policy.”
He says that “Robyn Lynn Gardner was listed as a covered person on the policy, which afforded $3,500,000.00 in benefits for accidental death and/or dismemberment loss.
“On or about August 2, 2011, Robyn Lynn Gardner was reported missing on the Caribbean Island of Aruba. On August 4, 2011, plaintiff Gary Giordano reported to defendant AmEx that Robyn Lynn Gardner was missing, as required under the terms and conditions of the policy.
“Robyn Lynn Gardner is presumed to be deceased.”
However, “despite plaintiff Gary Giordano’s demands, defendant, AmEx, has filed to tender the insurance benefits due and payable under said policy of insurance and designation,” according to the complaint.
The Post reported that Giordano’s accidental-death insurance policy on Gardner was $1.5 million; his lawsuit claims it was $3.5 million.
Gardner is the second U.S. woman to disappear on Aruba. Natalee Holloway, 18, disappeared in May 2005.
In 2010, the main suspect in Holloway’s disappearance, Joran van der Sloot, pleaded guilty to murdering a young Peruvian woman who was found dead in his Lima hotel room. She was killed on the fifth anniversary of Holloway’s disappearance, according to ABC News.
Giordano declaratory judgment awarding him full death benefits and damages for breach of contract.
He is represented by Scott Blumenshine with Meyer and Blumenshine.