The Montgomery County man suspected in the disappearance of his vacation partner in Aruba is being sued by the company that issued him an insurance policy covering his companion's life.
Robyn Gardner, of Frederick, was reported missing on Aug. 2, 2011. She was 35 at the time.
Her vacation partner, Gary Giordano, was detained by authorities in Aruba for several months but was released in November. Giordano, now 51, has denied wrongdoing and claims that Gardner was swept out to sea when they were snorkeling.
Shortly before the trip, Giordano enrolled in an insurance policy from AMEX Assurance Company, which included $1.5 million in accidental death or dismemberment coverage on Gardner's life.
According to AMEX's lawsuit filed in federal court in Greenbelt last week, Giordano began to make inquiries about this part of the policy two days after Gardner was reported missing -- while Giordano was still in Aruba.
AMEX seeks for the accidental death and dismemberment coverage to be voided. The complaint alternatively asks for a declaration that no valid claim could be made for death benefits pertaining to Gardner, and it alternatively asks for damages from Giordano for fraud and/or negligent misrepresentations in documents involving the policy.
The complaint argues that Giordano didn't have an insurable interest in Gardner's life because they weren't relatives, married, or involved in business together or had joint property.
It also alleges that Giordano engaged in fraud when he named Gardner as his "partner" on the policy. In television interviews following his release from Aruba, Giordano said he met Gardner on a website called "Adult Friend Finder" and described their relationship as casual and non-exclusive.
After he was released from the Caribbean island, Giordano was asked in interviews whether he expected to collect from the insurance policy. The AMEX complaint reported that Giordano replied, "I haven't given that a thought ... I haven't given that a positive thought ... Whenever I think about that it's dirty. As you pointed out, I would not have been arrested and detained for you know four months with murderers if in fact I did not have that insurance."
In June, Giordano sued AMEX in a court in Cook County, Ill., seeking to be paid the "full death benefit" of $3.5 million from the policy. According to AMEX's lawsuit, Giordano's complaint does not provide an explanation for the claim that he is entitled to get $3.5 million.
A lawyer for Giordano told The Associated Press that his client is still entitled to collect on the insurance policy.