125 F.2d 422 (5th Cir. 1942), 10039, Standard Accident Ins. Co. v. Meadows

Docket Nº:10039.
Citation:125 F.2d 422
Party Name:STANDARD ACC. INS. CO. et al. v. MEADOWS.
Case Date:January 30, 1942
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
 
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Page 422

125 F.2d 422 (5th Cir. 1942)

STANDARD ACC. INS. CO. et al.

v.

MEADOWS.

No. 10039.

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit.

January 30, 1942

Page 423

J. Morgan Stevens, of Jackson, Miss., for appellant.

R. C. Russell, of Magee, Miss., for appellees.

Before FOSTER, HUTCHESON, and McCORD, Circuit Judges.

HUTCHESON, Circuit Judge.

Appellant, plaintiff below, is an automobile insurance company. Appellees, defendants below, are the plaintiffs and Strider and Wood, two of the defendants in a state court suit for damages sustained in an automobile collision. The suit was for a declaratory judgment that plaintiff under a policy it had issued to Strider and Wood was not obligated to defend the state court action or to pay and satisfy any judgment which plaintiffs might recover therein.

The defendants, agreeing that they were not in any wise responsible for or liable to plaintiffs in the state court suit, on account of the collision, yet insisted that under the terms of the policy, 1 plaintiff, its insured, was obligated to defend the suit though groundless, and was also obligated to pay any judgment plaintiffs in the state court suit might obtain against them. Joining plaintiff in its prayer for a declaration of rights they prayed that the respective rights and obligations under the insurance contract be fully determined. The other defendants, the plaintiffs in the state court suit, alleging that all the matters sought to be determined in the declaratory judgment suit were at issue in the state court suit and could be more properly determined there, moved to dismiss the suit for want of jurisdiction. The district judge, on the pleadings and without taking evidence, holding that no facts were pleaded entitling plaintiff to relief against plaintiffs in the state court suit, dismissed them from the action. As between the declarer plaintiff, and the defendants Strider and Wood, he determined and so orderded, (1) that plaintiff was obligated under its policy to defend the suit, though false and groundless, and (2), 'if a judgment should be recovered in the state court action upon the pleadings as they now stand' * * * 'plaintiff is under obligation to pay it. ' Plaintiff appealing from the order dismissing the state court plaintiffs from the suit, and from the declaratory judgment as between it and the defendants, Strider and Wood, insists that they may...

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