151 N.Y. 196, Foley v. Royal Arcanum

Citation:151 N.Y. 196
Party Name:ANNIE FOLEY, Appellant, v. THE ROYAL ARCANUM, Respondent.
Case Date:December 15, 1896
Court:New York Court of Appeals

Page 196

151 N.Y. 196

ANNIE FOLEY, Appellant,

v.

THE ROYAL ARCANUM, Respondent.

New York Court of Appeal

December 15, 1896

Argued December 7, 1896.

Page 197

COUNSEL

John M. Gardner for appellant. The court erred in holding that the contract of insurance, to wit, the benefit certificate, expressed a warranty of the truth of the statements in the application, and not submitting to the jury their materiality. (Moulor v. A. L. Ins. Co., 111 U.S. 335; Britton v. Royal Arcanum, 46 N. J. Eq. 106; A. P. Co. v. Day, 39 N. J. L. 89; A. G. Co. v. Johnson, 80 Ala. 467; Owens v. H. P. Ins. Co., 56 N.Y. 572; Campbell v. N. E. Co., 98 Mass. 381; Presbyterian Fund v. Allen, 106 Ind. 593; Cushman v. U.S. L. Ins. Co., 63 N.Y. 407; 21 Ill.App. 471; 26 Ill.App. 495; 17 Minn. 497; 31 Iowa, 216; 59 N.Y. 557.) The court should have submitted the question of fact to the jury as to whether insured did in fact have the infirmities or any one of them which defendant claimed. (132 N.Y. 332; 126 N.Y. 456; 22 Wall. 321.) The court erred in allowing, against objection, defendant to put in evidence that part of the application which contained an agreement or promise by insured to waive objections to physicians testifying on the trial, not being a part of the contract of insurance nor referred to in the certificate. (3 Hill, 500; 9 Barb. 191; C. Ins. Co. v. Hoffman, 27 N. E. Rep. 745; Wood on Ins. § 138; May on Ins. § 159; Owens v. H. P. Ins. Co., 56 N.Y. 565.) Even if waiver was part of the contract of insurance, it was void. (Edington v. M. L. Ins. Co., 5 Hun, 1; L. 1891, ch. 381; Crawford v. Lockwood, 9 How. Pr. 547; Kneettle v. Newcomb, 22 N.Y. 249; Shapley v. Abbott, 42 N.Y. 452; Westover v. AE. L. Ins. Co., 99 N.Y. 58; McKinney v. G. S., P. P. & F. R. R. Co., 104 N.Y. 352.) The statute in force at the time of the trial required the waiver to be made

Page 198

upon the trial. (L. 1891, ch. 381; 2 Rice on Evid. 806; 5 Mass. 533; 12 Wheat. 349; 23 Me. 553; 13 Iowa, 89; 6 Gray, 1; 38 Barb. 608; 25 Vt. 303; 39 N.H. 323; Southwick v. Southwick, 49 N.Y. 517; Neass v. Mercer, 15 Barb. 318; People v. Mitchell, 45 Barb. 212; 12 N.Y. 543; 26 N.Y. 53; 7 Wis. 54; 38 Barb. 608.)

S. M. Lindsley for respondent. The contract of insurance contained a warranty by the insured that he never had hemorrhoids or any disease of the genital or urinary organs. (Ripley v. AE. Ins. Co., 30 N.Y. 136, 157; Studwell v. M. B. L. Assn., 46 N.Y. S. R. 902; Cushman v. U.S. L. Ins. Co., 63 N.Y. 407; Clemans v. S. A. R. S. of G. F., 131 N.Y. 485; Fitch v. A. P. L. Ins. Co., 59 N.Y. 557.) The statements in question were material to the risk, and, being untrue, whether warranties or representations, they avoid the contract. (1 Bacon on Ben. Soc. § 212; P. M. L. Ins. Co. v. Raddin, 120 U.S. 183; Dwight v. G. L. Ins. Co., 103 N.Y. 341; Higbie v. G. M. L. Ins. Co., 53 N.Y. 603; Boland v. I. B. Assn., 74 Hun, 385; Barteau v. P. M. L. I. Co., 67 N.Y. 595.) The evidence of Foley's attending physicians as to his diseases was properly received. (Code Civ. Proc. § § 834-836; In re Coleman, 111 N.Y. 220, 228; Alberti v. N.Y. L. E. & W. R. R. Co., 118 N.Y. 77; Rosseau v. Bleau, 131 N.Y. 177; G. R., etc., R. R. v. Martin, 41 Mich. 671; Treanor v. M. R. Co., 41 N.Y. S. R. 614; Dougherty v. M. L. Ins. Co., 87 Hun, 15; Cahen v. C. L. Ins. Co., 9 J. & S. 296; Andreveno v. M. R. F. L. Assn., 34 F. 870; 2 May on Ins. [ 3d ed.] § 579; 2 Bacon on Ben. Soc. § 561; 2 Biddle on Ins. § 852.) Legislation, after the rights of parties become vested, could not divest such rights, and, therefore, after the death of Foley the legislature could not take away defendant's contract right to give evidence of attending physicians. (Const. of U.S. art. 1, § 10; 1 Kent's Comm. 455; 2 Sandf. Ch. 534; Potter on Stat. 167; 1 Den. 128.) The waiver of a statutory provision which prevents attending physicians from giving

Page 199

evidence as to their patients is not inhibited by public policy. (Dougherty v. M. L. Ins. Co., 87 Hun, 15; Hunt v. Blackburn, 128 U.S. 470.)The principle that the legislature may prescribe the forms of procedure and rules of evidence, is not applicable where, as in the case at bar, a special contract between them fixes and governs the rights of the parties. (In re N.Y. L. & W. R. R. Co., 98 N.Y. 447; H. K. & S. B. Corp. v. Cooper, 114 N.Y. 388; Sentenis v. Ladew, 140 N.Y. 466; Mayor, etc., v. M. R. Co., 143 N.Y. 26; Proppe v. M. L. Ins. Co., 13 Misc. 266.) The provisions of section 834 of the Code of Civil Procedure were waived upon the trial, according to section 836 of the same Code. (Dougherty v. M. L. Ins. Co., 87 Hun, 17.) Co-operative insurance organizations may give in evidence declarations of the insured as to his condition and diseases. (Smith v. N. B. Soc., 51 Hun, 577; 123 N.Y. 85; Steinhausen v. P. M. A. Assn., 59 Hun, 336; Luhrs v. S. L. K. & L. of H., 27 N.Y. S. R. 89; 7 N.Y.S. 488; M. B. Soc. v. Burkart, 110 Ind. 189; U. M. Assn. v. Montgomery, 70 Mich. 587; Martin v. Stebbins, 125 Ill. 387.)

HAIGHT, J.

This action was brought to recover the amount alleged to be due upon a benefit certificate.

The defendant is a fraternal beneficiary society and as such issued to Jeremiah B. Foley a benefit certificate for $3,000, payable upon his death to his widow. The certificate was issued on the 5th day of April, 1890, and Foley died on the 14th day of July thereafter, leaving the plaintiff, his widow, him surviving. The defense interposed was misrepresentations as to his physical condition and breach of warranties with reference thereto.

The representations complained of were to the effect that he had no hemorrhoids or diseases of the genital or urinary organs. The evidence taken at the trial tended to show that he was afflicted with these diseases; that he had consulted physicians with reference thereto and had been advised to go to the hospital and submit to an operation prior to his making

Page 200

his application for insurance herein; that shortly after his application was allowed and the certificate issued to him he went to a hospital in the city of New York and submitted to an operation and that he shortly thereafter died in the hospital. The evidence with reference to his physical condition was without substantial dispute, and upon the theory that his statements were warranties no question of fact was presented which it was necessary to submit to the jury.

The application was in writing signed by Foley, and among other things...

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28 practice notes
  • 85 P. 1081 (Idaho 1906), Trull v. Modern Woodmen of America
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court of Idaho
    • 14 Mayo 1906
    ...contract, whether it be the patient himself or his representatives. ( Adreveno v. Mutual etc. Assn., 34 F. 870; Foley v. Royal Arcanum, 151 N.Y. 196, 56 Am. St. Rep. 621, 45 N.E. 456; Alberti v. Railroad Co., 118 N.Y. 77, 85, 23 N.E. 35; Roseau v. Bleau, 131 N.Y. 177, 184, 27 Am. St. Rep. 5......
  • 77 So. 655 (Miss. 1918), 19901, Sovereign Camp, Woodmen of World v. Farmer
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • 11 Febrero 1918
    ...Street Cable Co., supra; Thompson v. Ish, 99 Mo. 160, 12 S.W. 510, 17 Am. St. Rep. 552, And note on page 570; Foley v. Royal Arcanum, 151 N.Y. 196, 56 Am. St. Rep. 621, 45 N.E. 456; Coleman v. , 111 N.Y. 220, 19 N.E. 71; McKinney v. Grand St. etc., R. Co., 104 N.Y. 352, 10 N.E. 544; Alberti......
  • 160 N.Y. 123, Missano v. City of New York
    • United States
    • New York New York Court of Appeals
    • 3 Octubre 1899
    ...S. R. R. Co., 18 Barb. 583; Matter of Coleman, 111 N.Y. 220; Matter of N.Y. L. & W. R. R. Co., 98 N.Y. 447; Foley v. Royal Arcanum, 151 N.Y. 196; Allen v. Comrs., etc., 38 N.Y. 312; Sweet v. City of Buffalo, 92 Hun, 404; Titus v. G. F. Ins. Co., 81 N.Y. 410; Weed v. H. B. F. Ins. Co., 1......
  • 57 P.2d 841 (Okla. 1936), 25893, Templeton v. Mutual Life Ins. Co. of New York
    • United States
    • Oklahoma Supreme Court of Oklahoma
    • 12 Mayo 1936
    ...S.E. 65, 85 Am.St.Rep. 744; Grand Rapids & I. R. Co. v. Martin, 41 Mich. 667, 3 N.W. 173, 12 Am.Neg.Cas. 95; Foley v. Royal Arcanum, 151 N.Y. 196, 45 N.E. 456, 56 Am. St.Rep. 621." In 28 R.C.L. pp. 542, 543, it is said: "The object of statutes making communications between phy......
  • Free signup to view additional results
28 cases
  • 85 P. 1081 (Idaho 1906), Trull v. Modern Woodmen of America
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court of Idaho
    • 14 Mayo 1906
    ...contract, whether it be the patient himself or his representatives. ( Adreveno v. Mutual etc. Assn., 34 F. 870; Foley v. Royal Arcanum, 151 N.Y. 196, 56 Am. St. Rep. 621, 45 N.E. 456; Alberti v. Railroad Co., 118 N.Y. 77, 85, 23 N.E. 35; Roseau v. Bleau, 131 N.Y. 177, 184, 27 Am. St. Rep. 5......
  • 77 So. 655 (Miss. 1918), 19901, Sovereign Camp, Woodmen of World v. Farmer
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • 11 Febrero 1918
    ...Street Cable Co., supra; Thompson v. Ish, 99 Mo. 160, 12 S.W. 510, 17 Am. St. Rep. 552, And note on page 570; Foley v. Royal Arcanum, 151 N.Y. 196, 56 Am. St. Rep. 621, 45 N.E. 456; Coleman v. , 111 N.Y. 220, 19 N.E. 71; McKinney v. Grand St. etc., R. Co., 104 N.Y. 352, 10 N.E. 544; Alberti......
  • 160 N.Y. 123, Missano v. City of New York
    • United States
    • New York New York Court of Appeals
    • 3 Octubre 1899
    ...S. R. R. Co., 18 Barb. 583; Matter of Coleman, 111 N.Y. 220; Matter of N.Y. L. & W. R. R. Co., 98 N.Y. 447; Foley v. Royal Arcanum, 151 N.Y. 196; Allen v. Comrs., etc., 38 N.Y. 312; Sweet v. City of Buffalo, 92 Hun, 404; Titus v. G. F. Ins. Co., 81 N.Y. 410; Weed v. H. B. F. Ins. Co., 1......
  • 57 P.2d 841 (Okla. 1936), 25893, Templeton v. Mutual Life Ins. Co. of New York
    • United States
    • Oklahoma Supreme Court of Oklahoma
    • 12 Mayo 1936
    ...S.E. 65, 85 Am.St.Rep. 744; Grand Rapids & I. R. Co. v. Martin, 41 Mich. 667, 3 N.W. 173, 12 Am.Neg.Cas. 95; Foley v. Royal Arcanum, 151 N.Y. 196, 45 N.E. 456, 56 Am. St.Rep. 621." In 28 R.C.L. pp. 542, 543, it is said: "The object of statutes making communications between phy......
  • Free signup to view additional results