60 S.E.2d 353 (Ga. 1950), 17141, Hulsey v. Interstate Life & Acc. Ins. Co.

Docket Nº:17141.
Citation:60 S.E.2d 353, 207 Ga. 167
Opinion Judge:DUCKWORTH, Chief Justice.
Attorney:The trial court overruled the defendant's general demurrer to the petition and, on review, the Court of Appeals reversed the judgment of that court. The application of the petitioner to the Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari was granted, and we now have for review the judgment of the Court of...
Case Date:July 12, 1950
Court:Supreme Court of Georgia

Page 353

60 S.E.2d 353 (Ga. 1950)

207 Ga. 167




No. 17141.

Supreme Court of Georgia.

July 12, 1950

Syllabus by the Court.

1. While it is the general rule that ambiguities in an insurance contract must be construed most favorably to the insured, this rule has no application when the contract is unambiguous.

2. It is the general rule that, when considered on demurrer, pleadings must be construed most strongly against the pleader, and the absence of averments of essential facts and reliance by the pleader upon allegations short of such facts require a holding that they did not exist.

Page 354

3. The petition in the present case--seeking recovery under an insurance policy which provided for payment in the event of death by accident while the insured was traveling on a passenger steamship as a fare-paying passenger or on a lawful pass, and alleging merely that the accident resulting in death occurred while the insured was lawfully riding on a motor launch as a passenger from shore to the U.S. S. Kearsage--failed to allege a cause of action; and the Court of Appeals did not err in reversing the judgment of the trial court, which overruled a general demurrer to the petition.

George P. Hulsey filed suit in the City Court of Hall County against Interstate Life & Accident Insurance Company, alleging himself to be the nominated beneficiary of an insurance policy issued by the defendant. The petition alleged that the petitioner was the named beneficiary in a policy issued by the defendant to Homer Lee Norris, now deceased, which policy was attached to the petition and made a part thereof, and contained the following clause: '* * * if the insured shall by the collision of or by any accident to any railroad passenger car, passenger steamship, public omnibus, street railway car, taxicab or automobile, stage or bus, which is being driven or [207 Ga. 168] operated at the time by a person regularly employed for that purpose, and in which such insured is traveling as a fare-paying passenger or on which he is lawfully riding on a pass; * * * the company will pay * * * to the beneficiary named herein * * * For Loss of: Life * * * Two Thousand Dollars.' It was alleged: that the insured was, on May 31, 1948, killed by the capsizing of a motor launch at Hampton Roads, Virginia, his death resulting solely through external, violent, and accidental...

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