92 U.S. 161 (1876), Hoffman v. John Hancock Mut. Life Ins. Co.

Citation:92 U.S. 161, 23 L.Ed. 539
Party Name:HOFFMAN v. JOHN HANCOCK MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY.
Case Date:March 20, 1876
Court:United States Supreme Court
 
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Page 161

92 U.S. 161 (1876)

23 L.Ed. 539

HOFFMAN

v.

JOHN HANCOCK MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY.

United States Supreme Court.

March 20, 1876

OPINION

APPEAL from the Circuit Court of the United States for the Northern District of Ohio.

Mr. James A. Garfield, for the appellant, cited Insurance Company v.Wilkinson, 13 Wall. 222; Masters v. Madison County Alert Insurance Co., 11 Barb. 624; May on Ins., sects. 134, 143; Taylor v. Merchants' Fire Ins. Co., 9 How. 390; 42 N.Y. 54; 20 Barb. 468; 2 Ins. Law Jour. 23; 25 Barb. 189; Hallock v. Commercial Ins. Co., 2 Dutch. 268; 25 Conn. 207; id. 542; 43 Barb. 351; Cooper v. Pacific, 3 J. C. R. 254;

Page 162

3 Ohio St. 549; 4 id. 353; Fraternal Life Ins. Co. v. Applegate, 7 id. 292; Bliss on Life Ins., sect. 317.

COUNSEL

Mr. H. L. Terrell for the appellee.

MR. JUSTICE SWAYNE delivered the opinion of the court.

There is a direct conflict in the testimony of the two principal witnesses in this case, and the discrepancies are irreconcilable. According to our view, the case must turn upon the application of legal principles to facts about which there is no controversy. An elaborate examination of the testimony is, therefore, unnecessary. A brief statement will be sufficient for the purposes of this opinion.

Justin E. Thayer was the general agent of the appellee at Cleveland, Ohio. He was authorized to appoint sub-agents; and on the 7th of April, 1869, appointed A. C. Goodwin such agent. This arrangement continued until the 7th of June, 1869. It was then put an end to by the parties; and they agreed that thereafter Goodwin should act as an insurance broker, and that he should receive for such applications as he might bring to Thayer thirty per cent of the first premium paid for the insurance.

On the 7th of August, 1869, Goodwin gave to Frederick Hoffman a receipt, signed by Goodwin as agent, setting forth that he had received from Hoffman $922.57, 'being the first annual premium on an insurance of $8,000 on the life of Frederick Hoffman, for which an application is this day made to the John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company of Boston. The said insurance to date from Aug. 7, 1869, subject to the conditions and agreements of the policies of said company, provided that the said application shall be accepted by the said company, and a policy be by them granted thereon. The said policy, if...

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