Aetna Life Ins. Co. of Hartford, Conn. v. Haworth, No. 2670.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 8th Circuit. Western District of Missouri
Writing for the CourtMorrison, Nugent, Wylder & Berger, of Kansas City, Mo., for plaintiff
Citation11 F. Supp. 1016
PartiesÆTNA LIFE INS. CO. OF HARTFORD, CONN., v. HAWORTH et al.
Decision Date22 August 1935
Docket NumberNo. 2670.

11 F. Supp. 1016

ÆTNA LIFE INS. CO. OF HARTFORD, CONN.,
v.
HAWORTH et al.

No. 2670.

District Court, W. D. Missouri, W. D.

August 22, 1935.


Morrison, Nugent, Wylder & Berger, of Kansas City, Mo., for plaintiff.

Turpin, Behrendt & Searing, of Kansas City, Mo., for defendants.

OTIS, District Judge.

On June 1, 1911, the Ætna Life Insurance Company, plaintiff here, issued its policy of life insurance in the principal amount of $10,000 to Edwin P. Haworth, one of the defendants. The policy contained a provision obligating the company, subject to certain conditions unnecessary to be stated, annually to pay the insured one-twentieth of the principal amount of the policy if he should become wholly and permanently disabled, and relieving the insured from payment of premiums after he had become so disabled. The insured did not pay the premium due June 1, 1934, and has not paid that premium, asserting that on and before that date he was wholly and permanently disabled and so relieved from the payment of that as well as of subsequent premiums.

The defendant Cora M. Haworth is the wife of the defendant Edwin P. Haworth and is the beneficiary in the policy.

The insurance company denies that the insured was wholly and permanently disabled as he asserts and therefore contends that the policy lapsed for failure to pay the premium due June 1, 1934, and that the maximum amount which will be due to the beneficiary on the death of the insured, under an extended term insurance provision of the policy, certain indebtedness for money borrowed on the policy having been canceled, will be $45.

Such are the essential allegations of plaintiff's petition. Based upon them, plaintiff prays a declaratory judgment adjudicating the right of the parties under the policy. Defendants have moved to dismiss the petition. Whether that motion shall be sustained is the question now for decision.

The plaintiff desires to have judicially determined now the question whether the insured was wholly and permanently disabled on June 1, 1934. If that question can be decided now and is decided adversely to the insured's contention, the liability of the plaintiff definitely and finally will be limited to the ultimate payment of $45. An alternative is that at the death of the insured (and that may be 20 years hence) the beneficiary will sue on the policy. If she then is able to prove that on and from June 1, 1934, the insured was wholly and permanently disabled, she will be entitled to judgment against the plaintiff for the full amount of the policy less indebtedness. The plaintiff fears that at the possibly remote date such a suit may be brought the witnesses and evidence now to be had no longer will be available.

In this situation plaintiff seeks to make use of the so-called Declaratory Judgment Act approved June 14, 1934 (Jud. Code §

11 F. Supp. 1017
274d, 28 USCA § 400). That act provides

"(1) In cases of actual controversy the courts of the United States shall have power upon petition, declaration, complaint, or other appropriate pleadings to declare rights and other legal relations of any interested party petitioning for such declaration, whether or not further relief is or could be prayed, and such declaration shall have the force and...

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6 practice notes
  • Travelers Ins. Co. v. Young
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. District of New Jersey
    • 6 d6 Março d6 1937
    ...176 A. 178. The defendants stress the case of Aetna Life Insurance Company of Hartford, Connecticut, v. Edwin P. Haworth et al. (D.C.) 11 F.Supp. 1016. In that case in 1930 and in years thereafter the plaintiff had issued life insurance policies to the defendant Edwin P. Haworth in which th......
  • Aetna Life Ins Co of Hartford, Conn v. Haworth, No. 446
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • 1 d1 Março d1 1937
    ...that it did not set forth a 'controversy' in the constitutional sense and hence did not come within the legitimate scope of the statute. 11 F.Supp. 1016. The decree of dismissal was affirmed by the Circuit Court of Appeals. 84 F.(2d) 695. We granted certiorari. November 16, 1936. 299 U.S. 5......
  • Aetna Life Ins. Co. of Hartford, Conn. v. Haworth, No. 10562.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • 27 d1 Julho d1 1936
    ...referred to in the petition null and void. A motion to dismiss was sustained and the appeal is from the order of dismissal. (D.C.) 11 F.Supp. 1016. The motion to dismiss is in the nature of a demurrer to the petition, challenging the sufficiency of the statement of facts to constitute a cau......
  • Government Employees Ins. Co. v. Dizol, No. 95-17393
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • 28 d5 Fevereiro d5 1997
    ...it did not examine the question whether declaratory relief was available under Missouri law. Aetna Life Ins. Co. of Hartford v. Haworth, 11 F.Supp. 1016, 1017-18 Our research has disclosed that Missouri adopted a statute permitting an action for declaratory relief on June 22, 1935. Walter F......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
6 cases
  • Travelers Ins. Co. v. Young
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. District of New Jersey
    • 6 d6 Março d6 1937
    ...176 A. 178. The defendants stress the case of Aetna Life Insurance Company of Hartford, Connecticut, v. Edwin P. Haworth et al. (D.C.) 11 F.Supp. 1016. In that case in 1930 and in years thereafter the plaintiff had issued life insurance policies to the defendant Edwin P. Haworth in which th......
  • Aetna Life Ins Co of Hartford, Conn v. Haworth, No. 446
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • 1 d1 Março d1 1937
    ...that it did not set forth a 'controversy' in the constitutional sense and hence did not come within the legitimate scope of the statute. 11 F.Supp. 1016. The decree of dismissal was affirmed by the Circuit Court of Appeals. 84 F.(2d) 695. We granted certiorari. November 16, 1936. 299 U.S. 5......
  • Aetna Life Ins. Co. of Hartford, Conn. v. Haworth, No. 10562.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • 27 d1 Julho d1 1936
    ...referred to in the petition null and void. A motion to dismiss was sustained and the appeal is from the order of dismissal. (D.C.) 11 F.Supp. 1016. The motion to dismiss is in the nature of a demurrer to the petition, challenging the sufficiency of the statement of facts to constitute a cau......
  • Government Employees Ins. Co. v. Dizol, No. 95-17393
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • 28 d5 Fevereiro d5 1997
    ...it did not examine the question whether declaratory relief was available under Missouri law. Aetna Life Ins. Co. of Hartford v. Haworth, 11 F.Supp. 1016, 1017-18 Our research has disclosed that Missouri adopted a statute permitting an action for declaratory relief on June 22, 1935. Walter F......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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