Ballew v. Liberty Life Ins. Co., No. 20622

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtGREGORY; LEWIS
Citation270 S.C. 301,241 S.E.2d 907
PartiesClayton Gordon BALLEW, Sr., Appellant, v. LIBERTY LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY, Respondent.
Decision Date27 February 1978
Docket NumberNo. 20622

Page 907

241 S.E.2d 907
270 S.C. 301
Clayton Gordon BALLEW, Sr., Appellant,
v.
LIBERTY LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY, Respondent.
No. 20622.
Supreme Court of South Carolina.
Feb. 27, 1978.

Page 908

[270 S.C. 302] David D. Armstrong, Jack H. Lynn, and W. Dennis Chamberlain, Greenville, for appellant.

Charles W. Wofford, of Wyche, Burgess, Freeman & Parham, Greenville, for respondent.

[270 S.C. 303] GREGORY, Justice:

Clayton Gordon Ballew, Sr., appeals from an adverse jury verdict in an action to recover on the double indemnity clause of a life insurance policy. Appellant contends the lower court erred by refusing to grant his motion for judgment non obstante veredicto or in the alternative for a new trial. We find no error and affirm.

The insured was found dead in bed by his father on February 4, 1975. The insured was twenty-one years old. Appellant, the insured's father and beneficiary, was paid the face amount of the policy and brought this action to recover on the policy's double indemnity clause which provides:

On receipt of due proof that the Insured's death shall have . . . (b) resulted from injury sustained as the direct result of an accident independent of all other causes, . . . the company will pay a Double Indemnity Benefit equal to the face amount . . . .

The Double Indemnity Benefit shall not be payable if the Insured's death shall result directly or indirectly, wholly or partly, from (a) disease, illness or infirmity of the body or mind.

The essence of appellant's case was that the insured died accidentally from an overdose of Nembutal, a barbiturate. Respondent's defense was that the insured's death resulted from drug addiction, which respondent argued is a disease within the exclusion clause of the insurance policy.

After the jury returned a verdict for respondent, appellant first moved for judgment non obstante veredicto. That motion was denied. Appellant alleges the lower court's denial [270 S.C. 304] of that motion was error because the evidence and all reasonable inferences therefrom are only susceptible of the conclusion that the insured's death was the result of an accident within the meaning of the double indemnity clause.

Rule 79 of the Circuit Court Rules authorizes a post trial motion for judgment non obstante veredicto only when a motion for a directed verdict has been made at trial and a verdict has been returned against the

Page 909

movant. Grooms v. Zander, 246 S.C. 512, 144 S.E.2d 909 (1965). Appellant did not...

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5 practice notes
  • Mulherin-Howell v. Cobb, No. 3919.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • 10 Enero 2005
    ...in the property in question by conveying that interest to the Martin's Lake Club prior to the institution of this suit." Id. at 300, 241 S.E.2d at 907. The court concluded Hardy was not a proper party to the lawsuit. The court explicated: It is true that Hardy may have an "interest" in the ......
  • Mulherin-Howell v. Cobb, Opinion No. 3919 (SC 1/10/2004), Opinion No. 3919.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • 10 Enero 2004
    ...in the property in question by conveying that interest to the Martin's Lake Club prior to the institution of this suit." Id. at 300, 241 S.E.2d at 907. The court concluded Hardy was not a proper party to the lawsuit. The court It is true that Hardy may have an "interest" in the placement of......
  • State v. Evans, No. 24149
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • 5 Abril 1994
    ...in response to the question if the material facts assumed were within the range of the evidence. See Ballew v. Liberty Life Ins. Co., 270 S.C. 301, 241 S.E.2d 907 (1978). We find no error in allowing the expert to render an opinion that Evans was under the influence at the time of the Evans......
  • Johnson v. Hoechst Celanese Corp., No. 2288
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • 7 Diciembre 1994
    ...to make a directed verdict motion before the jury retires, the party cannot subsequently move for JNOV. Ballew v. Liberty Life Ins. Co., 270 S.C. 301, 241 S.E.2d 907 (1978); Government Employees Ins. Co. v. Mackey, 260 S.C. 306, 195 S.E.2d 830 (1973). The trial court properly denied the mot......
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5 cases
  • Mulherin-Howell v. Cobb, No. 3919.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • 10 Enero 2005
    ...in the property in question by conveying that interest to the Martin's Lake Club prior to the institution of this suit." Id. at 300, 241 S.E.2d at 907. The court concluded Hardy was not a proper party to the lawsuit. The court explicated: It is true that Hardy may have an "interest" in the ......
  • Mulherin-Howell v. Cobb, Opinion No. 3919 (SC 1/10/2004), Opinion No. 3919.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • 10 Enero 2004
    ...in the property in question by conveying that interest to the Martin's Lake Club prior to the institution of this suit." Id. at 300, 241 S.E.2d at 907. The court concluded Hardy was not a proper party to the lawsuit. The court It is true that Hardy may have an "interest" in the placement of......
  • State v. Evans, No. 24149
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • 5 Abril 1994
    ...in response to the question if the material facts assumed were within the range of the evidence. See Ballew v. Liberty Life Ins. Co., 270 S.C. 301, 241 S.E.2d 907 (1978). We find no error in allowing the expert to render an opinion that Evans was under the influence at the time of the Evans......
  • Johnson v. Hoechst Celanese Corp., No. 2288
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • 7 Diciembre 1994
    ...to make a directed verdict motion before the jury retires, the party cannot subsequently move for JNOV. Ballew v. Liberty Life Ins. Co., 270 S.C. 301, 241 S.E.2d 907 (1978); Government Employees Ins. Co. v. Mackey, 260 S.C. 306, 195 S.E.2d 830 (1973). The trial court properly denied the mot......
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