Beam v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., Civ. A. 3453.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court of Western District of Kentucky
Writing for the CourtEdward J. Hogan, John L. Bennett, Louisville, Ky., for defendant
Citation163 F. Supp. 514
PartiesIda Mae BEAM, Pearl Cabble, and William Thompson, An Infant, Etc., Plaintiffs, v. STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant.
Decision Date25 June 1958
Docket NumberCiv. A. 3453.

163 F. Supp. 514

Ida Mae BEAM, Pearl Cabble, and William Thompson, An Infant, Etc., Plaintiffs,
v.
STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant.

Civ. A. 3453.

United States District Court W. D. Kentucky, Louisville Division.

June 25, 1958.


163 F. Supp. 515

Julius Liebson, Wilton H. Long, for plaintiffs.

Edward J. Hogan, John L. Bennett, Louisville, Ky., for defendant.

SHELBOURNE, Chief Judge.

This action was instituted in the Jefferson Circuit Court, Common Pleas Branch, on August 26, 1957, by the several plaintiffs. Plaintiffs sought to recover from the defendant insurance company the amount of three judgments recovered against William Carrier in the Jefferson Circuit Court on January 22, 1957. Ida Mae Beam had there recovered a judgment in the amount of $3,075, Pearl Cabble a judgment in the amount of $2,050, and William Thompson, an infant suing by his father, Richard Thompson, as next friend, a judgment in the amount of $535, each and all of said judgments bearing interest from January 21, 1957, and allowing recovery for costs. The actions arose out of an automobile accident which occurred on June 2, 1956, when an automobile owned and operated by William Carrier came into collision with an automobile operated by plaintiff Ida Mae Beam, in which Pearl Cabble and William Thompson were riding.

On September 13, 1957, the defendant insurance company filed its petition for removal of this action to this Court. At a pre-trial conference, the question of jurisdiction arose as to the actions of Pearl Cabble and William Thompson because said judgments did not involve amounts in excess of $3,000. The parties stipulated that the action instituted by Ida Mae Beam would be tried and would be controlling as to the judgments of Pearl Cabble and William Thompson. The individual plaintiffs are all citizens and residents of Jefferson County, Kentucky, and the defendant is an Illinois corporation.

The complaint in this action alleged that executions had issued against the defendant Carrier, all of which were returned endorsed by the Sheriff, "No property found." It was further alleged that demand for payment was made upon the defendant insurance company, which was refused. The plaintiffs averred that the insurance company had become estopped to question its liability for the judgments and had waived its right to question coverage of its policy or to deny coverage or its liability under the terms of the policy by reason of its employment of attorneys, investigation of the cases, and participation in the trial in the state court where the judgments were rendered. It was claimed that, by failure to defend under a reservation of its rights under its policy, the company had waived its right and had become estopped.

By its answer as amended, defendant insurance company denied liability under the policy by reason of the failure of the insured, Carrier, to cooperate in the defense of the actions; that clause of the policy being as follows:

"The insured shall cooperate with the company and, upon the company's request, shall attend hearings and trials and shall assist in effecting settlements, securing and giving
163 F. Supp. 516
evidence, obtaining the attendance of witnesses and in the conduct of suits. The insured shall not, except at his own cost, voluntarily make any payment, assume any obligation or incur any expense other than for such immediate medical and surgical relief to others as shall be imperative at the time of the accident."

This action was tried to the Court without a jury on May 28, 1958. From the stipulations filed, testimony heard, and exhibits filed, the Court makes the following findings of fact.

Findings of Fact

(1) Plaintiffs Ida Mae Beam, Pearl Cabble, and William Thompson are each and all residents and citizens of Jefferson County, Kentucky. The defendant, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, is a corporation created under the laws of the State of Illinois and domesticated for the purpose of carrying on a casualty and insurance business in the State of Kentucky.

(2) On June 2, 1956, the defendant insurance company had issued to William Carrier and there was in full force...

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2 practice notes
  • Beam v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 13696.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • August 13, 1959
    ...Insurance Company from liability on the judgment of Ida Mae Beam. Beam v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., D.C. W.D.Ky., 163 F.Supp. 514. Appellants contend that under the particular circumstances of this case, Carrier did not breach his duty of cooperation required by the policy......
  • Masse v. Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, Civ. A. No. 23428.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • July 14, 1958
    ...for property damage to the plaintiff's tractor-trailer occasioned by negligence of the Commission's employee. We agree with the result 163 F. Supp. 514 reached by Judge Lord in Espenshade because that case involved liability for damage to property alone. Section 6(k) explicitly imposes liab......
2 cases
  • Beam v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 13696.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • August 13, 1959
    ...Insurance Company from liability on the judgment of Ida Mae Beam. Beam v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., D.C. W.D.Ky., 163 F.Supp. 514. Appellants contend that under the particular circumstances of this case, Carrier did not breach his duty of cooperation required by the policy......
  • Masse v. Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, Civ. A. No. 23428.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • July 14, 1958
    ...for property damage to the plaintiff's tractor-trailer occasioned by negligence of the Commission's employee. We agree with the result 163 F. Supp. 514 reached by Judge Lord in Espenshade because that case involved liability for damage to property alone. Section 6(k) explicitly imposes liab......

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