Feinberg v. N.Y. Life Ins. Co.

Decision Date06 March 1939
Docket NumberNo. 19276.,19276.
Citation127 S.W.2d 82
PartiesALEX G. FEINBERG, RESPONDENT, v. NEW YORK LIFE INS. CO., APPELLANT.
CourtMissouri Court of Appeals

Appeal from Circuit Court of Jackson County. Hon. Brown Harris, Judge.

REVERSED AND REMANDED (with directions).

Richard S. Righter and Sam D. Parker for appellant.

Louis H. Cooke and Lathrop, Crane, Reynolds, Sawyer & Mersereau of Counsel.

(1) The trial court erred in refusing defendant's declaration of law lettered "B" in the nature of a demurrer to the evidence offered at the close of all the evidence because the plaintiff's evidence shows that due proof of the plaintiff's disability was not received by the defendant until February 23, 1937, and that plaintiff is attempting to recover premiums paid and disability benefits accruing prior to that date, whereas, under the plain unambiguous terms of the policy, the plaintiff is only entitled to a waiver of those premiums and to the receipt of those disability benefits which fall due during his total and permanent disability as defined in said policy after receipt by the defendant of actual due proof of disability. Egan v. New York Life Insurance Company, 60 F. (2d) 268; Bergholm v. Peoria Life Insurance Co., 284 U.S. 489, 52 S. Ct. 230; Moss v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., 84 S.W. (2d) 395; Grafe v. Fidelity Mutual Life Ins. Co., 84 S.W. (2d) 400; Avery v. New York Life Insurance Company, 67 F. (2d) 442; Orr v. Mutual Life Insurance Company, 57 F. (2d) 901 (affirmed 64 F. (2d) 561); Mid-Continent Life Insurance Company v. Ske (Okla.), 240 Pac. 630; Yohalem v. Columbian National Life Insurance Company, 240 N.Y. Supp. 666; Illinois Bankers' Life Association v. Byassee (Ark.), 275 S.W. 519; Brams v. New York Life Insurance Company (Pa.), 148 Atl. 855; Walters v. Jefferson Standard Life Insurance Company (Tenn.), 20 S.W. (2d) 1038; Smith v. Missouri State Life Insurance Company (Kan.), 7 Pac. (2d) 65; Franklin Life Insurance Company v. Fisher (Okla.), 23 Pac. (2d) 151; Hall v. Acacia Mutual Life Association (Tenn.), 46 S.W. (2d) 56; Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company v. Dean (Ga.), 157 S.E. 878; Iannarelli v. Kansas City Life Insurance Company (W. Va.), 171 S.E. 748; Perlman v. New York Life Insurance Company (Pa.), 161 Atl. 752; Goldman v. New York Life Insurance Company (N.J.), 171 Atl. 541; New York Life Insurance Company v. Alexander (Miss.), 85 So. 93; Berry v. Lamar Life Insurance Company (Miss.), 145 So. 887; Courson v. New York Life Insurance Company (Pa.), 145 Atl. 530; Bloss v. The Equitable Life Assurance Society (Wash.), 28 Pac. (2d) 303; Reynolds v. Travelers' Insurance Company (Wash.), 28 Pac. (2d) 310; New England Mutual Life Insurance Company v. Reynolds, 116 So. 151; Johnson v. Hurley, 115 Mo. 513, 22 S.W. 492; Aetna Life Insurance Company v. Moore, 231 U.S. 543; Bennett v. Royal Union Mutual Life Ins. Co., 112 S.W. (2d) 134; Clark v. John Hancock Mutual Life Ins. Co., 58 S.W. (2d) 484; Gibson v. Texas Prudential Insurance Company, 86 S.W. (2d) 400; Smith v. Mutual Benefit Health & Accident Ass'n, 104 S.W. (2d) 752; Jacoby v. New York Life Insurance Company, 77 S.W. (2d) 840; Forman v. New York Life Insurance Company (Mich.), 255 N.W. 222, l.c. 223; American Merchant Marine Insurance Company v. Margaret M. Ford Corp., 269 Fed. 768, l.c. 771; Black v. Jefferson Standard Life Insurance Co. (S.C.), 171 S.E. 617, l.c. 618; Connecticut General Life Ins. Co. v. Williams, 87 S.W. (2d) 807, l.c. 809; Equitable Life Assur. Soc. v. Dorriety (Ala.), 157 So. 59, l.c. 63; Antonowich v. Home Life Ins. Co. (W. Va.), 179 S.E. 601; Home Fire Ins. Co. v. Driver (Ark.), 112 S.W. 200; Woodard v. Security Ins. Co. (Ia.), 207 N.W. 351; State Ins. Co. v. Lock (Ia.), 183 N.W. 311; Ervay v. Fire Ass'n of Philadelphia (Ia.), 93 N.W. 290; Corbett v. Phoenix Mutual Life Insurance Company, 259 N.Y. Supp. 221; Perlman v. New York Life Insurance Co., 254 N.Y. Supp. 646. (2) The trial court erred in excluding from the evidence the employment contract between defendant and the soliciting agent, S.G. Toub, offered by defendant, because the contract was competent evidence of the extent and scope of Toub's authority. Mechanic's Bank v. Schaumburg, 38 Mo. 228; King v. Phoenix Ins. Co., 101 Mo. App. 163, 76 S.W. 55; Hodkinson v. McNeal Machinery Co., 161 Mo. App. 87, 142 S.W. 457. (3) The trial court erred in overruling defendant's demurrer to plaintiff's petition and defendant's motion to make plaintiff's petition more definite and certain for the reason that by the terms of the policy as pleaded by the petition it is essential to the plaintiff's cause of action that he plead the date of the receipt by the defendant of the due proof of the plaintiff's disability because the plaintiff is not entitled to any disability benefits under the policy or waiver of premium thereon except for the period during which he is totally and permanently disabled as defined in the policy after the receipt by the defendant of the due proof. (4) The trial court erred in making findings of fact numbered 1 to 5 and declarations of law numbered 2 to 5 requested by plaintiff and in refusing findings of fact numbered 1 and 2 and declarations of law numbered 1 and 2 offered by defendant for the reasons hereinafter stated.

Joseph Koralchik, Daniel L. Brenner and Phineas Rosenberg for appellee.

Rosenberg & Brenner, of Counsel.

(1) Defendant's assignments of error are insufficient to present anything to this court for review. (a) None of the assignments disclose where in the record the asserted error may be found. Diamant v. Stein (Mo. App.), 116 S.W. (2d) 273-277; Am. Employer's Ins. Co. v. Manufacturers & M. Bank, 229 Mo. App. 994, 1001, 85 S.W. (2d) 174, 178; Barnett v. Hastain (Mo.), 256 S.W. 750-753; Christine v. Luyties, 280 Mo. 416, 421, 217 S.W. 55, 60. (b) Assignments Numbered V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XIII, XIV, XV, XVI, and XVII fail to specify the pertinent evidence and to point out the error charged. Bennett v. Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen (Mo. App.), 82 S.W. (2d) 601; Bennett v. Royal Union Mut. Life Ins. Co. (Mo. App.), 112 S.W. (2d) 134, 148; Clay v. Owen (Mo. Sup.), 93 S.W. (2d) 914; Moore v. Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., 230 Mo. App. 495, 500, 92 S.W. (2d) 912, 915; Diamant v. Stein (Mo. App.), 116 S.W. (2d) 273, 278. (2) Defendant's contention (56) that the court erred in excluding the contract between defendant and its agent (72-77), must be ruled against defendant since it fails to point out where, in the record, the contract or the offer of proof with respect thereto may be found, and for the reason that the contract was not offered in evidence until three weeks after the cause had been submitted to the court (72) and no abuse of discretion resulted from such action and because no exception was taken to the ruling (56). (a) Defendant's point is insufficiently assigned and presented. Adamack v. Herman (Mo. App.), 33 S.W. (2d) 135; Schaper v. Smith (Mo. App.), 56 S.W. (2d) 820. (b) The court had discretion to reject this evidence which it did not abuse. Porter v. Porter (Mo. App.), 258 S.W. 76; James v. Mutual R. Fund L. Ins. Assn., 148 Mo. 1, 49 S.W. 978, 981; Goodrich v. K.C.C. & S. Ry. Co., 152 Mo. 222, 53 S.W. 917, 920; Tutie v. Kennedy (Mo. App.), 272 S.W. 117, 122; State v. Smith, 80 Mo. 516, 520; Cowgill v. Little Persimmon Mng. Co. (Mo. App.), 183 S.W. 346; Hargadine v. Gibbons, 114 Mo. 561, 21 S.W. 726; Mayor, etc. of Liberty v. Burns, 114 Mo. 426, 19 S.W. 1107, 1108. (c) The defendant cannot complain of the ruling. State v. Caruthers (Mo. App.), 51 S.W. (2d) 126, cert. quashed 332 Mo. 606, 59 S.W. (2d) 1057; Gordon v. Royal Neighbors of Am. (Mo. App.), 90 S.W. (2d) 198, 201. (3) Defendant's contention that the court erred in overruling its demurrer and motion to make more definite and certain (Point III, App. Br. 57) should not be sustained for the reason that its specification of error (App. Br. 10) is not sufficient to preserve the point for review, and because the petition (2-6) pleaded generally the performance of all conditions. (a) Defendant's specification of error is insufficient. State v. Caruthers (Mo. App.), 51 S.W. (2d) 126, 133, cert. quashed 332 Mo. 606, 59 S.W. (2d) 1057. (b) Plaintiff's petition conformed to the practice prescribed by statute. Sec. 807, R.S. Mo. 1929; Jabin v. Nat'l Acc. Soc. of N.Y., 226 Mo. App. 342, 41 S.W. (2d) 874, 876; McGammon v. Miller's Nat. Ins. Co., 171 Mo. 143, 71 S.W. 160, 163; Brown v. British Dominion General Ins. Co. (Mo. App.), 228 Mo. App. 883; Richardson v. North Mo. Ins. Co., 57 Mo. 413; Secs. 1062, 1099 and 1100, R.S. Mo. 1929; Thomasson v. Mercantile Town Mut. Ins. Co., 114 Mo. App. 109, 89 S.W. 564, 566; Bank of Oak Ridge v. Duncan, 328 Mo. 182, 40 S.W. (2d) 656, 660-661. (4) The court properly overruled defendant's demurrer to all the evidence (77). (a) "Due proof" was not a condition precedent under the terms of the policy. Minneapolis Mutual Life Ins. Co. v. Marshall, 29 Fed. (2d) 977; Pfeiffer v. Mo. State Life Ins. Co., 174 Ark. 783, 297 S.W. 847, 54 A.L.R. 600; Sovereign Company v. Meek, 185 Ark. 419, 47 S.W. (2d) 567; Old Colony Life Ins. Co. v. Julian (Ark.), 299 S.W. 366; Aetna Life Ins. Co. v. Davis (Ark.), 60 S.W. (2d) 912; Home Life Ins. Co. v. Keys (Ark.), 62 S.W. (2d) 150; Southern Life Ins. Co. v. Hazard, 148 Ky. 465, 146 S.W. 1107; Metropolitan Life Ins. Co. v. Carroll, 273 S.W. 54; Fidelity Mutual Life Ins. Co. v. Gardner's Adm'r (Ky.), 233 Ky. 88, 25 S.W. (2d) 69; Merchant's Life Ins. Co. v. Clark (Tex.), 256 S.W. 969; State Life Ins. Co. v. Fenn (Tex.), 269 S.W. 1111; Mo. State Life Ins. Co. v. Lefevre (Tex.), 10 S.W. (2d) 267; Hagman v. Equitable Life Assur. Soc. (Ky.), 282 S.W. 1112; Levan v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co. (S.C.), 136 S.E. 304; Marti v. Midwest Life Ins. Co. (Neb.), 189 N.W. 388; Hablutzel v. Home Life Ins. Co. (Mo. App.), 52 S.W. (2d) 480, affirmed at 59 S.W. (2d) 639; Stahl v. Am. Nat. Assur. Co. (Mo. App.), 70 S.W. (...

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