Hanover Fire Ins. Co. v. Morse Dry Dock & Repair Co.

CourtNew York Court of Appeals
Writing for the CourtHUBBS
Citation200 N.E. 589,270 N.Y. 86
Decision Date03 March 1936
PartiesHANOVER FIRE INS. CO. v. MORSE DRY DOCK & REPAIR CO., and three other cases.

270 N.Y. 86
200 N.E. 589

HANOVER FIRE INS. CO.
v.
MORSE DRY DOCK & REPAIR CO., and three other cases.

Court of Appeals of New York.

March 3, 1936.


Separate actions, which were tried together, by the Hanover Fire Insurance Company, by the Globe & Rutgers Fire Insurance Company, by the Eagle Star & British Dominions Insurance Company, Limited, and by the Universal Insurance Company, against the Morse Dry Dock & Repair Company. From judgments of the Appellate Division (244 App.Div. 780, 280 N.Y.S. 795), affirming judgments of the Special Trial Term (152 Misc. 111, 272 N.Y.S. 792), in favor of the plaintiff in each action, the defendant appeals.

Affirmed.

The complaints alleged, in substance, that, pursuant to applications previously made, plaintiffs issued, during July, 1924, to defendant, a corporation engaged in the business of repairing vessels, certain policies of liability insurance aggregating $275,000, and covering a period from June 15, 1924, to June 15, 1925; that prior to the issuance of such policies, and on June 24, 1924, an accident had occurred to a vessel being repaired by defendant, the fact of which, although known to defendant, was fraudulently concealed by it from the plaintiffs; that defendant requested that the insurance provided by said policies begin on June 15, 1924, so as to cover the loss resulting from the said accident on June 24, 1924, and that, had plaintiffs known or been informed by defendant of such accident, liability therefor under said policies would have been excluded therefrom. The complaints further alleged that the defendant, on or about September 24, 1932, for the first time, made claim under said policies for payment of the loss resulting from said accident. Judgment was demanded that the policies of insurance be reformed so as to exclude therefrom any liability for the loss resulting from the accident.

The actions were begun on November 7, 1932.


[270 N.Y. 87]Appeal from Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First department.

[200 N.E. 590]


Joseph M. Proskauer, George S. Brengle, and David Katz, all of New York City, for appellant.

270 N.Y. 88]Samuel Seabury and Forrest E. Single, both of New York City, for respondents.
[270 N.Y. 89]HUBBS, Judge.

These four actions were brought for the reformation of policies of property liability insurance upon the ground that they were obtained by the fraudulent concealment of the fact that a loss had occurred prior to the delivery of the policies or the consummation of the contracts.

The trial court found in favor of the plaintiff in each action, and the Appellate Division has affirmed.

The primary question for determination here is whether the causes of action were barred by the statute of limitations. Appellant contends that the six-year statute of limitations applies (Civil Practice Act, § 48), and as more than six years had expired after the causes of action had accured before these actions were commenced that they are barred by the statute. We believe that appellant is mistaken in such contention and that the ten-year statute of limitations is applicable. (Civil Practice Act, § 53.)

Concededly, the actions were commenced within ten years after the causes of action accrued. In actions in equity the general rule is that section 53 of the Civil Practice Act applies, and that a plaintiff has ten years after accrual of the cause within which to commence his action. Gilmore v. Ham, 142 N.Y. 1, 36 N.E. 826,40 Am.St.Rep....

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21 practice notes
  • Russell v. Todd, No. 329
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • February 26, 1940
    ...period of limitations which would be applicable if the suit were at law. Hanover Fire Insurance Co. v. Morse Dry Dock & Repair Co., 270 N.Y. 86, 200 N.E. 589; Potter v. Walker, 276 N.Y. 15, 11 N.E.2d 335; 3 Cf. Gilmore v. Page 293 Ham, 142 N.Y. 1, 36 N.E. 826, 40 Am.St. Rep. 554; Treadw......
  • Todd v. Russell, No. 299.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Second Circuit
    • May 8, 1939
    ...if resort to equity is necessary to obtain complete and adequate relief. Hanover Fire Insurance Co. v. Morse Dry Dock & Repair Co., 270 N.Y. 86, 200 N.E. 589; Rundle v. Allison, 34 N.Y. Though the basis of this action is purely statutory and in that sense the relief is not strictly equi......
  • In re Psinet, Inc., Bankruptcy No. 01-13213 (REG).
    • United States
    • United States Bankruptcy Courts. Second Circuit. U.S. Bankruptcy Court — Northern District of New York
    • December 18, 2001
    ...applies to equity actions, including those for reformation of contract, citing Hanover Fire Ins. Co. v. Morse Dry Dock and Repair Co., 270 N.Y. 86, 200 N.E. 589 (1936)). While it could be argued that CPLR § 213(2), with respect to a claim "upon a contractual obligation or liability,&qu......
  • City of Johnstown, N.Y. v. Bankers Standard Ins. Co., No. 930
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • June 22, 1989
    ...Co., 152 Misc. 111, 116, 272 N.Y.S. 792, 799-800 (Sup.Ct.N.Y. County 1934), aff'd, 244 A.D. 780, 280 N.Y.S. 795 (1st Dep't 1935), aff'd, 270 N.Y. 86, 200 N.E. 589 (1936). We also recognize that, as a basic rule, recovery is similarly barred if the insured fraudulently concealed from or misr......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
21 cases
  • Russell v. Todd, No. 329
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • February 26, 1940
    ...period of limitations which would be applicable if the suit were at law. Hanover Fire Insurance Co. v. Morse Dry Dock & Repair Co., 270 N.Y. 86, 200 N.E. 589; Potter v. Walker, 276 N.Y. 15, 11 N.E.2d 335; 3 Cf. Gilmore v. Page 293 Ham, 142 N.Y. 1, 36 N.E. 826, 40 Am.St. Rep. 554; Treadw......
  • Todd v. Russell, No. 299.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Second Circuit
    • May 8, 1939
    ...if resort to equity is necessary to obtain complete and adequate relief. Hanover Fire Insurance Co. v. Morse Dry Dock & Repair Co., 270 N.Y. 86, 200 N.E. 589; Rundle v. Allison, 34 N.Y. Though the basis of this action is purely statutory and in that sense the relief is not strictly equi......
  • In re Psinet, Inc., Bankruptcy No. 01-13213 (REG).
    • United States
    • United States Bankruptcy Courts. Second Circuit. U.S. Bankruptcy Court — Northern District of New York
    • December 18, 2001
    ...applies to equity actions, including those for reformation of contract, citing Hanover Fire Ins. Co. v. Morse Dry Dock and Repair Co., 270 N.Y. 86, 200 N.E. 589 (1936)). While it could be argued that CPLR § 213(2), with respect to a claim "upon a contractual obligation or liability,&qu......
  • City of Johnstown, N.Y. v. Bankers Standard Ins. Co., No. 930
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • June 22, 1989
    ...Co., 152 Misc. 111, 116, 272 N.Y.S. 792, 799-800 (Sup.Ct.N.Y. County 1934), aff'd, 244 A.D. 780, 280 N.Y.S. 795 (1st Dep't 1935), aff'd, 270 N.Y. 86, 200 N.E. 589 (1936). We also recognize that, as a basic rule, recovery is similarly barred if the insured fraudulently concealed from or misr......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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