Layton v. Cregan & Mallory Co.

CourtSupreme Court of Michigan
Citation248 N.W. 539,263 Mich. 30
Decision Date16 May 1933
Docket NumberMotion No. 48.


Appeal from Circuit Court, for Kalamazoo County; George V. Weimer, Judge.

Action by Josephine Layton against the Cregan & Mallory Company, Inc. From an order requiring the production of insurance policies and correspondence between defendant and insurance company, defendant appeals.


Argued before the Entire Bench.

Dunham & Allaben, of Grand Rapids, for appellant.

Adams, Van Horn & Bloem, of Kalamazoo, for appellee.

McDONALD, Chief Justice.

This is an appeal from an order of the circuit court requiring the production of insurance policies and certain correspondence which the plaintiff claims are necessary to enable her to prepare for trial.

The plaintiff was injured in an automobile accident. The car in which she was riding came into collision with a car driven by one Forrest Baum. It is claimed that the car belonged to the defendant, and that Baum was employed to drive it, and that he did so negligently, by reason of which plaintiff sustained her injuries. Suit was begun by the plaintiff. The defendant filed an answer to the declaration, in which it denied the ownership of the car or that Forrest Baum was its employee or was driving the car in the performance of any duty in its behalf.

After the pleadings were in, the plaintiff filed a petition under rule 40 for an order requiring the defendant to produce its insurance policies covering the automobile and personal correspondence between the defendant and the insurance company in relation to the accident. Such an order was entered, and the defendant appealed.

It is first contended by the defendant that the plaintiff is not entitled to a discovery because it calls for matters entirely foreign and irrelevant to the issue. We do not think so. The ownership of the car was put in issue by the pleadings. If the insurance policy shows ownership, it is admissible in evidence for that purpose. Counsel's fear that other portions of the policy dealing with insurer's contract to pay, etc., would get before the jury is groundless, for we may assume that the court would not permit irrelevant portions to be introduced or called to the jury's attention. Of course, the fact that the defendant was insured would get into the case, and defendant urges that in these cases, both by our decisions and by statute, any reference to insurance in the presence of the jury is prejudicial. That is true only where the matter of insurance is not relevant and is injected into the case for the...

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11 cases
  • Lucas v. District Court of Pueblo County in Tenth Judicial Dist., 18859
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • March 9, 1959
    ...605 (followed by Superior Insurance Co. v. Superior Court, 37 Cal.2d 749, 235 P.2d 833). In the case of Layton v. Cregan & Mallory Co., 263 Mich. 30, 248 N.W. 539, it was held that existence of insurance coverage was a proper discovery inquiry where ownership of the vehicle was in issue. Th......
  • Layton v. Cregan & Mallory Co., 54.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Michigan
    • December 10, 1934
    ...From a judgment for plaintiff, defendant appeals, and plaintiff takes a cross-appeal. The case was here in Layton v. Cregan & Mallory Co., 263 Mich. 30, 248 N. W. 539, where the facts sufficiently appear; and in Layton v. Cregan & Mallory Co., 265 Mich. 574, 252 N. W. 337, where additional ......
  • State ex rel. Bush v. Elliott, 49453
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • January 14, 1963
    ...will reveal the identity of the vehicle insured. In support of this contention the respondent cites Layton v. Cregan & Mallory Co., 263 Mich. 30, 248 N.W. 539, and Orgel v. McCurdy, D.C.N.Y., 8 F.R.D. 585. In the Layton case the defendant denied ownership of the motor vehicle involved and t......
  • Washoe County Bd. of School Trustees v. Pirhala, 5402
    • United States
    • Nevada Supreme Court of Nevada
    • January 2, 1968 we hold that such insurance is not discoverable after judgment is entered in an action. In the case of Layton v. Cregan & Mallory Co., 263 Mich. 30, 248 N.W. 539 (Mich. 1933), the court required the production of an insurance policy covering the automobile involved in an accident in whic......
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