Suits v. Old Equity Life Ins. Co., 601

Citation249 N.C. 383, 106 S.E.2d 579
Case DateJanuary 14, 1959
CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of North Carolina

Page 579

106 S.E.2d 579
249 N.C. 383
Harold SUITS
No. 601
Supreme Court of North Carolina.
Jan. 14, 1959

McLendon, Brim, Holderness & Brooks, by: G. Neil Daniels, Hubert Humphrey, Greensboro, for defendant, appellant.

Smith, Moore, Smith, Schell & Hunter, by: Bynum M. Hunter, Greensboro, for plaintiff, appellee.

HIGGINS, Justice.

The defendant has abandoned all assignments of error except No. 9 which presents the question whether the plaintiff's evidence, in the light most favorable to him, was sufficient to qualify him for further benefits under Part H of his policy. The question is one of law. Ward v. Smith, 223 N.C. 141, 25 S.E.2d 463. The policy issued to the plaintiff by the defendant company is designated 'Lifetime Income Protection Policy.' Part A provides for loss or, under certain conditions, the loss of use of members of the body. The defendant has paid the maximum benefits for the loss of both feet. Part H provides for confining disability benefits. Part I provides for nonconfining benefits. Other parts of the policy provide for additional benefits not material here. Part H only is involved.

The courts of the several states are not in agreement in their interpretation of policy provisions similar to Part H. Some courts adhere to the rule of literal construction, even of the indoors provision. MacFarlane v. Pacific Mutual Life Ins. Co., 7 Cir., 192 F.2d 193, 29 A.L.R.2d 1403, certiorari denied 343 U.S. 915, 72 S.Ct. 648, 96 L.Ed. 1330; Reeves v. Midland Casualty Co., 170 Wis. 370, 174 N.W. 475. Others, among them our own, adhere to a more liberal interpretation, treating the 'continuously confined withindoors' provision as descriptive of the extent of the illness or injury, and at the same time allowing reasonable deviation from the indoors requirement. Glenn v. Gate City Life Ins. Co., 220 N.C. 672, 18 S.E.2d 113; Duke v. General Accident Fire & Life Assurance Corp., 212 N.C. 682, 194 S.E. 91; Thompson

Page 582

v. Mutual Ben. Health & Accident Ass'n, 209 N.C. 678, 184 S.E. 695; Wade v. Mutual Benefit Health & Accident Ass'n, 115 W.Va. 694, 177 S.E. 611; Mutual Benefit Health & Accident Ass'n [249 N.C. 386] v. McDonald, 73 Colo. 308, 215 P. 135. Under Part I the parties provide benefits for nonconfining injury which resulted in total disability and total loss of time. The difference in the provisions is this: Part I eliminates the confining requirement present in Part H.

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12 cases
  • Muncie v. Travelers Ins. Co.
    • United States
    • North Carolina United States State Supreme Court of North Carolina
    • 12 Octubre 1960
    ...valid one, the parties are entitled to have it enforced as written. We cannot ignore any part of the contract. Suits v. Old Equity Life Insurance Co., 249 N.C. 383, 106 S.E.2d 579; Peirson v. American Hardware Mut. Insurance Co., 248 N.C. 215, 102 S.E.2d 800; Ray v. Hospital Care Ass'n, 236......
  • Pennsylvania Life Ins. Co. v. Bumbrey, Civ. A. No. 87-0023-A
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Virginia)
    • 3 Agosto 1987
    ...evidence of disability. To hold otherwise would fundamentally alter the deal the parties have struck. See Suits v. Old Equity Life Ins. Co., 249 N.C. 383, 106 S.E.2d 579, 582 (1959). Courts must, of course, be cautious in altering the basic fundamentals of a contract. If such a provision is......
  • S. Shores Realty Servs., Inc. v. Miller, COA16-557
    • United States
    • North Carolina Court of Appeal of North Carolina (US)
    • 17 Enero 2017
    ...parties contract at arm's length upon a lawful subject, as to them the contract is the law of their case." Suits v. Insurance Co ., 249 N.C. 383, 386, 106 S.E.2d 579, 582 (1959). "[T]o ascertain the intent of the parties at the moment of execution ... the court looks to the language used [.......
  • Shealy v. United Ins. Co. of America
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • 10 Agosto 1961
    ...within doors' merely expresses a degree of disability requisite for recovery are the following cases: Suits v. Old Equity Life Insurance Company, 249 N.C. 383, 106 S.E.2d 579, 581; Mutual Benefit Health and Accident Association v. McDonald, 73 Colo. 308, 215 P. 135. Also see cases cited in ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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