Warren v. Pilgrim Health & Life Ins. Co., No. 16401

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtTAYLOR; BAKER
Citation60 S.E.2d 891,217 S.C. 453
Decision Date28 August 1950
Docket NumberNo. 16401
PartiesWARREN v. PILGRIM HEALTH & LIFE INS. CO.

Page 891

60 S.E.2d 891
217 S.C. 453
WARREN

v.
PILGRIM HEALTH & LIFE INS. CO.
No. 16401.
Supreme Court of South Carolina.
Aug. 28, 1950.

Page 892

[217 S.C. 454] Mays, Featherstone & Bradford, Greenwood, for appellant.

Nicholson & Nicholson, Greenwood, for respondent.

[217 S.C. 456] TAYLOR, Justice.

Appellant issued its insurance policy, dated February 4, 1946, upon the life of John Belcher, an illiterate colored man living near the City of Greenwood, South Carolina. The application was in the handwriting of appellant's colored agent, R. H. Burton, and signed by the applicant making his mark. The insured, John Belcher, died February 15, 1948, two years and eleven days after the issuance of the policy. The application recited among other things that John Belcher was forty-one years of age and that the beneficiary, Ben Warren, another negro who could neither read nor write, was the nephew of the insured when in fact he was not related in any respect to the insured although he called him Uncle John. The coroner's physician reported that the age of the deceased was seventy-nine years and gave as cause of death 'cardio-renal' and the remote cause 'senility.'

The matter came on for trial before Honorable A. L. Gaston and a jury at the April term of Common Pleas Court for Greenwood County, 1949, resulting in a verdict of $220.00 for the respondent, the face amount of the policy. The appellant moved for judgment non obstante veredicto, or in the alternative for a new trial, which was refused, and now comes to this Court contending, first, that the contract of insurance was void as a gambling contract; second, that the insured, John Belcher, was mentally incompetent and therefore unable to understand an application for insurance and to authorize their agent, Burton, to sign his name thereto; third, that the evidence so clearly preponderates against the verdict that it must be assumed that the jury was influenced by outside considerations and that the judge abused his discretion when he refused to set aside the verdict.

Page 893

[217 S.C. 457] In support of its position relative to the first question, appellant cites the cases of Crosswell v. Conn. Indemnity Association, 51 S.C. 103, 28 S.E. 200, 205, and Rogers v. Atlantic Life Insurance Co., 135 S.C. 89, 133 S.E. 215, 45 A.L.R. 1172. These authorities are to the effect that one cannot obtain valid insurance upon the life of another in whom he has no insurable interest; but it is generally held that one may procure insurance on his own life and make it payable to whomever he wishes, if in good faith and not to cover a wagering policy,...

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10 practice notes
  • Armstrong v. School Dist. Five, Lexington, Richland, No. Civ.A. 3:997-903-0.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
    • 15 Octubre 1998
    ...obligations. See, Rice v. Multimedia, Inc., 318 S.C. 95, 456 S.E.2d 381 (S.C.1995); Warren v. Pilgrim Health & Life Insur. Co., 217 S.C. 453, 60 S.E.2d 891, 893 (S.C.1950). For this reason, public school districts may be judicially compelled to obey and enforce their own policies. See, Hogs......
  • Carton v. B&B Equities Grp., LLC, No. 2:11–cv–746–RCJ–PAL.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • 7 Diciembre 2011
    ...cannot obtain valid insurance upon the life of another in whom he has no insurable interest.” Warren v. Pilgrim Health & Life Ins. Co., 217 S.C. 453, 60 S.E.2d 891, 893 (1950); see also Powell v. Ins. Co. of N. America, 285 S.C. 588, 330 S.E.2d 550, 551–52 (1985). Such contracts are “void i......
  • Browning v. Browning, No. 4031.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • 17 Octubre 2005
    ...N. America, 285 S.C. 588, 589-90, 330 S.E.2d 550, 551-52 (Ct.App.1985) (citations omitted); see Warren v. Pilgrim Health & Life Ins. Co., 217 S.C. 453, 456, 60 S.E.2d 891, 893 (1950)("[O]ne cannot obtain valid insurance upon the life of another in whom he has no insurable interest."). Where......
  • Hunt v. General Ins. Co. of America, No. 16994
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • 19 Abril 1955
    ...[72 Miss. 58], 17 So. 13; Ellison v. Independent Life & Acc. Co., 216 S.C. 475, 58 S.E.2d 890; Warren v. Pilgrim Health & Life Ins. Co., 217 S.C. 453, 60 S.E.2d 891; Croswell v. Connecticut Indemnity Ass'n, 51 S.C. 108, 280 S.E. 'In the Warren case, supra, the Court quoting with approval fr......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
10 cases
  • Armstrong v. School Dist. Five, Lexington, Richland, No. Civ.A. 3:997-903-0.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
    • 15 Octubre 1998
    ...obligations. See, Rice v. Multimedia, Inc., 318 S.C. 95, 456 S.E.2d 381 (S.C.1995); Warren v. Pilgrim Health & Life Insur. Co., 217 S.C. 453, 60 S.E.2d 891, 893 (S.C.1950). For this reason, public school districts may be judicially compelled to obey and enforce their own policies. See, Hogs......
  • Carton v. B&B Equities Grp., LLC, No. 2:11–cv–746–RCJ–PAL.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • 7 Diciembre 2011
    ...cannot obtain valid insurance upon the life of another in whom he has no insurable interest.” Warren v. Pilgrim Health & Life Ins. Co., 217 S.C. 453, 60 S.E.2d 891, 893 (1950); see also Powell v. Ins. Co. of N. America, 285 S.C. 588, 330 S.E.2d 550, 551–52 (1985). Such contracts are “void i......
  • Browning v. Browning, No. 4031.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • 17 Octubre 2005
    ...N. America, 285 S.C. 588, 589-90, 330 S.E.2d 550, 551-52 (Ct.App.1985) (citations omitted); see Warren v. Pilgrim Health & Life Ins. Co., 217 S.C. 453, 456, 60 S.E.2d 891, 893 (1950)("[O]ne cannot obtain valid insurance upon the life of another in whom he has no insurable interest."). Where......
  • Hunt v. General Ins. Co. of America, No. 16994
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • 19 Abril 1955
    ...[72 Miss. 58], 17 So. 13; Ellison v. Independent Life & Acc. Co., 216 S.C. 475, 58 S.E.2d 890; Warren v. Pilgrim Health & Life Ins. Co., 217 S.C. 453, 60 S.E.2d 891; Croswell v. Connecticut Indemnity Ass'n, 51 S.C. 108, 280 S.E. 'In the Warren case, supra, the Court quoting with approval fr......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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