Insurance Company v. Gridley
100 U.S. 614 (1879)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Insurance Company v. Gridley, 100 U.S. 614 (1879)

Insurance Company v. Gridley

100 U.S. 614

Syllabus

1. An application made by A. to an insurance company, upon which a policy on his life was issued for the benefit of his wife, contains a stipulation that his statements therein "shall form the basis of the contract," and that any untrue or fraudulent answers, any suppression of facts in regard to his health, habits, or circumstances material to the risk, "shall vitiate the policy and forfeit all payments thereon." In reply to a question as to whether certain of his relatives had any hereditary disease, he answered, "No hereditary taint of any kind in family on either side of house, to my knowledge." A. having died, his widow brought suit and made out her case. The company then proved that B., an uncle of A., had been insane for more than a year preceding his death, and had died in an insane asylum upwards of twenty years before the date of A.'s application. The jury were instructed to find for the plaintiff.

Held:

1. That the instruction was proper.

2. That, to maintain its defense, the company was bound to prove not only the insanity of B., but that it was hereditary and that both facts were known to A. when he answered the question.

2. National Bank v. Insurance Company,95 U. S. 673, cited and approved.

The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.

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