Royal Ins. Co. v. Miller
199 U.S. 353 (1905)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Royal Ins. Co. v. Miller, 199 U.S. 353 (1905)

Royal Insurance Company v. Miller

No. 7

Argued October 17-18, 1905

Decided November 27, 1905

199 U.S. 353

ERROR TO THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED

STATES FOR THE DISTRICT OF PORTO RICO

Syllabus

The owner of an estate in Porto Rico mortgaged the property to a bank, the mortgage being granted by notarial act describing the property and the fruits thereof and declaring that it was all planted in cane except certain specified parts, including the sugar manufactory, and that the loan secured was to enable the borrower to develop and keep the plantation; as additional collateral, the owner delivered to the bank a policy of fire insurance on "stock of sugar and molasses deposited in the sugar manufactory on the estate," which was not to take effect, however, until several months thereafter; after the policy took effect and during its life, the sugar house and stock was burned; action was not brought until more than fifteen but less than twenty years thereafter. Meanwhile, the bank had become bankrupt and a special master appointed with power to collect the assets thereof. In an action by the special master on the policy, the company denied liability and the plaintiff's capacity to sue, also pleading prescription. The lower court permitted one of the parties claiming an after-acquired interest in the policy antagonistic to the plaintiff to be joined as party plaintiff. A verdict was rendered for both against the company. In sustaining the verdict, held that:

Where the decree appointing a special master gave him express authority to sue to collect all assets of the bankrupt, the fact that he was merely designated as special master did not deprive him of the special powers to sue conferred on him by the decree.

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