American Surety Co. v. Greek Catholic Union
284 U.S. 563 (1932)

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U.S. Supreme Court

American Surety Co. v. Greek Catholic Union, 284 U.S. 563 (1932)

American Surety Co. v. Greek Catholic Union

No. 401

Argued January 22, 1932

Decided February 15, 1932

284 U.S. 563

Syllabus

A surety company executed in favor of a benefit society a fidelity bond conditioned upon the faithful performance of the duties of its treasurer. He subsequently violated his duty by depositing with a bank a sum greatly in excess of that permitted by the bylaws of his organization. The bank came into financial difficulty, and its assets were taken over and its liabilities assumed by a trust company. To assure the transfer, and in an attempt to minimize the loss, but without the consent of the surety company, the society entered into an agreement with the trust company to leave on deposit with it a sum of money, for a stated period, without interest. At the expiration of this period, the money was paid back in full. The society sued the surety company to recover a sum representing the amount of interest lost on the money as a result of these arrangements. It was admitted that the course pursued by the society had deprived the surety company of its right of subrogation against the bank.

Held:

1. The agreement made between the society and the trust company so varied the risk as to release the surety company from liability under its bond. P. 284 U. S. 567.

2. The surety company did not have the burden of proving affirmatively that its risk was increased. Pp. 284 U. S. 568-569.

3. The cause of the loss sued for was the voluntary action of the society in making an entirely new agreement with the trust company, and this was not one of the events specified in the bond on which payment was conditioned. P. 284 U. S. 569.

51 F.2d 1050 reversed.

Page 284 U. S. 564

Certiorari to review a judgment affirming a judgment against the surety company in an action upon a fidelity bond. See also 25 F.2d 31.

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