Insurance Company v. Brame - 95 U.S. 754 (1877)
U.S. Supreme Court
Insurance Company v. Brame, 95 U.S. 754 (1877)
Insurance Company v. Brame
95 U.S. 754
1. A. killed B., upon whose life there was a policy of insurance in favor of a third party. The company paid the insurance and sued A. for the damages it had sustained by his act. Held that the action does not lie at common law or under the Civil Code of Louisiana, where the homicide was committed.
2. That code gives a right of action against the wrongdoer to certain relatives of the deceased, for injuries to the person resulting in death. At common law, an action for such injuries abates.
This is an action by the Mobile Life Insurance Company against Brame, to recover the sum of $7,000.
The plaintiff alleged that it insured the life of one Craven McLemore, a citizen of Louisiana, for that amount in favor of third parties; that on the 24th of October, 1875, while its policies were in force, Brame did, in the town of Delhi, in Louisiana, willfully shoot said McLemore, and inflict upon him a mortal wound, from the effects of which he died on the twenty-sixth day of that month; that the shooting was an illegal and tortious act on the part of Brame, and caused damage to the plaintiff in the amount of the policies on the life of the deceased, which amount the plaintiff acknowledges to be due, and a part of which has been paid.
An exception of the defendant to the plaintiff's petition was sustained, and judgment rendered in his favor. The company then brought the case here.
The Revised Civil Code of Louisiana contains the following articles:
"ART. 2314. Every act whatever of man that causes damage to another, obliges him by whose fault it happened to repair it; the right of this action shall survive, in case of death, in favor of the minor children and widow of the deceased, or either of them, and in default of these, in favor of the surviving father or mother, or either of them, for the space of one year from the death."
"ART. 2316. Every person is responsible for the damage he occasions, not merely by his act, but by his negligence, his imprudence, or his want of skill. "
"ART. 2324. He who causes another person to do an unlawful act, or assists or encourages in the commission of it, is answerable in solido with that person for the damage caused by such act. "