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Opinion of the Court.
mitted to allege or prove that defendant did not mail, or cause to be mailed, or otherwise given, to said George Dana Hill a notice stating the amount of premium due on said policy on April 29, 1887, or at any other time, with the place where the same should be paid, the person to whom the same is payable, and stating that unless the premium then due should be paid to the company, or its agents, within thirty days after the mailing of such notice, the policy, and all payments made thereon, should become forfeited, or any other notice prescribed by any statute or statutes of the State of New York, or any other notice than that hereinafter in this paragraph mentioned, for that, shortly prior to and after, and on said twenty-ninth day of April, 1887, this defendant, in writing, and also personally, notified and informed the said George Dana Hill, at said city of Seattle, that the premium of eight hundred and fourteen dollars, necessary to be paid on said policy for the continuance of said policy of insurance, was due and payable, and said defendant duly demanded payment of said premium in said sum, and, at the same time and place, tendered the receipt of the defendant therefor, duly signed by its president and secretary; and the said Hill, being fully so informed and advised in the premises, refused to make payment of said premium, or any part thereof, and then and there, intending, and for the purpose of inducing defendant to rely upon the same, informed defendant that he, the said George Dana Hill, was unable to pay said premium, and did not intend to make payment thereof, or of any premium thereafter to accrue upon said policy of insurance, but, on the contrary, he, the said George Dana Hill, intended to allow the said policy to lapse and become forfeited for want of payment of said premium, or of any future premium accruing on said policy; and the said defendant, then and there, and ever since, relying upon the said representations and conduct on the part of the said George Dana Hill, was thereby induced to, and did, declare the said policy and contract of insurance forfeited and abandoned, and, in good faith, relying upon said conduct and representations on the part of said George Dana Hill, this defendant was induced to, and did, fail and abstain from giving or mailing any notice, whether prescribed by statute or other
Opinion of the Court.
wise, to the said George Dana Hill, or to any person interested in said policy, concerning the payment of any premium thereon.”
Here, as in the last two cases, is disclosed a distinct agreement on the part of the insured and the company to waive and abandon the policy and all rights and obligations on the part of the parties thereto.
But it is said that the insured was not the beneficiary ; his wife, and in case of her death, their children, being named as such; and that it was not in his power, by non-payment or waiver or abandonnent, to relinquish or cancel her or their rights in the policy. It is doubtless an interesting question how far the action of the insured can affect or bind the beneficiaries in a life insurance policy. If the answer in this case contained simply the allegation in respect to the insured's agreement with the company, we should be compelled to enter into an examination of that question ; but it is alleged, not only that the insured and the company agreed to abandon the contract, but also that the beneficiary, his wife, and the plaintiffs, their children, “ failed, neglected and refused” to pay the premium. So we have a case in which not only did the insured and the company abandon the contract, but also the beneficiaries neglected and refused to do that which was essential to keep the policy in life. The allegation in the answer does not disclose a mere omission, for it is “neglected and refused," and, of course, there can be no refusal unless with knowledge of the opportunity or duty. A party cannot be said to refuse to do a thing of which he knows nothing. Refusal implies demand, knowledge or notice. The case, therefore, is one in which the beneficiaries refused to continue the policy, while the insured and the company abandoned it. Under those circumstances we think the case falls within the
same rule as the preceding; and the judgments of the Court of Appeals of the Ninth Circuit and of the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Washington are reversed, and the case remanded to the latter court, with instructions to overrule the demurrer to defendant's answer.
MR. JUSTICE PECKHAM did not sit in the hearing and took no part in the decision of this case.
Opinion of the Court.
MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY V. ALLEN.
CERTIORARI TO THE CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH
No. 465. Argued March 14, 15, 1900.-Decided May 28, 1900.
Mutual Life Insurance Company v. Sears, ante, 345, followed.
The case is stated in the opinion.
Mr. Julien T. Davis and Mr. John B. Allen for petitioner. Mr. Edward Lyman Short and Mr. Frederic D. McKenney were on their brief.
Mr. Stanton Wartburton and Mr. Harold Preston for respondent. Mr. Eben Smith was on their brief.
MR. JUSTICE BREWER delivered the opinion of the court.
This case is, in all material respects, similar to that of Mutual Life Insurance Company v. Bessie F. Sears, Executrix, just decided. The answer of the company, which was demurred to, and the demurrer sustained, contained these allegations:
“That neither the said Samuel B. Stewart, nor any one on his behalf, ever paid, or offered to pay, any premium, or any part of any premium due, or to become due or payable on said policy, save and except the first premium, which was paid upon the delivery of said policy, and which covered the period from the date of said policy until the eighteenth day of February, 1894. That the said Samuel B. Stewart was at all times advised and informerl that default had been made by him in the payment of each and every premium, and the whole thereof, due on said policy, subsequent to the said first annual premium paid at the delivery of said policy; and that the said Samuel B. Stewart in his lifetime never paid or offered to pay any pre
Opinion of the Court.
mium, or any part of any premium, due upon said policy subsequent to that paid upon the delivery thereof as aforesaid. That it was expressly in said policy provided that the insurance thereon was payable to the insured, Samuel B. Stewart, or his assigns; that the said Samuel B. Stewart never made any transfer or assignment of said policy of insurance; that the said defendant entered and noted said policy of insurance upon
its books as forfeited and lapsed for failure to pay the annual premium falling due on said policy on said eighteenth day of February, 1894. That the said Samuel B. Stewart was at all times advised that defendant had so treated said policy as lapsed and forfeited, and notwithstanding said notice, and notwithstanding the said Samuel B. Stewart was at all times advised, he had not paid the premium due on said policy February 18, 1894, consented to the forfeiture and termination of said policy of insurance; and with a mutual knowlege and understanding on the part of defendant and said Samuel B. Stewart, the said policy was at all times by the said parties deemed terminated from and after the eighteenth day of February, 1894; and relying upon such knowledge and mutual understanding, the said de fendant never subsequently mailed or served any notice of the due date of premiums to or upon said Samuel B. Stewart during his lifetime, and the said Samuel B. Stewart, at all times knowing that the defendant was treating said policy as forfeited and lapsed, and at all times knowing that he had not paid or tendered payment of any premium upon said policy subsequent to the first annual premium paid as aforesaid on the delivery of said policy, acquiesced in and agreed to the said mutual understanding that the said policy was lapsed and forfeited, and by mutual agreement and consent both the said defendant and said Samuel B. Stewart agreed and consented to the lapsing and forfeiture of said policy of insurance from and after the eighteenth day of February, 1894.”
From this answer it distinctly appears that Stewart, who was both the insured and the beneficiary, knew when the second annual premium became due, was informed of his default in the matter of payment, and both he and the company agreed to
the ending of the contract. Under these circumstances, and without considering any other question, The judgments of the Court of Appeals of the Ninth Circuit
and of the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Washington are reversed, and the case remanded to the latter court with instructions to overrule the demurrer to the answer of the defendant.
MR. JUSTICE PEckham did not sit in the hearing and took no part in the decision of this case.
CHICAGO, MILWAUKEE & ST. PAUL RAILWAY COM
PANY v. CLARK.
CERTIORARI TO THE CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SECOND
No. 256. Argued April 20, 23, 1900. - Decided May 28, 1900.
The record shows that the cause came on for trial without a jury, a trial
by jury having been expressly waived by written consent of the parties, that a referee was duly appointed by similar consent, in accordance with the rules and customs of the District in which the trial was had, and that his findings, rulings and decisions were made those of the court. Teld, that the question whether the judgment rendered was warranted by the facts found was open for consideration in the Circuit Court of Appeals,
and is so here. Clark contracted with the railway company for the construction of part of
its road. He also contracted for the completion of his work on a day named. It was not completed till some time after that day. Clark contended that the failure was caused by the neglect of the company to procure a right of way. When the time for settlement came there were also other disputes between him and the company, which are set forth in detail in the statement of facts. The result was at Clark signed a paper in which, after stating the disputed claims in detail, it was said: “Now therefore be it known that I, the said Heman Clark, have received of and from the said Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway Company, the sum of one hundred and seventy three thousand, five hundred and thirty