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Hallowes v. New York Life Ins. Co.

Florida Supreme Court

July 14, 1938

HALLOWES et al.
v.
NEW YORK LIFE INS. CO. (two cases).

Certiorari to Circuit Court, Duval County; R. H. Rowe, Judge.

Actions at law by Sarah R. Hallowes and William A. Hallowes, III, as executrix and executor of the estate of William A. Hallowes, Jr., deceased, against the New York Life Insurance Company for recovery of disability benefits under two separate life policies. The circuit court reversed judgments rendered by the civil court of record in favor of the plaintiffs, and the plaintiffs bring certiorari.

Judgments of the circuit court quashed and causes remanded.

Judgment adhered to in 184 So. 12, 184 So. 14.

COUNSEL

Page 8

[133 Fla. 874]Cockrell & Cockrell, of Jacksonville, for petitioners.

Doggett, McCollum, Howell & Doggett, of Jacksonville, for respondent.

OPINION

BROWN, Justice.

In the two above entitled cases, writs of certiorari were granted by this court to review the judgments of the Circuit Court for Duval County reversing two judgments which had been rendered by the Civil Court of Record of Duval County in favor of Mrs. Sarah R. Hallowes, as Administratrix, and William A. Hollows, III, as Executor, of the estate of William A. Hallowes, Jr., against the New York Life Insurance Company. If each of the judgments of reversal contain such affirmative directions to the court below to proceed in violation of certain essential requirements of the law in the ultimate judgments required to be rendered, this would bring these cases within the exception to the general rule, which is that a judgment of reversal and remand for another trial is not such a final judgment as will authorize review by certiorari. Midland Motor Car Co. v. Willys-Overland, Inc., 101 Fla. 837, 132 So. 692; Grodin v. Railway Express Agency, 116 Fla. 378, 153 So. 476. It was upon the theory that, if petitioner's contention as to the law governing these cases was correct, the judgments of reversal rendered therein by the Circuit Court would then fall within the exception recognized by the above cited cases and thus authorize review by certiorari--it was upon this theory that these writs were issued, the final disposition of which depends upon whether the Circuit Court, in its reversal and directions to the trial court departed from the essential requirements of the law as applied to the facts of these cases.

These two cases are separate actions at law originally tried in the Civil Court of Record, Duval County, wherein [133 Fla. 875] appellants, as Executors of the Estate of William A. Hallowes, Jr., sought to recover against appellee, New York Life Insurance Company, disability benefits under provisions contained in two separate life insurance policies issued by said Company in the year 1920 upon the life of William A. Hallowes, Jr., such benefits being claimed for a period of time extending from April 5, 1933, to the death of insured on August 21, 1933. The cases being essentially similar, were here argued and submitted any contest

These cases do not involve any contest as to the life insurance per se, which presumably was paid upon proof of death of the insured, but the contest, in each case, pertains only to the question of the Company's liability for disability benefits.

The policy dated December 28, 1920, on the first page thereof, provided that:

'The Company agrees to pay to the insured one per cent of the face of this policy each month during the endowment period, if the insured becomes wholly and permanently disabled before age 60, subject to all of the terms and conditions of Section 1 hereof.'

The pertinent provisions of Section 1 are as follows:

'Section 1. Disability benefits. 1. Disability benefits shall be effective upon receipt of due proof, before default in the payment of premiums, that the Insured became totally and permanently disabled after he received this policy and before its anniversary on which the insured's age at nearest birthday is 60 years.'

'Disability shall be deemed to be total whenever the Insured becomes wholly disabled by bodily injury or disease so that he is prevented thereby from engaging in any occupation, * * * and under this contract disability shall be presumed to be permanent after the Insured has been continuously so disabled for not less than three months.'

[133 Fla. 876] '2. Income Payments. On the 1st day of the calendar month following receipt of such proof, if such disability has continued until that day, the company will pay the Insured a sum equal to one per cent. of the face of the policy and a like sum on the 1st day of each calendar month ...


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