Insurance Company v. Harris
ERROR to the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Maryland.
On the 9th of September, 1872, two actions were brought by the assignee of William H. Brune, against The Mutual Life Insurance Company of New York, on two policies issued by it in January of that year, in the name of said Brune, on the life of John S. Barry. Barry died in March, 1872. By consent, the actions were consolidated and tried together. The defendant pleaded the general issue; and the parties agreed that either of them might offer in evidence any matter that would be admissible if it had been specially pleaded, and leave was subsequently granted the defendant to file a plea of puis darrein continuance. There was also an agreement which provided for the admission of certain papers and records, and stipulated that any further proceedings in a then pending suit, commenced April 4, 1872, in the Supreme Court for the city and county of New York, by Rosalie C. Barry, widow of said John, against said company, said Brune and his assignee, which either party should deem material, might be filed as a part of the agreement, at any time before the trial. The matter involved in that suit, and the decree which was rendered therein by the said court Nov. 26, 1873, are set out in the opinion of this court.
The issue was, by stipulation, submitted for trial to the court. On the 25th of November the plaintiff below stated his case; but, before any evidence was given, further action in the premises was postponed until the 29th of that month, when the defendant, before the plaintiff had submitted any evidence, filed with the clerk of the court a duly certified transcript of said decree.
On the trial, the defendant asked leave to set up the matter of that suit and decree by way of plea, or put it in evidence, under the agreement; but the court refused the leave, and the defendant excepted.
Judgment was rendered in favor of the plaintiff for the amount of the policies; and the defendant sued out this writ, and assigned for error that the court below erred: 1, in its refusal to grant the leave asked for; and, 2, in rendering judgment for the plaintiff upon the agreed statement of facts.
Whitridge, the original assignee, having died, Harris, the defendant in error, was substituted in his stead.
Mr. Edward Otis Hinkley and Mr. Henry E. Davies for the plaintiff in error.
Mr. J. Morrison Harris and Mr. F. W. Brune, contra.
MR. JUSTICE STRONG delivered the opinion of the court.