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Kobylakiewicz v. Prudential Insurance Co.

Decided: August 30, 1935.

KAROLINE KOBYLAKIEWICZ, ADMINISTRATRIX OF THE ESTATE OF STANLEY KOBYLAKIEWICZ, DECEASED, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
PRUDENTIAL INSURANCE COMPANY OF AMERICA, A CORPORATION, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



On appeal from the District Court of the Fifth Judicial District of the county of Union.

For the appellant, Martin P. O'Connor.

For the appellee, George Kidder (Harry J. Weiner, of counsel).

Before Justices Trenchard, Heher and Perskie.

Trenchard

The opinion of the court was delivered by

TRENCHARD, J. This is the defendant's appeal from a judgment of the District Court rendered by the trial judge, sitting without a jury, against the defendant for the sum of $500 the amount of an "accidental death benefit" claimed

by the plaintiff under a policy of insurance issued by the defendant on the life of Stanley Kobylakiewicz.

The defense was that the proofs failed to show that the insured "sustained bodily injury, solely through external, violent and accidental means, occurring after the date of the policy and resulting in the death of the insured," as required by the contract on which the action was based.

At the conclusion of the evidence the defendant moved for the direction of a verdict in its favor upon the ground that "it does not appear that he sustained bodily injury solely through external, violent and accidental means." That motion was denied and judgment entered for the plaintiff.

The only ground of appeal requiring consideration now is the denial of the defendant's motion for the direction of a verdict in its favor.

We believe that motion was properly denied in view of the evidence which tends to show the following matters of fact: The insured resided in Linden. He had a wife and eleven children living with him. From March 30th, 1933, until May 8th, 1933, he was confined in the state hospital for the insane at Marlborough. Within a week or two after his return home he became very violent, throwing things about, and threatening to kill his family and "everybody," with the result that from time to time his family were obliged to flee. This state of affairs continued until May 27th, 1933, when a warrant was issued for his arrest for assault and battery on the complaint of his wife, and on the following day six or seven police officers came to his house and called upon him to submit to arrest. There being no response, they entered the house and, on ascending the stairway, the insured rushed down upon them with a pickaxe and said that he would kill them, and "acted like a wild man." The officers retreated and procured "tear gas bombs." These were discharged into the house and after the lapse of ...


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