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Shaffer v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co.

Decided: May 21, 1945.

FRANK J. SHAFFER, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
METROPOLITAN LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



On appeals from judgments of the Hudson County Court of Common Pleas.

For the plaintiff-respondent, cross-appellant, Drewen & Nugent.

For the defendant-appellant, cross-respondent, Morris Edelstein and Thomas F. Meehan.

Before Brogan, Chief Justice, and Justices Donges and Perskie.

Donges

The opinion of the court was delivered by

DONGES, J. These cross-appeals bring up judgments of the Hudson County Court of Common Pleas in a suit to recover the amount alleged by plaintiff to be due on a policy of insurance issued by defendant.

On February 19th, 1921, defendant issued a group policy insuring employees of Mutual Chemical Company who qualified

for the insurance, and to whom certificates of coverage under the policy were issued. It also provided for payment to the holders of valid certificates of total and permanent disability benefits. The plaintiff admittedly was an employee of Mutual Chemical Company and received certificates in the amount of $3,000. It was for this amount that plaintiff brought suit.

Plaintiff became an employee of the Mutual Chemical Company in August, 1922, as a storekeeper, and subsequently as a timekeeper. He continued in this employment until August 31st, 1929, when his employment ceased. On or about November 25th, 1929, he resumed his work at the same position and continued until May, 1930, when he was obliged to suspend his work, having contracted lobar pneumonia. He resumed his duties in August, 1930, and worked until April 16th, 1932, when he was discharged.

During the plaintiff's first years of employment with Mutual Chemical Company he received two participation certificates, one on February 7th, 1923, for $500, numbered "Serial 758," and on September 19th, 1925, one for $1,000, "Serial 758-A," both under group policy No. 190-G. On May 1st, 1930, the defendant issued to plaintiff a certificate for $500, known as "Serial 1822," and on May 19th, 1930, issued another certificate to plaintiff in the sum of $500, known as "Serial 1822-A," and on November 1st, 1930, defendant issued another certificate to plaintiff in the sum of $500, known as "Serial 1822-A." All of these certificates were subject to the terms and conditions prevailing under group policy of insurance No. 190-G.

Plaintiff seeks to recover the sum of $3,000, the aggregate of certificates issued to him. The defendant denies liability for all of the claimed amount. The trial judge granted defendant's motion for a directed verdict on certificate No. 758 and the certificate or rider No. 758-A on the ground that they were not in force and effect. It is from this action that plaintiff appeals. Defendant's motion for a directed verdict as to certificate No. 1822 and the two numbered 1822-A was denied. The jury found ...


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