Wood, A.c., J.c.c. (temporarily assigned).
This is an action on a health and accident insurance policy. The facts are stipulated.
The infant plaintiff, William N. Feaster, 3rd, was, during the academic year 1961-1962 enrolled as a pupil in Grice Junior High School, a part of the public school system of Hamilton Township, Mercer County, New Jersey. Defendant Old Security Life Insurance Company issued to the Board of Education of Hamilton Township, for the academic year 1961-1962 a policy of insurance under which it insured the pupils of the public schools of the township against accidental injury. The policy provided for certain payments for accidental death, dismemberment and loss of sight and, in addition, for payment of medical, surgical, dental, nurse and hospital expenses incurred as the result of accidental injury. Insurance under the policy was available to pupils in the
public schools upon the payment of premiums, as therein provided. Such premium was paid by or on behalf of the infant plaintiff and a certificate of insurance was issued to him.
The policy and the certificate issued thereunder to the insured provided, inter alia, that the pupil was insured while traveling
"(a) directly and uninterruptedly to or from the Insured Person's home premises and the school for regular school sessions; not to exceed one hour before school begins and not more than one hour after the student is dismissed, or longer if school bus requires."
Normal school session hours at Grice Junior High School were 8:30 A.M. to 3:15 P.M.
On February 13, 1962 classes at the school ended as usual at 3:15 P.M. However, on that afternoon, following the end of classes, an interscholastic basketball game was played in the Grice gymnasium between the Grice team and a team from another school. A large majority of the Grice student body, including young Feaster, attended the game. Feaster held a student basketball ticket entitling him to admission to "all home games." The game on February 13 lasted until about 4:45 P.M., after which Feaster and other students started walking home. About 5:15 P.M., while directly on his way from the school to his home, Feaster was struck by an automobile and seriously injured. He was hospitalized at St. Francis Hospital in Trenton for a long period of time and subsequently underwent extended treatment at the Kessler Institute for Physiotherapy. The expenses of his care and treatment were extremely heavy. Plaintiff breaks them down as follows:
Medical, surgical and hospital care $11,597.40
Physiotherapy, diathermy heat treatments,
manipulation and massage 5,445.00
Besides the present claim, plaintiff made claim for damages against the persons involved in the accident in which he was injured, which claim was settled for the sum of $8,500.
Notice of claim was duly and timely given to defendant company in accordance with the terms of the policy. Defendant denied liability ...