Friez v. National Old Line Insurance Co.
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
703 F.2d 1093 (1983)
In December 1977, Friez applied for life insurance from National Old Line Insurance Co. (Old Line) (defendant). The application required Friez to answer yes or no to whether he knew of any existing impairment, disease, or disorder in his health condition. Friez answered no. Also in the application was a clause that stated, “I understand and agree that there shall be no insurance in force until the policy hereby applied for is issued and delivered to me during my lifetime and good health and the first premium is paid by me in which event the insurance shall be effective as of the Date of issue stated in the policy.” Old Line issued the life-insurance policy to Friez in January 1978. At that time, Friez had undiagnosed terminal cancer. Friez died the following month. Old Line declined to pay the life-insurance proceeds on two grounds: first, that Friez’s good health was a condition precedent to life-insurance coverage and Friez’s undiagnosed cancer rendered him not in good health; and second, that Friez made a misrepresentation in the application by failing to disclose that he had received treatment for ulcers nine years ago. Old Line cancelled the policy and returned the premium payments. Friez’s life-insurance beneficiary (Beneficiary) (plaintiff) sued Old Line for the policy proceeds. The district court entered judgment in favor of Beneficiary. Old Line appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Schroeder, J.)
Dissent (Wallace, J.)
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