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Hanna v. Commercial Travelers’ Mutual Accident Association

Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division
142 N.E. 288 (1922)


Facts

Commercial Travelers’ Mutual Accident Association (insurer) (defendant) issued an accident insurance policy to Lyman (insured). The insured disappeared in 1913 and was found in his car at the bottom of a river in 1917. The insurance policy stated that the failure to report accidents within specified timeframes would result in the invalidation of any claims against the insurer. Notice of the insured’s accident and death was not provided to the insurer as required by the policy. William E. Hanna (plaintiff) brought suit on behalf of the insured, arguing that noncompliance with the notice requirements of the policy was excused by the impossibility of compliance prior to the discovery of the insured’s death in 1917. The trial court granted Hanna a judgment of $5,978.40.   

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Holding and Reasoning (Finch, J.)

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Dissent (Clarke, J.)

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