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Howard v. Federal Crop Insurance Corp.

United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
540 F.2d 695 (4th Cir. 1976)


Facts

The Howards’ (plaintiff) tobacco crops were damaged by rain, and they brought suit against Federal Crop Insurance Corp. (FCIC) (defendant) to recover their losses. The Howards had harvested and sold the crop and filed timely notice and proof of loss with FCIC but before FCIC could inspect the field had plowed under the tobacco fields to prepare to plant a cover crop which would preserve the soil for future crops. FCIC denied the claim, asserting that the insurance policy required an inspection prior to destroying a crop for which a loss is claimed. The policy stated that “[i]t shall be a condition precedent to the payment of any loss that the insured… furnish any other information regarding the manner and extent of loss” and that “[t]he tobacco stalks...with respect to which a loss is claimed shall not be destroyed until the Corporation makes an inspection.” The Howards appealed a grant of summary judgment to FCIC.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Widener, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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