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Kimball v. Standard Fire Insurance Co.

578 So. 2d 546 (1991)

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Kimball v. Standard Fire Insurance Co.

Louisiana Court of Appeal

578 So. 2d 546 (1991)

Facts

Bobbie Kimball (plaintiff) and her husband Guy Kimball owned a house and had children together. After Guy’s death by murder, Bobbie retained her one-half interest in the house and obtained a usufruct over the other one-half interest for life or until she remarried. Guy’s children were the naked owners of the one-half interest in the house that was the subject of the usufruct. The house eventually burned down in a way that raised suspicions of arson. At that time, Bobbie was being held in jail after having pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder in Guy’s death. Prior to the fire, Bobbie had renewed an insurance policy on the house in her name only. Bobbie sued the insurance company, Standard Fire Insurance Co. (Standard) (defendant) to collect the fire-insurance proceeds. The administrator of Guy’s estate notified Standard that he intended to intervene in the suit over the insurance proceeds on behalf of the succession. Inexplicably, Standard went ahead and mailed a check for the entire insurance payment to Bobbie’s attorney before the estate administrator had formally filed the intervention in the suit. Bobbie took the check, cashed it, and fled in violation of her parole terms. The estate administrator was granted the intervention into the suit. The trial court determined that Guy’s succession was not entitled to recover any of the insurance proceeds, because the policy had only insured Bobbie’s interest in the house. The estate administrator appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (LaBorde, J.)

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