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Mutual of Omaha Insurance Co. v. Russell
United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
402 F.2d 339 (1968)
Russell (plaintiff) purchased flight insurance from Mutual of Omaha Insurance Co. (defendant) through a salesperson at a booth in the airport. Russell initially attempted to purchase the insurance at a vending machine, which would have dispensed a T-20 policy, but did not have the proper change. The T-20 policy would have been in effect for the duration of Russell’s trip or for 12 months, whichever happened first. Russell then requested a policy from the salesperson, and the salesperson filled out an application. Without discussing any of the differences or details, the salesperson selected the T-18 policy. Russell estimated that her trip, which was to attend a relative’s funeral, would last for four days. The T-18 policy was then written to expire four days later. The T-18 policy was also slightly more expensive, with a premium of $2.25, than the T-20 policy because additional circumstances were covered under the policy. However, Russell’s trip home was delayed, and her flight occurred after the expiration of the insurance. Russell’s plane crashed while attempting to land, and Russell was killed. Mutual of Omaha denied Russell’s claim because the policy had expired. Russell’s husband sued Mutual of Omaha and sought reformation of the contract so that it would cover Russell’s return flight home as intended. The trial court found for Russell and ordered that that contract be reformed. Mutual of Omaha appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Brown, J.)
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