St. Paul Insurance Co. v. Great Lakes Turnings, Ltd.

829 F. Supp. 982 (1993)

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St. Paul Insurance Co. v. Great Lakes Turnings, Ltd.

United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
829 F. Supp. 982 (1993)

Facts

The St. Paul Insurance Company (St. Paul) (plaintiff) provided ship insurance. Great Lakes Turnings, Ltd. (Great Lakes) (defendant) transported steel turnings. Great Lakes procured a one-year open policy with St. Paul to insure chartered voyages between the United States and Spain. An open policy was one in which the insured party (also known as the assured) had to disclose and pay a premium for each voyage. Between 1987 and 1990, Great Lakes chartered 37 voyages but disclosed and paid a premium for only five of those voyages. In February 1990, Great Lakes chartered a vessel (the M/V Star I) to transport steel turnings from Louisiana to Spain. Great Lakes did not declare this voyage to St. Paul or pay a premium for it. After the Star I was damaged by a fire, the Star I’s owner sued Great Lakes, alleging that Great Lakes’ agents were responsible. St. Paul then sued Great Lakes, seeking rescission of the policy under the federal maritime doctrine of uberrimae fidei due to Great Lakes’ nondisclosures and misrepresentations. Great Lakes responded that uberrimae fidei (also known as uberrima fides) was inapplicable and that Illinois law applied.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Duff, J.)

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