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Tilbert v. Eagle Lock Co.

Supreme Court of Errors of Connecticut
165 A. 205 (1933)


Facts

On January 1, 1922, Kazimierz Tilbert began working for Eagle Lock Co. (Eagle Lock) (defendant). On June 29, 1923, Eagle Lock issued a “Certificate of Benefit” to Tilbert. The certificate provided that, if Tilbert remained employed by Eagle Lock for more than five years and, at his time of death remained employed by Eagle Lock, then Tilbert’s beneficiary would be entitled to a $1,000.00 payment. The certificate further provided that it would become void if the holder ceased to be an employee. A letter to Tilbert from Eagle Lock dated June 29, 1923, explained that the certificate conferred no legal right on Tilbert and that Eagle Lock reserved the right to terminate the certificate at any time. Tilbert remained employed by Eagle Rock until his death at 2 o’clock in the morning on August 28, 1931. Later that day, Tilbert was to receive his pay envelope, which included a notice from Eagle Lock informing Tilbert of its decision to terminate the Certificate of Benefit. Annie Tilbert (plaintiff), Tilbert’s wife and beneficiary, demanded the $1,000.00 payment. Eagle Lock refused to pay, and Tilbert’s wife sued. Eagle Lock demurred.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Hinman, J.)

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