previous occasion. In February, 1932, Adamos again consulted Dr. Spanos, calling at the doctor's office and complaining of pain in his abdomen, saying to Dr. Spanos that he had been visiting different doctors; that some of them told him he had a bad appendix; that others told him he had gallstones, or something of that kind. Dr. Spanos then sent him to St. Francis Hospital to Dr. Andrew D'Zmura. On February 9, 1932, Adamos entered St. Francis Hospital in Pittsburgh, left there February 12. He was examined there by Dr. D'Zmura, who diagnosed Adamos' case as inoperable carcinoma involving the prostate gland and surrounding structures. The only prescription that Dr. D'Zmura was able to give him was a narcotic for the relief of pain. At the time he was in St. Francis Hospital under observation of Dr. D'Zmura, he was very weak, was complaining of pain, and had lost weight. Some time while Adamos was in St. Francis Hospital he was examined by Dr. G. H. Davison, a specialist in genitourinary diseases, who diagnosed his case as advanced carcinoma. On February 23, 1932, Dr. Owens was again called to Adamos' house to attend him, found his condition at that time to be weaker, that he seemed to have lost weight. Dr. Owens also felt a mass in the lower left abdomen, and suspected carcinoma of the rectum and lower bowel. On April 18, 1932, Dr. M. R. Hadley was called to attend Adamos. At that time, Dr. Hadley found Adamos in marked pain, lying in bed and groaning. This doctor did not make a definite diagnosis, but had in his mind the opinion of cancer, and gave a narcotic to relieve the pain. Dr. Hadley referred the case to Dr. Langer in the West Penn Hospital. Adamos remained at the West Penn Hospital until April 29. While there, Dr. C. B. Schildecker, Dr. C. H. Ketterer, Dr. Heinz Langer, and others examined him. These doctors all found Adamos to be suffering from carcinoma in a very advanced stage.
(6) On July 8, 1932, Adamos died, and the official death certificate (Exhibit T offered in evidence) showed that death was caused by carcinoma of sigmoid of eight months' duration.
(7) In each of the policies of insurance in part I of the application (copy of which is attached to the policy) it is provided:
"It is mutually agreed as follows: 1. That the insurance hereby applied for shall not take effect unless and until the policy is delivered to and received by the applicant and the first premium thereon paid in full during his lifetime, and then only if the applicant has not consulted or been treated by any physician since his medical examination."
As a matter of fact, before the last two policies dated April 19, 1932, were delivered to Adamos, he had consulted a doctor and had been in the hospital. Dr. Hadley was called to attend him on April 18, 1932; and he was in the West Penn Hospital from April 21 to April 29, 1932, inclusive, where he was examined by a number of doctors.
Conclusions of Law.
From these facts, we conclude, as a matter of law:
(1) That all the policies sued upon are voidable because of misrepresentation and fraud.
(2) That the two policies dated April 19, 1932, are vitiated by reason of Adamos not having disclosed, when they were delivered to him the latter part of May, or the first of June, 1932, his medical history since his examination on April 6, 1932.
(3) That the defendant is entitled to have the four policies sued upon delivered to it and canceled.
(4) That this equitable relief bars the plaintiff from any recovery upon the policies sued upon.
This is a very plain case of fraud upon the insurance company. The plaintiff in this case offered evidence to show that Adamos was a Greek and that he did not understand well the English language. But we are of the opinion, from the evidence in the case, and have found, that Adamos falsely answered the questions as to his medical history. We are of the opinion, in addition to that, that he is bound by the answers appearing in his application; he had no business to sign his name to those answers in his application unless he did understand what was being said to him and what he was signing.
The courts generally hold that, by signing an instrument such as an application for insurance policy, the signer binds himself and those claiming through him to the instrument as actually written. Stanulevich v. St. Lawrence Life Ass'n, 228 N.Y. 586, 127 N.E. 315; Kwiatkowski v. Brotherhood of American Yeomen, 243 N.Y. 394, 153 N.E. 847; Erickson v. Knights of the Maccabees, 71 Colo. 9, 203 P. 674; Lauze v. New York Life Insurance Co., 74 N.H. 334, 68 A. 31; Emanuele v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., 137 Misc. 542, 242 N.Y.S. 715; Goldberg v. Knickerbocker Insurance Co., 82 Pa. Super. Ct. 302; New York Life Insurance Co. v. Fletcher, 117 U.S. 519, 6 S. Ct. 837, 29 L. Ed. 934; Aetna Life Insurance Co. v. Moore, 231 U.S. 543, 34 S. Ct. 186, 58 L. Ed. 356; Raives v. Raives (C.C.A.) 54 F.2d 267.
The medical questions asked of Adamos in the medical examination application are all matters of fact within his knowledge, and required no technical training or education on his part to answer. We are of the opinion that he is clearly bound by them, and that these policies of insurance must be vacated and set aside.
The conclusion we have arrived at in this case, that the false answers of Adamos to the medical questions in his application for insurance void these policies, is fully supported by the opinion of the Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of New York Life Insurance Co. v. Marotta, 57 F.2d 1038.
In addition to that, it may be noted that the Supreme Court of the United States has held that an applicant for insurance must inform the insurer when delivery of a policy is tendered to him of any pertinent facts bearing on his health which have occurred between the date of his medical examination and delivery of the policy. Stipcich v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., 277 U.S. 311, 48 S. Ct. 512, 72 L. Ed. 895.
A decree may be submitted in accordance with this opinion.
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