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WOOTTON HOTEL CORP. NORTHERN ASSUR. CO.

September 28, 1944

WOOTTON HOTEL CORPORATION NORTHERN ASSUR. CO., Limited


The opinion of the court was delivered by: KALODNER

This action was brought by the Wootton Hotel Corporation, a New Jersey corporation, against the Northern Assurance Company, Ltd., an English concern, to recover on a windstorm policy. The question for determination is whether the damage to the subject of insurance, a pier, comes within the protection of the policy. There is a preliminary question in the field of conflict of laws.

A jury trial was waived, and the case was submitted on the pleadings and additional testimony. Accordingly, I make the following

 Findings of Fact

 1. The plaintiff is the Wootton Hotel Corporation, a corporation duly organized under the laws of the State of New Jersey.

 2. The defendant is the Northern Assurance Company, Ltd., of London, England, having its principal offices in the United States at 80 Johns Street, New York, New York, and authorized to write insurance on property located in the State of New Jersey against loss or damage by windstorm, cyclone or tornado.

 3. On August 2, 1941, plaintiff held title to and possession of a pier situated at 15th and Ocean Avenue, Brigantine Beach, Atlantic County, New Jersey.

 4. On or about August 2, 1941, defendant issued its policy No. 120019 to the Wootton Hotel Corporation, covering said pier, for damage or loss by windstorm, for the term of one year, in the amount of $10,000.

 5. Application for the insurance was made by plaintiff through its broker, Mr. Mitosky, at defendant's branch office located at 424 Walnut Street, in the City of Philadelphia, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Said policy was countersigned by one E. MacConnell, a resident of New Jersey, and was delivered to Mr. Mitosky at the Philadelphia office of defendant.

 6. On or about March 2 and March 3, 1942, Brigantine Beach, New Jersey was subjected to a moderately severe storm during which the wind reached a maximum velocity of 55 miles per hour.

 7. The average normal hourly wind velocity in the area of Brigantine Beach for that time of year (March 2d and 3d) is 16.8 miles per hour.

 8. During the storm of March 2d and 3d, a portion of said pier extending out into, and completely surrounded by, the ocean was destroyed.

 9. The loss and damage to the pier was caused by high water driven by wind.

 10. There is no evidence that the damage, or any part of it, was caused solely and ...


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