Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

MASSACHUSETTS MUT. LIFE INS. CO. v. EDNER

September 23, 1947

MASSACHUSETTS MUT. LIFE INS. CO.
v.
EDNER et al.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: MCVICAR

This is an action of interpleader by the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, against Merritt I. Edner, Trustee in Bankruptcy of George H. Lum, a Bankrupt, and Jennie R. Mathews, individually and as executrix of the estate of George B. Mathews, defendants. After hearing, the Court makes the following Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law:

Findings of Fact

 1. This is an action of interpleader, jurisdiction of which is based on the Act of January 20, 1936, Chapter 13, Section 1, 28 U.S.C.A. § 41, Subdivision 26. The plaintiff is and was at all times hereinafter mentioned a life insurance corporation duly organized and existing under and by virtue o- the laws of the State of Massachusetts and having its principal place of business in the City of Springfield, Massachusetts. The defendant, Merritt I. Edner, a citizen and resident of the City of DuBois in the Western District of Pennsylvania, is trustee in bankruptcy of George H. Lum, a bankrupt, having been duly appointed and qualified in proceedings before the District Court of the United States for the Western District of Pennsylvania at No. 20947 in Bankruptcy. The defendant, Jennie R. Mathews, is a citizen and resident of the City of Buffalo, Erie County, in the State of New York. She is the widow and executrix of the estate of George B. Mathews, deceased, having been duly appointed as such by the Surrogate's Court of said Erie County. The plaintiff had in its possession when the complaint was filed money of the value of more than $ 500, to which the defendants had asserted claims.

 2. In December, 1917, the plaintiff executed and delivered its policy of life insurance No. 418,615 upon the life of George H. Lum in the amount of $ 7,000, in which the insured's wife was designated as beneficiary under one of the option settlements. On or about February 6, 1934, the insured changed the beneficiary to the insured's executors, administrators and assigns, and the said change of beneficiary was duly endorsed on the policy. The said policy is not in the plaintiff's possession.

 3. In November 1918, the plaintiff executed and delivered its policy of life insurance No. 434,475 upon the life of George H. Lum in the amount of $ 5,500, in which the insured's wife was designated as beneficiary under one of the option settlements. On or about February 6, 1934, the insured changed the beneficiary to the insured's executors, administrators and assigns, and the said change of beneficiary was duly endorsed on the policy. The said policy is not in the plaintiff's possession.

 4. In January, 1928, the plaintiff executed and delivered its policy of life insurance No. 825,410 upon the life of George H. Lum in the amount of $ 30,000, in which the insured's wife and others were designated as beneficiaries under one of the option settlements. On or about February 6, 1934, the insured changed the beneficiary to the insured's executors, administrators and assigns, and the said change of beneficiary was duly endorsed on the policy. The said policy is not in the plaintiff's possession.

 5. On or about February 7, 1934, the said George H. Lum executed assignments of the said policies in the forms attached to the complaint and marked Exhibits 4, 5, and 6. The said assignments were received and recorded by the plaintiff on or about February 16, 1934. On or about January 15, 1941, the attorneys for George B. Mathews notified the plaintiff that the said George B. Mathews claimed to be the sole owner of the said three policies of insurance by reason of the agreement dated February 2, 1934, between the said George B. Mathews and George H. Lum.

 7. The insured in said policies, George H. Lum, died on January 4, 1947, a citizen and resident of the Western District of Pennsylvania. On or about January 30, 1947, the plaintiff received proofs of death of said George H. Lum from the defendant, Merritt I. Edner, trustee in bankruptcy as aforesaid, a true and correct copy of which proofs of death is attached to the complaint as Exhibit 10. On or about February 14, 1947, the plaintiff received proofs of death of said George H. Lum from the defendant Jennie R. Mathews, a true and correct copy of which proofs of death is attached to the complaint as Exhibit II. Under date of January 7, 1947, the defendant Merritt I. Edner, trustee in bankruptcy as aforesaid, wrote to the plaintiff claiming the proceeds of said policies, and under date of February 11, 1947, Messrs. Albrecht, Maguire & Mills, attorneys for the defendant, Jennie R. Mathews, wrote to the plaintiff claiming the proceeds of said policies. True and correct copies of said letters are attached to the complaint as Exhibits 12 and 13.

 8. The amount payable under policy No. 418,615 is $ 7,052.08, under policy No. 434,475, $ 5,541.75, and under policy No. 825,410, $ 30,269.70, or a total of $ 42,863.53, which amount is subject to a lien in the amount of $ 184.27 imposed on the proceeds of said policies by order of this Court dated March 13, 1945, in litigation between the parties hereto in this Court at Civil Action No. 2200, leaving the amount due under said policies at $ 42,679.26. This amount the plaintiff has been, ever since the receipt of proofs of death, as above set forth, ready, willing and able to pay.

 9. The amount payable under said policies is being claimed by the defendant Merritt I. Edner, trustee in bankruptcy as aforesaid, and the defendant Jennie R. Mathews, either individually or as executrix of the estate of George B. Mathews, deceased. The plaintiff disclaims any interest in the said balance of $ 42,679.26, except to make payment to the person lawfully entitled thereto and is desirous of paying the amount due on said policies of insurance.

 10. The plaintiff has paid into the registry of this Court the said sum of $ 42,679.26, the amount due on the said policies of insurance, to abide the judgment of the Court.

 11. The plaintiff has expended as costs in this proceeding the sum of $ 26.74 and has become and is liable to pay to its solicitors of record herein reasonable compensation for their services in connection with this proceeding. The sum of $ 300 is reasonable compensation for those services.

 12. The plaintiff has a reasonable doubt as to which defendant is entitled to the proceeds of said policies of insurance and is in danger of being harassed and damaged by the costs of litigation and ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.