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GORDON v. EUREKA CASUALTY COMPANY. (11/14/58)

November 14, 1958

GORDON, APPELLANT,
v.
EUREKA CASUALTY COMPANY.



Appeal, No. 365, Oct. T., 1958, from judgment of Municipal Court of Philadelphia, Jan. T., 1955, No. 992, in case of Stanley E. Gordon v. Eureka Casualty Company. Judgment reversed.

COUNSEL

Theodore R. Mann, with him Maximillian J. Klinger, for appellant.

Norman Paul Harvey, with him John J. McDevitt, 3rd, for appellee.

Before Rhodes, P.j., Hirt, Gunther, Wright, Woodside, Ervin, and Watkins, JJ.

Author: Watkins

[ 187 Pa. Super. Page 637]

OPINION BY WATKINS, J.

The Eureka Casualty Company, the appellee, issued a "residence and outside theft" policy, which covered a diamond ring, to Stanley E. Gordon, the appellant. Mrs. Gordon while baking in their kitchen removed the ring and placed it in the pocket of her

[ 187 Pa. Super. Page 638]

    dress. She soiled the dress, removed it and sent it to the dry cleaner.

The same evening she remembered having put the ring in the pocket of the dress and remembered also that there was a hole in the pocket of the dress. She, Stanley, and their maid searched the floors of their home for the ring. She called the cleaner and found that the ring was not in the pocket of the dress and that there was a hole in the pocket. The cleaner searched his premises for it and could not find it. The maid, who had helped in the search for the ring in the Gordon home, left for her day off and without notice to her employers, never returned to work.

Following the disappearance of the ring and the refusal of the company to pay under the terms of the policy, the appellant brought this action in assumpsit for the value of the ring. The jury brought in a verdict for the appellant in the sum of Two Thousand One Hundred Fifteen ($2115) Dollars, the full value of the claim with interest. The Municipal court of Philadelphia dismissed a motion for a new trial but granted the motion of the appellee for judgment notwithstanding the verdict. This appeal followed.

The key words of the policy, at issue, appear under the definition of the word theft, where it included "mysterious disappearance of any insured property ... shall be presumed to be due to theft."

In Sigel v. American Guar. & Liab. Ins. Co., 173 Pa. Superior Ct. 434, 98 A.2d 376 (1953), mysterious disappearance was defined as, "any disappearance or loss under unknown, puzzling or baffling circumstances which arouses wonder, curiosity or speculation, or circumstances which are difficult to understand or explain. A mysterious disappearance is a ...


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