Appeal from order of Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Oct. T., 1968, No. 2288, in case of University City Savings and Loan Association v. Girard Life Insurance Company of America.
Robert J. Sugarman, with him Arthur W. Leibold, Jr., and Dechert, Price & Rhoads, for appellant.
A. Walling Levin, for appellee.
Wright, P. J., Watkins, Montgomery, Jacobs, Hoffman, Spaulding, and Cercone, JJ. Opinion by Jacobs, J.
[ 215 Pa. Super. Page 58]
This appeal is from an order discharging the defendant insurance company's rule for an order interpleading the assignee and the beneficiaries of an insurance policy.
On September 6, 1963, plaintiff University City Savings and Loan Association made a mortgage loan of $10,500 to Harvey L. Medearis and Jewell Medearis, his wife. On November 1, 1963, defendant Girard Life Insurance Company issued policy No. Y-201356 insuring the life of Mr. Medearis in which his wife, if living, and otherwise the children born of their marriage were named as beneficiaries. At the same time he applied for the policy, and on a form furnished by the defendant, Mr. Medearis executed and delivered an assignment of the policy to the plaintiff as additional security for the loan. Notice of the assignment was received and recorded by the defendant the same day the policy issued.
Following the death of his wife, the insured died intestate on March 5, 1968, leaving seven children of their marriage as survivors. At that time the policy proceeds amounted to $7,982.96 and the balance due the plaintiff on its mortgage was $9,588.39. Daynese A. Williams, a daughter of the insured and administratrix of his estate, filed a two-page form entitled "Proofs of Death" with the defendant. The first page, by the terms of the form described as a "claimant's certificate," required factual information concerning the insured's
[ 215 Pa. Super. Page 59]
death. Contrary to the instructions on the form, Daynese Williams signed the first page without stating the capacity in which she was making a claim. Neither the names nor the signatures of the other beneficiaries appear on the form. The signature was witnessed by her attorney.
On the second page of the form, below the printed instructions, was an "agreement to be executed in case policy is assigned as security for indebtedness." This agreement acknowledged the assignment of the policy to plaintiff as security and stated that "all claims" under the policy could be settled by payment of $9,588.39 to plaintiff and the balance to the estate of the decedent. As noted above, however, the proceeds of the policy were insufficient to pay the balance on the mortgage. Daynese Williams executed this agreement contemporaneously with the claimant's certificate, her signature again witnessed by her attorney. Following the line for the signature was the printed word "Claimant," but below the line was the typewritten designation "Administratrix of the Est. of Harvey L. Medearis, dec."
The defendant insurance company refused to pay plaintiff's claim for the policy proceeds and plaintiff instituted an action in assumpsit. Defendant filed a petition for interpleader to which plaintiff filed an answer. No depositions were taken by defendant and the matter came before the lower court on petition and answer, after which the rule for interpleader was discharged. This appeal followed.
As defendant contends, the circumstances of the parties and other persons in this case initially present a classic situation for interpleader. See Goodrich-Amram Procedural Rules Serv. § 2303(a)-3. If an assignee claims the proceeds of an insurance policy and one or more of the beneficiaries ...