Appeal from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, March T., 1966, No. 7412-B, in case of Julia Baldwin v. The Prudential Insurance Company of America.
Paul Shalita, for appellant.
Peter C. Paul, with him Albert A. Lindner, George M. Brodhead, and Rawle & Henderson, for appellee.
Wright, P. J., Watkins, Montgomery, Jacobs, Hoffman, Spaulding, and Cercone, JJ. Opinion by Hoffman, J.
[ 215 Pa. Super. Page 435]
This is an appeal from a judgment entered in favor of defendant, The Prudential Insurance Company of America, following a jury verdict.
On April 26, 1965, Henry Baldwin applied for an insurance policy to be issued by Prudential. At 8:00 p.m. on May 10, 1965, Baldwin was examined by Dr. Allen Webber on behalf of Prudential and at that time answered the questions on the Company's medical application. To the question whether he had "any known indication of . . . chest pain," Baldwin answered, "No."
That very evening, no more than one hour after this examination, Baldwin sought medical attention from his own family physician, Dr. William H. Warrick, Jr. Dr. Warrick's testimony indicated that Baldwin was in apparent distress at the time of this visit. Baldwin further stated to Dr. Warrick that he had suffered shortness of breath and chest pains for a period of about four weeks prior to May 10, 1965.
As a result of this examination, Dr. Warrick arranged for an electrocardiogram of Baldwin on May 11. On May 13, Baldwin, complaining of chest pains, was admitted to a hospital. At that time he told the admitting physician that "about two to three months
[ 215 Pa. Super. Page 436]
prior to admission he developed left sternal burning type pain with exertion which was relieved by rest." He also stated that he had experienced "short[ness] of breath after walking one block." Mr. Baldwin died of a heart attack on May 21, 1965. Prudential subsequently refused to issue the policy on the ground that Mr. Baldwin made fraudulent misrepresentations.
At the conclusion of the presentation of evidence and upon the request of both counsel, three interrogatories were submitted to the jury. One of these was: "Did Henry Baldwin make any material false statement knowing it to be false, or otherwise act in bad faith in making it, when he answered the questions and signed the declaration in . . . the [medical] application, . . . on May 10, 1965?"
The jury answered this question "Yes." Based on this answer, and others not relevant to the present discussion, the court ...