9 Ky.L.Rptr. 165
Court of Appeals of Kentucky.
JACKSON and others v. ANDERSON and others.
May 12, 1887.
ACTION: Reversed and remanded


Appeal from circuit court, Knox county.
Action to rescind a contract and cancel a deed conveying land. The consideration of the deed was the assignment of a certificate of membership taken out by the wife of appellant Jackson in the Kentucky Grangers' Mutual Benefit Society.
Judgment for plaintiffs.
Defendants appeal.

PRYOR, C. J.
After the reargument in this case, the court is still disposed to adjudge that the appellant is entitled to a reversal. The parties were dealing at arms- length in regard to these policies, that seem to have had a marketable value. The husband of Mrs. Jackson was one of the beneficiaries, and, besides, the benefit certificate on its face made the sum aid, at the death of the member, her assigns as well as those named as the beneficiaries. Lawyers had been consulted, and opinions given pro and con, as to the right to assign. That ordinary life policies are not assignable, and cannot be placed upon the market as a promissory note or bank paper, is well established; but here all the certificates issued by the grange purport to confer on the insured the right to assign, and it may well be doubted whether the corporation can make any defense to a bona fide holder who has been induced to purchase, not by the representations of the agents, that they were assignable, but by the express terms of the policy transferred.

Speculation was freely entered into by many parties in the county of KNOX in these policies. Appellee, who should have informed himself as to the rights of the parties, was an active participant in the purchases made. He purchased this policy in 1877, and there was no complaint made until 1882, when it is apparent the members of the grange were being reduced in numbers, and the inducement to continue purchasing was not so great. There was never any tender of the policy back to the appellant, or any offer to pay the premiums that were unpaid; but, on the contrary, there was a forfeiture of the policy while in the hands of the appellee, and no notice, from the decided weight of the testimony, given by him of his intention to abandon the contract. He had a policy on his own life, besides others that he forfeited about the same time, and it was evident that the speculation was becoming a burden, and the cause prompting the appellee to sue consisted in the lessening of the ability of the corporation to pay by reason of its failing condition. He was offered by Vaughn $500 for the policy, and by Parrott $600. He asked $1,800, and, if Mrs. Jackson had died, would have been entitled to $2,000, in the event he acquired the interest of all the children. As to the husband's interest, he acquired that in the event he survived his wife; because the policy assigned by the husband and wife gave the right to assign, and estopped the husband from asserting any claim to the insurance money. The appellants, from the proof, have entered upon the land, erected buildings, improved the fence, and lived on it some five years before this suit was brought. That, from the preponderance of the proof, was the first notice appellants had of the purpose on the part of the appellee to seek a rescission of the executed contract. The land was worth not exceeding $600. Mrs. Jackson could have sold her policy at any time upon a risking bargain for that sum. The appellee refused to sell it until he saw that it was becoming worthless, and, when in no condition to place these parties in statu quo, asks to have the contract rescinded.

This judgment is reversed and remanded, with directions to dismiss the proceeding as to Jackson and wife.

It appears that all of the children of Mrs. Jackson are of age but two. There are eleven children in all; and, as the mother has obtained the benefit of the policy by accepting for it a conveyance for this land, the appellee should be allowed to amend his petition, making the children defendants, and have the policy to be renewed by the corporation payable to the appellee.

Judgment reversed, and remanded for proceedings consistent with this opinion.

Ky.App. 1887.
JACKSON and others v. ANDERSON and others.
4 S.W. 326, 9 Ky.L.Rptr. 165


     

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