Keating v New Ireland Assurance Company Plc

JurisdictionIreland
JudgeMr. Justice Egan
Judgment Date15 March 1989
Neutral Citation[1989] IEHC 8
CourtHigh Court
Date15 March 1989
Docket NumberNo. 8054P/1987
KEATING v. NEW IRELAND ASSURANCE CO PLC

BETWEEN:

ELIZABETH ANN KEATING
PLAINTIFF

AND

NEW IRELAND ASSURANCE COMPANY plc
DEFENDANT

[1989] IEHC 8

No. 8054P/1987

THE HIGH COURT

Synopsis:

INSURANCE

Life

Insured - Obligation - Material facts - Disclosure - Moderately severe angina when policy issued - Insured unaware of facts - Insurer not informed about angina - Insurer not entitled to repudiate policy - Held, in delivering judgment for the plaintiff, that neither the plaintiff nor her deceased husband had known of any of the material facts at any relevant time - (1987/8054 P - Egan J. - 15/3/89)

|Keating v. New Ireland Assurance Co.|

Citations:

CHARIOT INNS V ASSICURAZIONI GENERALI 1981 IR 199, 1981 ILRM 173

.Mr. Justice Egan
Mr. Justice Egan
1

The Plaintiff is the widow of James Joseph Keating who died on the 14th December 1985. Exactly six months prior to his death he and the Plaintiff had entered into a Life Insurance Policy with the Defendant dated the 14th June 1985 under the terms of which upon the death of the Plaintiff or the said James Joseph Keating the survivor would be entitled to receive from the Defendant the sum of £35,000 on the encashment value of the policy whichever would be the greater.

2

Following on the death of the said James Joseph Keating the Plaintiff demanded payment of the said sum of £35,000 but the Defendant has repudiated liability to pay the same.

3

The Policy provided under the heading "Legal Basis" that "The Policy is conditional upon full and true disclosure having been made in the proposal and medical statement, if any, of all material facts of which the Company ought to have been informed for the purpose of the contract of assurance".

4

It was also provided that "The Contract of Assurance expressed in this Policy is based on the proposal made in that regard to the above-named Company by the assured and on the medical statements, if any, made to the Company's medical examiner in connection with the proposal".

5

The proposal was signed by the parties on the 16th May 1985 and the replies to questions on the form were written in by Mr. J. Smyth on foot of information given to him by the Plaintiff and her deceased husband. In reply to "Names and addresses of doctors attended" the answer was "None". I am not too clear as to what information was required in reply to this query as to "Names and addresses of doctors attended". Does it mean "ever attended" or "recently attended"? It is not clear but it does not matter in this case as a medical examination of the parties was carried out on the 28th May 1985 (a couple of weeks before the Policy was executed) and in reply to the question "What is the name and address of your present Attendant" James Keating replied "Dr. G. Kidney, Harbour Street, Tullamore". At this...

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