Civil Procedure Keyed to Cound
Ralph Wolff & Sons v. New Zealand Insurance Company
The Plaintiff suffered a partial loss to their candy factory due to a fire. Twelve insurance policies existed on the property for the total amount of $19,500. In one action brought against nine of the insurers for the amount of those policies totaling $14,500, a jury awarded the Plaintiff $2,500. The award was reduced to $1,858.90, the fractional amount of the 9 insurers’ liability ($14,500 divided by $19,500). The Plaintiff then brought action against the Defendants, New Zealand Insurance Company and another insurer (Defendants), for the amount of $1,000. The Defendants claimed that the Plaintiff was estopped to a claim greater than $2,500, the amount that the jury awarded in the first action and that if Defendants were liable at all, that it was for their fractional amount $128.20 each ($1,000 divided by $19,500). The trial court held the Defendants liable for that amount. The Plaintiff appealed.
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