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Contracts Keyed to Ayres
Owen v. CNA Insurance/Continental Casualty Company
Citation:167 N.J. 450.
In September of 1983, the plaintiff signed a release. In connection with that release the plaintiff entered into a settlement agreement with the defendant. Under the agreement, the plaintiff was entitled to an initial lump sum and five deferred periodic payments. The non-assignment provision of the agreement stated that “The claimant shall have the right to change the Contingent payee at any time during the term of this Agreement by filing written notice with the company… To the extent provided by law, the aforesaid lump sim payments shall not be subject to assignment, transfer, commutation or encumbrance.” The plaintiff entered into a “Purchase and Sale Agreement: with Metropolitan Mortgage and Securities Company where she agreed to “sell, convey transfer and assign” all her rights and benefits under the Settlement Agreement to Metropolitan. At the time, the plaintiff had two remaining payments. The plaintiff sent the defendant a notarized letter directing all future payments to a new address in Syracuse, New York. The defendant told the plaintiff’s lawyer that the defendant could only make payments to the plaintiff and that the payments were not assignable by the plaintiff.
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