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GREAT AMERICAN INS. CO. v. DEPARTMENT OF REV.

October 25, 1963

GREAT AMERICAN INSURANCE COMPANY, A CORPORATION, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE, STATE OF ILLINOIS, ET AL., DEFENDANTS, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, INTERVENOR.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Perry, District Judge.

Great American Insurance Company and seven other insurance companies filed in the Superior Court of Cook County, Illinois, a complaint for interpleader. The cause was removed to this court on the petition of the United States of America which, on its motion, was dismissed by this court as a party defendant. Subsequently, it filed its complaint in intervention.

It appears that on May 27, 1958, a fire damaged the premises occupied by defendant Villa La-Maine, Inc., insured by plaintiff companies.

On May 25, 1959, Villa La-Maine, Inc., instituted suit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, against all of the plaintiffs except The Western Fire Insurance Company, and on May 26, 1959 started suit against that company in the Municipal Court of Chicago, Illinois, seeking in each of the suits to recover for losses occasioned by the fire.

Each of the suits was dismissed by order of court — the suit in the United States District Court for lack of jurisdiction on June 26, 1961 and the suit in the Municipal Court on June 29, 1961.

It was agreed that plaintiff companies would pay Villa La-Maine, Inc. the sum of $6500.00 in consideration of its foregoing its right to appeal the order of dismissal entered by the United States District Court and in further consideration of the compromise settlement of all claims which said Villa La-Maine, Inc. had against the plaintiff companies under the insurance policies issued by them. No appeal was taken.

The plaintiff insurance companies filed this complaint for interpleader asking the court to decide the rights of claimants to the $6500.00 fund. Pursuant to an order entered by this court on April 30, 1963, the $6500.00 has been deposited with the Clerk of this court.

The United States of America, Devon-North Town State Bank, Eardley & Ward, Gus Kitsos, Edward Don & Company, Inc., and Matthew Blondell have proved their claims. Other parties to this interpleader suit were defaulted by order of this court entered on August 13, 1963.

The following sets forth the sequence of events to which reference must be had in a determination of the priority of the claims involved here:

1958

May  27 — Fire occurred on premises of Villa La-Maine, Inc.
  June  2 — Villa La-Maine, Inc. assigned to MATTHEW F. BLONDELL
                  the proceeds due it for fire loss under policy issued
                  by Royal Insurance Company. Matthew F. Blondell agreed
                  to assist in adjustment of the loss and for services
                  was to receive 10% of amount recovered.
  June  3 — DEVON-NORTH TOWN STATE BANK perfected a judgment
                  against Villa La-Maine, Inc. in the amount of $3188.09
                  together with interest at the rate of 5% per annum and
                  court costs.
  June  6 — The UNITED STATES OF AMERICA made assessment of taxes
                  due from Villa La-Maine, Inc. in amount of $1116.48.
  June 19 — EARDLEY & WARD served on insurance companies notice of
                  attorneys' lien for ...

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