Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. THOMAS
E. KLUCZYNSKI, Judge, presiding. Affirmed.
MR. PRESIDING JUSTICE MCCORMICK DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT.
Rehearing denied September 23, 1965.
This appeal is taken from a judgment awarding $2,383.42 to the plaintiffs, Peter J. Peterson and Bessie Peterson, and $11,917.06 to Joseph A. Rosin, one of the defendants in the case. The case grew out of a fire which occurred on October 26, 1960, in a building jointly owned by the plaintiffs at 7108-12 West Grand Avenue, Chicago, Illinois.
One William Walsh, who did business in the name of Wm. Andrew & Co., was an experienced insurance adjustor and contractor. After the fire he contacted the Petersons and on November 27, 1960, a contract was entered into between the Petersons and Wm. Andrew & Co. for the repair of the building. The contract does not appear in the record and the only information concerning its contents is that during the trial it was stipulated that the contract provided for making adjustment of the fire loss on behalf of the Petersons and for doing all the repairs and restoring the building to its former condition for the sum which should be received from the insurance companies as a result of the adjustment.
On December 7, 1960, the Petersons signed the following "assignment of claim."
CITY OF CHICAGO | > SS: COUNTY OF COOK |
Know all men by These Presents, That PETER J. PETERSON and BESSIE PETERSON, of the City of Chicago, County of Cook and State of Illinois, having sustained a fire loss at 7108-12 Grand Avenue on October 25, 1960, and being insured in the Bankers and Shippers under Policy No. 184487140 (see below), in the amount of $12,500.00 for and in consideration of the sum of One Dollar ($1.00) and for other good and valuable consideration, do hereby sell, assign, transfer and set over unto Wm. Andrew & Co., and Joseph A. Rosin all of our rights, title and interest in the above mentioned policy and we do hereby appoint them true and lawful attorney to act in our name, place and stead, giving and granting unto them full Power of Attorney to sign proofs of loss, endorse drafts or checks, and sign receipts for same, and to sign any other papers or instruments that may be necessary in the adjustment of said loss and collection of said claim.
Dated at Chicago, Illinois, this 7th day of December, 1960.
/s/ Peter J. Peterson /s/ Bessie Peterson
The same "assignment of claim" was prepared and signed by the Petersons with reference to three other insurance companies involved, indicating the respective amounts of the insurance. On December 9, 1960, Walsh made the same type of "assignment" heretofore set out to defendant, Joseph A. Rosin, in which assignment the four insurance companies were mentioned.
Joseph A. Rosin, one of the defendants, was a lawyer who had had certain prior financial transactions with Walsh and to whom Walsh owed money. Walsh apparently needed money to get started on the repairs of the Peterson building. Rosin agreed to advance the money to Walsh, and in order to protect himself, had his name included in the "assignments" signed by the Petersons.
Walsh started the repair work of the building which continued during October, November and December. Walsh died on about January 16, 1961.
The policies were adjusted for $14,300.48. Pursuant to the "assignments" checks dated December 19, 1960, were issued by the Reliable Insurance Company in the sum of $6,852.31, and by the U.S. Fire Insurance Company in the sum of $5,064.75. These checks were payable to Peter J. Peterson, Bessie Peterson, Wm. Andrew & Co., and Joseph A. Rosin. The first two checks were delivered to Walsh and another defendant in the instant suit, Maurice C. Blaz, who did some work with Walsh in both the adjustment and the contracting field. The Petersons, upon receipt of the checks, endorsed them and turned them over to Walsh who was working on the repairs and needed money. The checks were endorsed by Walsh, d/b/a Wm. Andrew & Co., and given to Rosin who deposited them.
From time to time Rosin gave checks to Walsh, which checks were cashed and used to pay workmen on the Peterson repair job. Two other checks, dated January 5, 1961, had been issued as a part of the adjustment deal; one from Equitable Fire and Marine Insurance Company for $1,191.71, and the other from Bankers and Shippers Insurance Company of New York, also in the sum of $1,191.71. These two checks were also payable to Peter J. Peterson, Bessie Peterson, Wm. Andrew & Co., and Joseph A. Rosin, and ...