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Ill. National Ins. Co. v. Trainer

AUGUST 3, 1971.

ILLINOIS NATIONAL INSURANCE CO., PLAINTIFF-COUNTERDEFENDANT-APPELLEE,

v.

CURTIS L. TRAINER, SR., ET AL., DEFENDANTS. — (WILLIAM ROBINSON ET AL., DEFENDANTS-COUNTERPLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS.)



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Sangamon County; the Hon. WILLIAM H. CHAMBERLAIN, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE WEBBER DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

This appeal comes to us from a declaratory judgment entered by the circuit court of Sangamon County supporting the contention of the plaintiff-counterdefendant, Illinois National Insurance Co., and against the contentions of Curtis L. Trainer, Sr., Curtis L. Trainer, Jr., Annie Trainer, defendants, and William Robinson and Monroe Denbow, defendants-counterplaintiffs. We affirm.

For the sake of brevity the parties will be referred to in this opinion as here indicated: Illinois National Insurance Co. — "Illinois"; Curtis L. Trainer, Sr. — "Senior"; Curtis L. Trainer, Jr. — "Junior"; Annie Trainer — "Annie."

At issue is an insurance policy issued by Illinois to Senior. Counterplaintiffs Robinson and Denbow maintain that it can be construed to afford coverage to Junior who was involved in a collision with them. Illinois maintains that the policy is plain on its face, needs no construction and there is no coverage. No questions are raised on the pleadings.

All construction cases, whether of will, deed, insurance policy or other instrument, are of little precedental value and therefore we shall attempt to skeletonize the facts and we shall make no attempt to distinguish the many cases cited on both sides in their respective briefs. It is ancient legal wisdom that no construction case has a brother.

On and prior to March 23, 1962, Senior owned two automobiles, each covered by separate policies issued to him by Illinois. A 1960 Oldsmobile and its policy are not in question here. A 1958 Chevrolet and its policy and a 1958 Corvette and its relationship to the Chevrolet generate the controversy.

This policy, effective from January 31, 1962, to January 31, 1963, defined as the "named insured" Senior; also included by definition was Annie as a spouse resident in the same household; Junior was an "insured" as any person using the automobile with the permission of the named insured and also as a resident of the named insured's household with or without permission. The Chevrolet was regularly operated by all members of the household.

The policy defined "automobile" covered to be:

(a) the 1958 Chevrolet

(b) an automobile, ownership of which is acquired by the named insured during the policy period, provided:

(1) it replaces the 1958 Chevrolet; or,

(2) any automobile owned by the named insured as of the date of acquisition, provided the named insured notified Illinois within 30 days of such acquisition.

(c) a temporary substitute automobile, defined as an automobile not owned by the named insured while temporarily used as a substitute for the 1958 Chevrolet when withdrawn from normal use because of breakdown, repair, servicing, loss or destruction.

On March 23, 1962, Annie purchased a wrecked 1958 Corvette in Missouri, received a bill of sale in her name and an assignment of Missouri title in her name, towed the wreck to her home and placed it in the garage where Junior commenced to rebuild it. The general consensus appeared to be that after Junior had restored it, it would be sold to obtain money for his college ...


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