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BRACKIN v. METROPOLITAN LIFE INS. CO.

March 15, 1989

MARTIN BRACKIN, Plaintiff,
v.
METROPOLITAN LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY, a corporation, Defendant


Brian Barnett Duff, United States District Judge.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: DUFF

BRIAN BARNETT DUFF, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

 Plaintiff Martin Brackin brought this suit against defendant Metropolitan Insurance and Annuity Company ("MIAC") as a beneficiary of his deceased wife's $ 50,000 life insurance policy with MIAC. MIAC has moved for summary judgment on the grounds that the contract is invalid because it was induced by fraud. For the reasons set forth below, the motion will be granted.

 FACTS

 Mrs. Judith Brackin applied for life insurance with MIAC on May 14, 1985 after Richard Reinert, an insurance agent for MIAC, told her that the fact that she previously had undergone treatment for cancer did not necessarily prevent her from obtaining life insurance. The application form stated, in part, that:

 
[MIAC] will have no liability until a policy is delivered personally to the owner and the first full premium is paid. The policy will then be in effect as of the date of this issue. But it will not be in effect unless at the time it is delivered:
 
(a) the condition of health of each person to be insured . . . is the same as given in the application; and
 
(b) no person to be insured . . . has received any medical advice or treatment from a physician or other practitioner since the date of the application.

 In her May 14 application, Mrs. Brackin disclosed that she had had a malignant polyp removed by Dr. Robert Bonus in 1983. She described her prognosis as excellent.

 Between May and August, 1985 MIAC reviewed Mrs. Brackin's application, and contacted Dr. Bonus to verify Mrs. Brackin's description of her condition. *fn1" The doctor essentially confirmed what Mrs. Brackin had represented in her application. Based on these representations, MIAC determined that Mrs. Brackin could obtain life insurance, and Mr. Reinert soon contacted her to come to his office to sign the appropriate form.

 On August 17, Mr. Brackin visited Mr. Reinert's office. Mr. Reinert told him that the insurance policy had issued, and that all Mrs. Brackin had to do was to sign an application amendment. Mr. Brackin reviewed the application, which stated in pertinent part as follows:

 
I have reexamined the statements and answers in the [May 14 application]. Except as amended by this form, those answers remain true and complete to the best of my knowledge and belief.
 
* * * *
 
To the best of my knowledge and belief, the statements and answers in the application as amended by this form are true and complete as of the date this form is signed. There are no facts or circumstances which would require a ...

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