GRIFFIN V. MCCOACH, 313 U. S. 498 (1941)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Griffin v. McCoach, 313 U.S. 498 (1941)

Griffin v. McCoach

No. 755

Argued May 2, 1941

Decided June 2, 1941

313 U.S. 498



1. The rules of conflict of laws which govern a federal court in diversity of citizenship cases are those of the State in which the federal court sits. Klaxon Co. v. Stentor Mfg. Co., ante p. 313 U. S. 487. P. 313 U. S. 503.

2. A State may constitutionally decline to enforce in its courts, as contrary to its policy, a contract insuring the life of its citizen in favor of beneficiaries who have no insurable interest, though made in another State and valid where made, and such rule or policy binds the federal court exercising diverse citizenship jurisdiction in the State adopting it. P. 313 U. S. 506.

Page 313 U. S. 499

3. In an action in a federal court in Texas to collect the amount of a life insurance policy which had been made in New York and later changed by instrument assigning beneficial interest, held: that the questions (1) whether the contract, notwithstanding the changes, remained a contract governed by the law of New York with respect to the rights of assignee, rather than by the law of Texas, and (2) whether the public policy of Texas permits of recovery by one named as beneficiary who has no beneficial interest in the life of the insured, and (3) whether lack of insurable interest become immaterial when the insurer acknowledges liability and pays the money into court were questions of Texas law, to be decided according to Texas decisions. Pp. 313 U. S. 504 et seq.

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