MORGANTOWN V. ROYAL INS. CO., LTD., 337 U. S. 254 (1949)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Morgantown v. Royal Ins. Co., Ltd., 337 U.S. 254 (1949)

City of Morgantown v. Royal Insurance Co., Ltd.

No. 396

Argued February 9, 1949

Decided June 6, 1949

337 U.S. 254


An insurer brought suit in the District Court for reformation of a policy of insurance, alleging that the policy, though in terms covering loss by fire, was mutually intended to cover only loss by windstorm. The policyholder, who had suffered a loss by fire, filed a counterclaim upon the policy to recover the amount of the loss; and, under Rule 38(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, demanded a jury trial.

Held: an order of the District Court denying the demand for trial by jury was not appealable. Pp. 337 U. S. 255-259.

(a) The order denying the demand for a jury trial in this case was not an order refusing an injunction within the meaning of 28 U.S.C. § 227 (now § 1292). Enelow v. New York Life Ins. Co., 293 U. S. 379; Ettelson v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., 317 U. S. 188, distinguished. Pp. 337 U. S. 256-258.

(b) Notwithstanding its importance and its effect on the litigation, the order denying a jury trial was interlocutory in form and substance, and to permit an appeal therefrom would encourage piecemeal appeals. Pp. 337 U. S. 258-259.

169 F.2d 713, affirmed.

In a suit in the District Court by an insurer for reformation of a policy of insurance on the ground of mutual mistake, the policyholder filed a counterclaim upon the policy to recover for a loss and demanded a jury trial. An appeal from an order denying a jury trial was dismissed by the Court of Appeals. 169 F.2d 713. This Court granted certiorari. 335 U.S. 890. Affirmed, p. 337 U. S. 259.

Page 337 U. S. 255

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