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U.S. Supreme Court

McGee v. International Life Ins. Co., 355 U.S. 220 (1957)

McGee v. International Life Ins. Co.

No. 50

Argued November 20, 1957

Decided December 16, 1957

355 U.S. 220


Petitioner's son, a resident of California, bought a life insurance policy from an Arizona corporation, naming petitioner as beneficiary. Later, respondent, a Texas corporation, agreed to assume the insurance obligations of the Arizona corporation, and mailed a reinsurance certificate to petitioner's son in California, offering to insure him in accordance with his policy. He accepted this offer, and paid premiums by mail from his California home to respondent's office in Texas. Neither corporation has ever had any office or agent in California or done any other business in that State. Petitioner sent proofs of her son's death to respondent, but it refused to pay the claim. Under a California statute subjecting foreign corporations to suit in California on insurance contracts with residents of California, even though such corporations cannot be served with process within the State, petitioner sued respondent and obtained judgment in a California court, process being served only by registered mail to respondent's principal place of business in Texas.


1. The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment did not preclude the California court from entering a judgment binding on respondent, since the suit was based on a contract which had a substantial connection with California. Pp. 355 U. S. 223-224.

2. Respondent's insurance contract was not unconstitutionally impaired by the fact that the California statute here involved did not become effective until after respondent had assumed the obligation of the insurance policy. P. 355 U. S. 224.

288 S.W.2d 579, reversed and remanded.

Page 355 U. S. 221

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