Question: Sims and Dorothy Good purchased a property insurance policy on

Sims and Dorothy Good purchased a property insurance policy on their home from Continental Insurance Co. Fire was among the covered perils. The policy contained an "increase of hazard" clause stating that Continental would not be obligated under the policy if the risk of fire was increased "by any means within the control or knowledge of the insured." After the policy took effect, a fire destroyed much of the Goods' home. While putting out the fire, firefighters discovered an illegal liquor still concealed in a false closet under the eaves of the roof. The still, encased by bricks and mortar, consisted of a 90- gallon copper vat over a butane gas burner. Firefighters also discovered 22 half-gallons of "moonshine" and many 55-gallon drums full or partially full of mash. A police detective who dismantled and examined the still's burner after the fire concluded that the still was in operation when the fire occurred. The Goods denied this, though Sims Good admitted having installed the still two years earlier, after the Continental insurance policy became effective. Continental refused to pay the Goods' claim, so the Goods sued Continental to recover proceeds under the policy. After the trial court awarded damages to the Goods, Continental appealed. Were the Goods entitled to recover damages from Continental?

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  • CreatedJuly 16, 2014
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