Sunday, December 22, 2013

Travelers Fire Insurance Co. v. Wright case brief

Travelers Fire Insurance Co. v. Wright case brief summary
322 P.2d 417 (Okla. 1958)

Appellants challenged the judgment of the District Court of Garvin County (Oklahoma), which awarded appellees a recovery under two fire insurance policies.

Appellees had brought an action to recover a certain sum on two fire insurance policies. Appellants defended on the ground that appellees had deliberately caused the fire, which destroyed their property. A jury returned a verdict in favor of appellees and appellants sought review.

On appeal, appellants contended that the trial court erred in rejecting their offer of former testimony.


  • The testimony was to the effect that one of the appellees actively procured the burning of the property. This testimony was given at a prior criminal trial for arson. 
  • The court held that testimony from a criminal case may be introduced in a subsequent trial where it appears that it is impossible to obtain the testimony of the witness who testified in the criminal case. 
  • The former testimony was admissible since there was an opportunity for the opposing party to cross-examine the witness.
The court reversed the judgment awarding appellees a recovery because the trial court erred in rejecting appellants' offer of former testimony given at a prior criminal trial.

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