Law School Case Brief
Aetna Cas. & Sur. Co. v. Cunningham - 224 F.2d 478 (5th Cir. 1955)
Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(e)(2) provides that a party may state as many separate claims as he has regardless of consistency. The law is fashioned to work substantial justice in real transactions. When the denial of any one claim results in the plaintiff not getting the relief to which it claims to be entitled, whether in the amount or in the quality of the judgment, it has a right to be heard on appeal.
Appellant Aetna, as the surety, filed a claim for indemnification of a performance bond it had paid on behalf of appellee Cunningham, which was the insured. Aetna issued its draft to a school district to make good the insured's failure to complete a building contract. Later on, it claimed that the insured induced it to execute the performance bond by making false statements of his financial condition and that he agreed to indemnify Aetna. The district court ruled that the appellee insured was liable for indemnity but not guilty of fraud.
Was the insured liable for indemnity for making false statement to ensure the issuance of a performance bond?
The court affirmed the ruling that insured did not commit fraud in obtaining a performance bond Aetna surety, holding that the ruling was not clearly erroneous, and that although Aetna surety was awarded the relief it sought on the basis of indemnification, it was still an aggrieved party entitled to appeal the fraud ruling, because it did not receive judgment of the quality sought.
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