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Summary judgment is designed to provide a prompt, businesslike, and inexpensive method of disposing of any cause which a discriminating search of the merits in the pleadings, depositions, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits submitted on the motion clearly shows not to present any genuine issue of material fact requiring disposition at trial.
Defendants, life insurance broker and agency, sold a life insurance policy to the husband of plaintiff beneficiary. Defendant broker did not tell the insured that an option provided by the policy allowed the insured to pay a small fee, complete a medical exam, and receive a standard risk rating almost immediately. The insured was diagnosed with cancer and died one year later. When defendants denied the claim based on changes in the insured's health between the date of his application and receipt of his policy, plaintiff filed an action for negligence, which the trial court granted, and the appellate court affirmed.
Did the lower court err in granting the summary judgment for the plaintiff insured’s summary?
The court affirmed the lower court's grant of summary judgment for plaintiff insured's beneficiary. It held that a trial court was to consider the substantive law of the case to determine whether a genuine issue of material fact existed. It was undisputed that defendant broker failed to advise the prospective insured about the conditional receipt option, which would have allowed the insured to get temporary coverage almost immediately for a small fee, defendant broker was negligent as a matter of law.