USAASUnited States Army Air Service
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Vaughn Jr., USAAS, from Brooklyn, New York, on a patrol when he had a go at new prey.
Army Air Service pilots, who were assigned to gain combat experience until the USAAS had enough planes for its own aero squadrons.
Speed offered to release Geyer from all claims if USAA would agree to pay the combined policy limits under Geyer's homeowners and auto-insurance policies, totaling $800,000.
USAA's homeowner's insurance policy provided coverage for bodily injury caused by an: occurrence.
It held, "Even interpreting the allegations liberally and resolving doubts in favor of a duty to defend, the USAA homeowners policy does not conceivably cover the allegations in [Mr.] Speed's demand letter."
When USAA decided to raise the sunken boat, the insured changed his story.
The insured himself admitted that he initially simplified his story because he feared that USAA would deny his claim if he explained that he had deliberately cut the hose.
At the time the proof of loss was submitted, USAA was investigating whether the insured had deliberately sunk the boat.
USAA's denial of the claim was based on a policy provision that voided the policy for "false swearing, concealment or misrepresentation of any material fact." An open-and-shut case for material misrepresentation?
First, since the carrier suspected fraud from the outset, "USAA's investigation of Powers would not have proceeded differently had he stated in May 1987 that he had cut the exhaust hose." Second, "The condition of the hose at the thru-hull (i.e., cut or deteriorated) was not a relevant factor in the sinking of the boat." Was this analysis consistent with what we all thought was settled law on materiality?