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BLAIR V. GRAY, 104 U. S. 769 (1881)

U.S. Supreme Court

Blair v. Gray, 104 U.S. 769 (1881)

Blair v. Gray

104 U.S. 769


The charter of an insurance company in Illinois declares that, "in all cases of losses exceeding the means of the corporation, each stockholder shall be held liable to the amount of unpaid stock held by him." An action at law was brought against a stockholder who had not paid his stock subscription to recover the amount due upon the policy issued by the company to the plaintiff's intestate. Held that the declaration is bad in substance, as it fails to aver that the losses of the company, or its liabilities, exceed its assets. Quaere, if there was a deficiency of assets, could such an action be maintained to enforce the liability of a stockholder.

This was an action at law by Blair. The declaration alleges that a policy of insurance was issued by the Republican Life Insurance Company of Chicago on the life of his intestate, who died while the policy was in full force and effect; that proof of death and the adjustment of the loss were duly made, but that the company failed to pay any part of the sum due by the terms of the contract.

The declaration also avers that Gray, the defendant, was a stockholder of the company to the amount of $10,000, of which he had actually paid in only $2,000, and that under the sixth section of the charter, which is set out in the opinion of this Court, he is, to the amount of his unpaid stock, liable to the plaintiff.

The court sustained a demurred to the declaration, and Blair sued out this writ.

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