Dallas County v. Commercial Union Assurance Co.

286 F.2d 388 (5th Cir. 1961)


The Dallas County (P) courthouse collapsed in 1957. P reported that charcoal and charred timbers were present in the building's ruins. The intent of this report was to collect under an insurance policy. The policy covered losses caused by lightning. The insurer (D) attempted to refute this at trial. D claimed that the collapse was caused by structural weakness and deterioration, which were not covered by the policy. D claimed that the charred remains were present in the building before it collapsed. D offered into evidence a local 1901 newspaper article that reported a courthouse fire. P objected to the introduction of the article on the ground of hearsay. D got the verdict and P appealed.