Appeal from Circuit Court, Multnomah County. J. J. Murchison, Judge.
Eugene L. Parker, Portland, argued the cause for appellants. With him on the briefs were Sherwood, Barnes and O'Dell, Portland, and Darrell E. Bewley, Portland.
L. M. Schouboe, Portland, argued the cause for respondents. With him on the brief were Schouboe & Cavanaugh, P.C., Portland.
This is a suit to reform an insurance contract to eliminate an endorsement which excluded coverage for the minor son of plaintiff L. B. H. Steffens. The trial court found for defendants, and plaintiffs appeal. Defendant Barnes is the agent of defendant Truck Insurance Exchange, and we will refer to the latter as if it were the only defendant.
Plaintiffs are partners operating a service station and auto parts business. In 1952 plaintiffs procured from defendant a general comprehensive and liability policy covering all vehicles owned or operated by plaintiffs.
One of the automobiles covered by the policy was a 1952 Plymouth sedan which was used by Dannie Steffens, the minor son of one of the partners. In 1961 Dannie was involved in an accident, and the defendant increased the rate of coverage. In 1962 Dannie had another accident, and defendant decided to "restrict the policy in regards to Dannie." Subsequently, Dannie secured other insurance in his own name for the 1952 Plymouth.
The facts thereafter are in dispute. Plaintiffs contend that defendant advised them that only Dannie's car was being taken off the policy, and that plaintiffs would still be covered for Dannie's actions in driving cars while working at the station. Defendant contends that plaintiffs were advised that Dannie was to be completely removed from coverage, including
the driving of any cars in the operation of plaintiffs' business.
After advising plaintiffs of the action contemplated against Dannie, defendant sent to plaintiffs the following endorsement which was executed both by plaintiffs and defendant:
"RESTRICTION ENDORSEMENT (PERSON)
"In consideration of the waiver by the Exchange, for a period of thirty days from the date hereof, of its right to cancel this policy for any reason, except failure of the named insured to pay the required premium, it is agreed that such coverage as is afforded by this policy shall ...