Appeal from Circuit Court, Multnomah County. John C. Beatty, Jr., Judge.
Morton A. Winkel, Portland, argued the cause and submitted the briefs for appellant.
Douglas M. Ragen, Portland, argued the cause for respondent. With him on the briefs were Miller, Anderson, Nash, Yerke & Wiener, Portland.
Howell, Justice. O'Connell, Chief Justice, and McAllister, Denecke, Holman, Tongue*fn* and Bryson, Justices.
This is an action by plaintiff, a credit insurance carrier, against its agent, the defendant, to recover premiums on policies sold by defendant. The action was tried by the court without a jury, and findings and judgment were entered in favor of plaintiff. Defendant appeals.
In 1967 defendant and one other individual were the major stockholders in Select Insurance Plans, Inc. Plaintiff was engaged in the business of selling credit life and health and accident policies. Insurance sales
were made primarily through auto dealers selling cars to purchasers on credit. Plaintiff and defendant entered into an agency contract whereby defendant agreed to sell plaintiff's insurance to dealers. The contract was signed by defendant as "Gerald B. Dietz, Select Insurance Plans, Incorporated." In April 1970 a new agreement changing commission and premium rates was executed by plaintiff and defendant. The agent was described as "Gerald B. Dietz." Defendant agreed to pay statements of account on or before the fifteenth day of each month following receipt of the statement from plaintiff.
By October 1971 the agent was indebted to plaintiff in the amount of $32,808 for unpaid premiums.
The primary question is whether the defendant individually or the corporation, Select Insurance Plans, Inc., is liable to plaintiff for the unpaid premiums.
As this is an action at law, if there is any substantial evidence to support the trial court's findings that the obligation on the unpaid premiums belonged to defendant, we must affirm.
It is not necessary to set forth the testimony in detail. There was evidence that some statements for payment of premiums sent by plaintiff to defendant designated the corporation, Select Insurance Plans, Inc., as the debtor and were mailed to the corporate address and paid by check from the corporation. On the other hand, there was evidence that plaintiff refused defendant's request that the 1970 contract be between plaintiff and defendant's corporation, that plaintiff was concerned about defendant's financial condition, and that ...