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DESTROY Definition & Legal Meaning

Definition & Citations:

As used in policies of Insurance, leases, and in maritime law, this term Isoften applied to an act which renders the subject useless for its intended purpose,though it does not literally demolish or annihilate it. In re McCabe, 11 Pa. Super. Ct.504; Solomon v. Kingston, 24 Hun (N. Y.) 564; Insurance Co. v. Feibelman, US Ala.308, 23 South. 759; Spalding v. Munford, 37 Mo. App. 281. To “destroy” a vesselmeans to unfit it for further service, beyond the hope of recovery by ordinary means. U. S. v. Johns, 26 Fed. Cas. 618.In relation to wills, contracts, and other documents, the term “destroy” does not importthe annihilation of the instrument or its resolution into other forms of matter, but adestruction of its legal efficacy, which may be by cancellation, obliterating, tearing intofragments, etc. Appeal of Evans, 58 Pa. 244; Allen v. State Bank, 21 N. C. 12; In reGangwere’s Estate, 14 Pa. 417, 53 Am. Dec. 554; Johnson v. Brailsford, 2 Nott & McC.(S. C.) 272, 10 Am. Dec. 601.


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