Morris owned and operated a general store which had everything in it, except a general -- and he certainly could have used one.

In fact, at the rate at which hold-up men paid a visit to his store, he could have used a whole army to defend against them.

On one occasion, however, Morris decided he wasn't going to take it any longer. And when a would-be robber entered his store one night, stuck a gun under his nose and said those words he had heard before -- "Your money or your life" -- Morris was ready for him.

Brandishing a baseball bat and waiving it overhead like it was a shillelagh, Morris chased the hold-up man out of his store.

As he did so, however, the gunman turned and shot Morris.

Badly injured by the gunman's bullet, Morris filed a claim with his insurance company for this injury under an accident policy.

"An accident occurs," Morris pointed out, "when something happens which is not anticipated ... like being shot by a hold-up man."

"Denying the claim," an adjuster for the insurance company insisted. "You've got it wrong. You being shot was no accident. The hold-up man aimed at you and he shot you. The only accident which might have occurred is if he had missed you!"

Determined to collect for his being shot by the gunman, Morris took his claim to court.

IF YOU WERE THE JUDGE ...

Would you permit Morris to collect for being shot under his insurance policy?

THIS IS HOW THE JUDGE RULED ...

NO!

The judge held, in effect, when an individual chases a gunman, he sets himself up as a clay pigeon and can anticipate being shot.

Therefore, if he is shot, it is not an accident.

Based on a 1929 Tennessee Supreme Court decision.

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