The opinion of the court was delivered by: Moss, Justice.
This is a consolidated appeal from an order in two cases, identically captioned, each originally seeking to recover actual and punitive damages. The appeal is from an order of the Judge of the Civil Court of Union County, South Carolina, overruling the motion of appellant to consolidate the two cases and to strike certain allegations from the two complaints.
Each complaint alleges that the respondent purchased a policy of insurance from Capital Life Insurance Company, dated March 1, 1954, differently numbered, one paying surgical and accidental death benefits, and the other covering hospitalization and paying a death benefit. Both of said policies were noncancellable, except for non-payment of premiums or for disability commencing before the date and delivery of said policy. The complaints alleged that the respondent suffered injury to his leg and foot, and that thereafter the appellant, United Insurance Company, having purchased the insurance business of Capital Life Insurance Company and assumed all liability on policies then in force, fraudulently refused to accept premiums tendered by the respondent, thereby depriving the respondent of his non-cancellable insurance policies. It is further alleged that as a result of the fraudulent, wrongful, malicious and willful conduct that the respondent has been injured and damaged.
The appellant made a timely motion to consolidate the two cases, together with a motion to strike certain portions of each of the complaints.
The motions to consolidate and to strike were heard by County Judge Sam E. Barron, and on August 9, 1956, he filed an order overruling all motions. This appeal followed.
The first complaint has to do with Policy No. 10494, which provides for accident and health benefits, an accidental death benefit and also a schedule of payments for surgery. The second complaint has to do with Policy No. 432219, and it is alleged that it is a life and health policy, purporting to pay to the insured a per day allowance for illness or accident necessitating hospitalization, as well as a death benefit to the insured's wife.
The appellant is before this court upon a number of exceptions. This appeal may be disposed of by a determination of two questions. (1) Did the trial Judge err in refusing to consolidate the two actions? (2) Did the trial Judge properly overrule the motion of appellant to strike certain matter from the complaints, on the ground that the same is irrelevant and redundant?
In the case of Pelzer Mfg. Co. v. Sun Fire Office, 36 S.C. 213, 15 S.E. 562, 579, the following rule was announced:
"It is necessary, therefore, to inquire whether there was any error in refusing the motion to consolidate. It has long been settled, in this state at least, that a motion to consolidate is addressed to the discretion of the court; not, of course, an arbitrary or a capricious discretion, but a legal discretion to be exercised in view of all the surrounding facts and circumstances. Treasurers v. Bates, 2 Bail.  380; Worthy v. Chalk, 10 Rich.  142."
In the case of Bishop v. Bishop, 164 S.C. 493, 162 S.E. 756, 757, this Court said:
"Ordinarily, the granting or refusing of motions to consolidate actions for trial must be left to the wise discretion of the trial judge, but his exercise thereof will be disturbed, if it deprives a party of a substantial right, which he can show he is entitled to under the law. `Abuse of discretion,' as used in this connection, merely means that the trial judge committed an error of law in the circumstances."
"By exception 1 the appellant alleges error requiring a consolidation of the two actions. The policies in question were identical as to dates, amounts, and provisions. They differed only as to numbers. Suits on both policies were started the same day. The testimony and law were applicable alike to each policy. If there had been two trials, one on each policy, the second trial would have been but a repetition of the first, with the same witnesses and the ...