LUMBRA V. UNITED STATES, 290 U. S. 551 (1934)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Lumbra v. United States, 290 U.S. 551 (1934)

Lumbra v. United States

No. 152

Argued November 17, 1933

Decided January 8, 1934

290 U.S. 551


1. In determining whether there was any evidence to sustain a verdict for the plaintiff, all facts that the evidence supporting his claim reasonably tends to prove should be assumed as established, and all inferences fairly deducible from them should be drawn in his favor. P. 290 U. S. 553.

2. To a claim under a war risk contract insuring unqualifiedly against "total permanent disability," the occasion, source or cause of the petitioner's illness is immaterial. P. 290 U. S. 558.

3. Injuries, exposure and illness suffered by the claimant before the lapse of his policy, and his condition in subsequent years, have significance, if any, only to the extent that they tend to show whether he was in fact totally and permanently disabled during the life of the policy. P. 290 U. S. 558.

4. The phrase "total permanent disability" in the War Risk Insurance Act should be construed reasonably and with regard to the circumstances of each case. P. 290 U. S. 558.

5. It cannot be said that injury or disease sufficient merely to prevent one from again doing some work of the kind he had been accustomed to perform constitutes the disability meant by the Act, for such impairment may not lessen or affect his ability to follow other useful, and perchance more lucrative, occupations. P. 290 U. S. 559.

6. Separate and distinct periods of temporary total disability, though likely to recur at intervals throughout life, do not constitute total permanent disability. Permanent disability means that which is continuing, as opposed to that which is temporary. P. 290 U. S. 559.

7. The mere fact that one has done some work after the lapse of his policy does not, in itself, suffice to defeat his claim of total permanent disability, but the work performed may be such as conclusively to negative total permanent disability at the earlier time. Pp. 290 U. S. 560-561.

8. Evidence of the claimant's condition after lapse of his policy may be considered only for the purpose of determining his condition while the contract was in force. P. 290 U. S. 560.

Page 290 U. S. 552

9. The claimant's conduct after the alleged accrual of his claim in this case shows that he did not believe he was totally and permanently disabled when he let his policy lapse, and his unexplained delay in bringing suit is strong evidence that he was not thus disabled at that time. P. 290 U. S. 560.

63 F.2d 796 affirmed.

Certiorari to review a judgment reversing a recovery by verdict in an action on a war risk insurance policy.

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