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U.S. Supreme Court

Calmar Steamship Corp. v. Scott, 345 U.S. 427 (1953)

Calmar Steamship Corp. v. Scott

No. 303

Argued January 15, 1953

Decided April 27, 1953

345 U.S. 427


Petitioner chartered a vessel to the United States for a voyage in the winter of 1941-42 to a port or ports in the Philippines and return, and British underwriters issued a policy of war risk insurance on the vessel for the voyage. After the voyage had commenced, Australia was duly substituted for the Philippines as the outbound destination. In Australia, the vessel was requisitioned by Allied authorities and employed for military purposes. It was damaged by enemy aircraft and abandoned. A warranty in the policy provided:

"[F]ree of claims arising from [British or Allied] Capture [or] . . . Requisition . . . but, unless the insured vessel is condemned, this warranty shall not exclude losses . . . caused by . . . implements of war. . . ."

Held: This policy insured against the loss in this case, and it was in force when that loss occurred, since no explicit decision had been reached by the requisitioning authorities to prevent the vessel from completing, within a reasonable time, the voyage for which the insurance was issued. Pp. 345 U. S. 428-444.

197 F.2d 795, judgment vacated and cause remanded.

In a suit in admiralty to recover upon a policy of war risk insurance issued to cover a voyage by petitioner's vessel, the District Court held the underwriters liable. 103 F.Supp. 243. The Court of Appeals reversed. 197 F.2d 795. This Court granted certiorari. 344 U.S. 853. Judgment of the Court of Appeals vacated and cause remanded to that court, p. 345 U. S. 444.

Page 345 U. S. 428

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