Sunday, November 24, 2013

Galloway v. United States case brief

Galloway v. United States case brief summary
319 U.S. 372 (1943)

Seeking benefits for total and permanent disability under a contract of war risk insurance, petitioner appealed a judgment of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which affirmed the trial court's decision to grant a directed verdict in favor of respondent United States.

Petitioner sued respondent to recover benefits for total and permanent disability by reason of insanity. Specifically, he claimed that the strain of active military service abroad brought on an immediate change, which was the beginning of a mental breakdown that eventually became a total and permanent disability. The trial court held that petitioner's evidence was legally insufficient to sustain a verdict in his favor; it therefore granted respondent's motion for a directed verdict. The lower court affirmed.


  • The United States Supreme Court reviewed the evidence and concluded that petitioner had not met his burden of showing continuous disability. In particular, it pointed to the fact that he had not submitted evidence relating to a five-year period. 
  • Concluding that the evidence of insanity was merely speculative, the Court affirmed the judgment of the lower court.
The Court affirmed, holding that the trial court was entitled to grant respondent's motion for a directed verdict in light of petitioner's failure to show his whereabouts, activities, or condition for five years of the time period that he claimed to have suffered continuing and total disability.

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