Galloway v. United States

319 U.S. 372 (1943)


Galloway (P) had to prove that he had been totally and permanently disabled due to insanity since May 31, 1919, in order to collect liability benefits under his G.I. policy. P introduced the testimony of two fellow soldiers who said that he had done 'crazy' acts while on active duty in 1920, an old friend saying that he was a 'wreck' from 1919 to 1922, a chaplain saying that a soldier with the same name as P was insane in 1920, P's commanding officers, who said that he had alternating periods of gaiety and depression from 1920 to 1922, a 1930 examination that showed permanent insanity, and a physician's expert testimony who said that P had been insane since 1918. P introduced no evidence covering the period from 1925 to 1930. In order to collect benefits, he had to prove that his disability began in 1919, and continued until the date of the trial. The Government (D) requested a directed verdict and the lower court granted it because the evidence submitted by P was not sufficient to prove total and continuous disability from 1919. P appealed; the direct verdict was in error, and it deprived him of his Seventh Amendment right to a jury trial. The Court of Appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court granted certiorari.