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Leffler v. Aetna Life Insurance Co.

Decided: January 26, 1938.

LOUIS LEFFLER, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
AETNA LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY, A CORPORATION, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



On appeal from the Supreme Court.

For the plaintiff-respondent, Herbert R. Baer, Gerald McLaughlin and McCarter & English.

For the defendant-appellant, Edward A. Markley and Collins & Corbin.

Case

The opinion of the court was delivered by

CASE, J. The appeal is by the defendant insurance company from a judgment obtained by the plaintiff for disability benefits under a policy of accident insurance. The action was to recover for alleged total disability produced by bodily

injuries sustained directly and solely through accidental means independently of all other causes. The coverage was contained within Part II of the policy. Part II in its entirety is as follows:

"Weekly Indemnity

Total Disability. A. Or, if such injuries, directly and independently of all other causes, shall wholly and continuously disable the Insured from date of accident and prevent him from performing any and every duty pertaining to his occupation, the Company will pay the weekly indemnity hereinafter specified so long as he shall live and suffer such disability.

Partial Disability. B. Or, if such injuries, directly and independently of all other causes, shall continuously disable the Insured from date of accident and prevent him from performing one or more important daily duties pertaining to his occupation, or for like continuous disability following total disability, the Company will pay one-half of the amount per week payable for total disability for the period of such partial disability but not exceeding twenty-six consecutive weeks.

No payment of weekly indemnity shall be made in case of any loss enumerated in Part I, except as therein provided."

Appellant's first point is that the trial court erred in denying its motion for a directed verdict in its behalf. We find that there was evidence which, with the inferences reasonably arising therefrom, if believed by the jury, would have supported a finding of total disability under our cases. Gross v. Commercial Casualty Insurance Company of Newark, 90 N.J.L. 594; Doherty v. American Employers' Insurance Co., 112 Id. 52. Therefore the case was one for the jury.

The next point on the appeal is that the trial court committed error in the admission and exclusion of testimony. We find otherwise. One of the rulings here objected to occurred during plaintiff's cross-examination of defendant's witness ...


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