Standard Oil Co. v. United States

340 U.S. 54, 71 S.Ct. 135, 95 L.Ed. 68, 1951 AMC 1 (1950)

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Standard Oil Co. v. United States

United States Supreme Court
340 U.S. 54, 71 S.Ct. 135, 95 L.Ed. 68, 1951 AMC 1 (1950)

Facts

The United States (defendant) provided war-risk insurance to Standard Oil Company of New Jersey (Standard Oil) (plaintiff) for coverage of Standard Oil’s tanker the John Worthington. The policy provided coverage for all damages arising from the consequences of hostilities or warlike operations. The John Worthington was damaged in a collision with a Navy minesweeping vessel in a channel approaching New York harbor. Both vessels were at fault in failing to comply with maritime rules under the circumstances. Standard Oil brought a claim against the United States in federal district court, alleging that the accident fell within the coverage of the war-risk-insurance policy. The district court held for Standard Oil, finding that minesweeping, a warlike operation, had been the proximate cause of the accident. The court of appeals reversed the decision, holding that the evidence did not show that minesweeping was the proximate cause of the accident. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Black, J.)

Dissent (Douglas, J.)

Dissent (Frankfurter, J.)

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