The pertinent provisions of the insurance policy sued on, with reference to the risks and perils covered, are as follows:
'Article 3. Risks and perils. The insurance is for loss of life, disability (including dismemberment and loss of function), loss of or damage to personal effects, and detention (including the occurrence of other situations hereinafter provided) of the insured, directly and proximately caused by risks of war and warlike operations, including capture, seizure, destruction by men-of-war, sabotage, piracy, takings at sea, arrests, restraints and detainments, acts of kings, princes and peoples in the prosecution of hostilities or in the application of sanctions under international agreements, whether before or after declaration of war and whether by a belligerent or otherwise * * *
'The fact that a vessel, or any vessel with which such vessel is in collision, is carrying troops or military or other supplies, or is proceeding to or from a war base, or is manned or operated by military or naval personnel, shall not alone be sufficient to include in this policy any claim which is not included by the foregoing terms of this article.'
An amendment to Article III announced by the Maritime War Emergency Board on April 24, 1943, extends the coverage of the policy as follows:
'The insurance is also for loss of life, disability (including dismemberment and loss of function), loss of or damage to personal effects, and detention (including the occurrence of other situations hereinafter provided) of the insured, directly and proximately resulting from stranding, sinking, or break-up of the vessel, explosion or fire causing loss of or substantial damage to the vessel, or collision by the vessel or contact with any external substance (including ice, but excluding water), irrespective of whether the same are caused by risks of war or warlike operations or by marine risks and perils.'
It will be noted that the amendment goes no further than to include marine risks and perils which had theretofore not been covered by the policy.
If libelant is to recover in this action, the basis of the recovery must be that his death was caused directly and proximately by risks of war or warlike operations, or by marine risks or perils. Accidental death might or might not be covered, depending on the nature of the accident. An accident caused by blackout conditions imposed to guard vessels from enemy observation is covered. Quinn v. United States, D.C. Hawaii, 72 F.Supp. 94. Accidental death as a result of a brawl among other members of the crew is not covered. Reinold v. United States, 2 Cir., 167 F.2d 556.
The accident which caused insured's death might have occurred at any time and in any place. The mere facts that it occurred on shipboard during insured's service in a theater of war, and that the weapon was one which had been issued to him to be carried in line of duty, were not sufficient to enable the Court to say that the accident was directly and proximately caused by risks of war or warlike operations, or by a marine risk or peril. Whatever causal connection there may have been, it was so remote that it could not give rise to a cause of action on the policy.
For the foregoing reasons I am of opinion that libelant has not established a case of coverage within the provisions of the policy sued on, and therefore the libel must be dismissed. An order may be submitted for entry in accordance with the foregoing opinion.
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