United States v. Atkinson, No. 265

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtSTONE
Citation56 S.Ct. 391,80 L.Ed. 555,297 U.S. 157
Decision Date03 February 1936
Docket NumberNo. 265
PartiesUNITED STATES v. ATKINSON

297 U.S. 157
56 S.Ct. 391
80 L.Ed. 555
UNITED STATES

v.

ATKINSON.

No. 265.
Argued Jan. 8, 1936.
Decided Feb. 3, 1936.

Messrs. Homer S. Cummings, Atty. Gen., and Will G. Beardslee, of Washington, D.C., for the United States.

Page 158

Mr. Warren E. Miller, of Washington, D.C., for respondent.

Mr. Justice STONE delivered the opinion of the Court.

This case was brought here on certiorari, 296 U.S. 559, 56 S.Ct. 123, 80 L.Ed. 394, to review a determination of the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, said to be inconsistent with our decision in Miller v. United States, 294 U.S. 435, 55 S.Ct. 440, 79 L.Ed. 977. The challenged holding is that there is statutory authority for including in contracts of United States government insurance (converted war risk insurance) covering death or total permanent disability a provision that 'the permanent loss of hearing of both ears * * * shall be deemed to be total disability.' The case was tried in the District Court to a jury which rendered a verdict for the plaintiff, respondent here. Judgment in his favor was affirmed by the Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, 76 F.(2d) 564, which held that the insertion in the policy of the quoted definition of total disability, pursuant to Veterans' Administration Regulation, § 3122, was authorized by 43 Stat. 624, 1309, 38 U.S.C. § 512 (38 U.S.C.A. § 512).1

The government, by its assignment of errors here, assails, as it did in the court below, the correctness of

Page 159

this ruling, but examination of the record discloses that no such objection was presented to the trial court. In consequence the government is precluded from raising the question on appeal.

The trial judge instructed the jury that respondent might recover either on the theory that his loss of hearing constituted in fact a permanent disability preventing his pursuit of any substantially gainful occupation, or that his loss of hearing of both ears, if permanent, was a permanent disability as defined by the policy. The jury was thus left free to return a verdict for respondent if it found that he had suffered permanent loss of hearing of both ears, regardless of its effect upon his ability to earn his livelihood. The government failed to question the correctness of these instructions either by exception or request to charge, and its motion for a directed verdict was upon other grounds not now material.

The verdict of a jury will not ordinarily be set aside for error not...

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1086 practice notes
  • U.S. v. Martinez-Torres, MARTINEZ-TORRE
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — First Circuit
    • April 4, 1990
    ...95 L.Ed.2d 877, 482 U.S. 906, 107 S.Ct. 2484, 96 L.Ed.2d 377 (1987), the question is not so limited. See, e.g., United States v. Atkinson, 297 U.S. 157, 160, 56 S.Ct. 391, 392, 80 L.Ed. 555 (1936) ("seriously affect[s] the fairness, integrity, or public reputation of judicial proceedings");......
  • United States v. Agueci, No. 99
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • November 8, 1962
    ...to the judge's attention, see Screws v. United States, 325 U.S. 91, 107, 65 S.Ct. 1031, 89 L.Ed. 1495 (1945); United States v. Atkinson, 297 U.S. 157, 160, 56 S.Ct. 391, 80 L.Ed. 555 (1936); United States v. Massiah, 307 F.2d 62 (2d Cir., 1962), we hold that Judge Herlands adequately covere......
  • Al Bahlul v. United States, No. 11–1324.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • July 14, 2014
    ...an argument in a lower tribunal from raising it on appeal absent plain error or exceptional circumstances. See United States v. Atkinson, 297 U.S. 157, 159, 56 S.Ct. 391, 80 L.Ed. 555 (1936) ; Salazar ex rel. Salazar v. Dist. of Columbia, 602 F.3d 431, 437 (D.C.Cir.2010). To preserve error ......
  • U.S. v. Wiles, Nos. 94-1592
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (10th Circuit)
    • December 10, 1996
    ...to which no exception has been taken ... [if they] seriously affect the fairness, integrity or public reputation of judicial proceedings." 297 U.S. 157, 160, 56 S.Ct. 391, 392, 80 L.Ed. 555 (1936) (emphasis Referring to unnoticed structural errors, the Court in Olano subsequently noted that......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1091 cases
  • U.S. v. Martinez-Torres, MARTINEZ-TORRE
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — First Circuit
    • April 4, 1990
    ...95 L.Ed.2d 877, 482 U.S. 906, 107 S.Ct. 2484, 96 L.Ed.2d 377 (1987), the question is not so limited. See, e.g., United States v. Atkinson, 297 U.S. 157, 160, 56 S.Ct. 391, 392, 80 L.Ed. 555 (1936) ("seriously affect[s] the fairness, integrity, or public reputation of judicial proceedings");......
  • United States v. Agueci, No. 99
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • November 8, 1962
    ...to the judge's attention, see Screws v. United States, 325 U.S. 91, 107, 65 S.Ct. 1031, 89 L.Ed. 1495 (1945); United States v. Atkinson, 297 U.S. 157, 160, 56 S.Ct. 391, 80 L.Ed. 555 (1936); United States v. Massiah, 307 F.2d 62 (2d Cir., 1962), we hold that Judge Herlands adequately covere......
  • Al Bahlul v. United States, No. 11–1324.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • July 14, 2014
    ...an argument in a lower tribunal from raising it on appeal absent plain error or exceptional circumstances. See United States v. Atkinson, 297 U.S. 157, 159, 56 S.Ct. 391, 80 L.Ed. 555 (1936) ; Salazar ex rel. Salazar v. Dist. of Columbia, 602 F.3d 431, 437 (D.C.Cir.2010). To preserve error ......
  • U.S. v. Wiles, Nos. 94-1592
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (10th Circuit)
    • December 10, 1996
    ...to which no exception has been taken ... [if they] seriously affect the fairness, integrity or public reputation of judicial proceedings." 297 U.S. 157, 160, 56 S.Ct. 391, 392, 80 L.Ed. 555 (1936) (emphasis Referring to unnoticed structural errors, the Court in Olano subsequently noted that......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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