U.S. Supreme Court
Insurance Company v. Trefz, 104 U.S. 197 (1881)
Insurance Company v. Trefz
104 U.S. 197
ERROR TO THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE UNITED
STATES FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
1. It is not error for the judge, in his instructions, to comment upon the evidence if he does not take from the jury the right to weigh the evidence and determine the disputed facts.
2. To a question whether he had ever been subject to or affected by certain disorders, including "diseases of the brain," enumerated in an application for an insurance upon his life, which stipulated that the policy should be void in case any statement or declaration in such application was untrue, A., a German, unfamiliar with the English language -- in which the question was put -- answered, "Never sick." In an action on the policy, held, l. that the court properly charged that the jury might consider that the answer was made by a man ignorant of the language, who did not on that account understand, and consequently did not intend, its literal scope; 2. that the answer must be taken to mean only that A. had never had any of the enumerated diseases so as to constitute an attack of sickness.