Appeal from the District Court of the United States for the Eastern District of Wisconsin; Charles G. Briggle, Judge.
Before EVANS, MAJOR, and KERNER, Circuit Judges.
Caroline Donsing, on November 20, 1917, enlisted in the military service of the United States and thereafter served in the army nurse corpus until May 26, 1919, when she was honorably discharged. She subscribed for a $10000 insurance policy, but allowed it to lapse for non-payment of premium on June 1, 1919.
On November 29, 1920, she applied for reinstatement of said insurance, and her application was "temporarily rejected." On August 19, 1923, she, or some one for her, made another application, and this application was denied, or to use the language of the Director of the Bureau, it "cannot be approved." Shortly thereafter, and on November 1, 1923, the Board reversed its action, and the Director of the Veterans' bureau wrote the guardian of the veteran:
"in connection with the disability of your ward, the above mentioned discharged nurse, you are advised that in accordance with the provisions of the recent amendment to the War Risk Insurance Act, insurance which lapsed for nonpayment of premium due June 1, 1919, is now revived.
"All premiums due with interest from date of lapse to date of permanent and total disability, have been deducted from the principal amount of the insurance, and an award has today been submitted in your favor as legal guardian entitling you to payments of insurance benefits on behalf of your ward at the rate of $55.32 a month from April 7th, 1923.
"Initial check on this award will be mailed as soon as possible."
This was followed on November 10 by this communication from the Board to the said guardian:
"It has been found that the present disability of your ward is total, and founded upon conditions which render it reasonably certain that it will so continue throughout his life. You are awarded $55.32 dollars per month from the 7 day of Apr. 1923, during the time that you are legally vested with responsibility or care of said person. * * *
"Your check will be mailed to you as promptly as possible. * * * "
Thereafter monthly payments of $55.32 were made by deterdant to the veteran until her death on September 20, 1929. Thereafter monthly payments were made to her father, the beneficiary named in her policy. These were continued until his death, February 28, 1935.
The Bureau then advised that an administrator of the father's estate must be appointed and payments to him would be continued.At this time there was unpaid on said policy, the sum of $4,691. Upon the presentation of the letters of administration defendant refused to make further payments. It took the position that all previous payments were illegal, should never have been made, and no further payment would be made.
Defendant's position was based on the assumption that the Bureau, in "reviving" the policy, acted beyond its power and authority. The payments made to the veteran and to her father were ...