Commonwealth Bonding & Cas. Ins. Co. v. Bryant

In Commonwealth Bonding & Cas. Ins. Co. v. Bryant, 113 Tex. 21, 240 S.W. 893, 893 (Tex. 1922) the insurance policy provided for a weekly indemnity if bodily injuries "'wholly disable and prevent the insured from performing any and every kind of duty pertaining to his occupation."' 240 S.W. at 893. The policy provided one-half of the same weekly indemnity "'if such injury should not wholly disable the insured, as above, but shall immediately (or immediately following total disability) and continuously disable and prevent him from performing one or more important daily duties pertaining to his occupation."' Id. Concerned that "a literal interpretation to the language of this contract... would practically relieve the insurer of all obligation thereunder," the Court interpreted the total disability provision to mean that "the larger indemnity was promised if the injuries rendered the insured substantially unable, in the exercise of ordinary care, to perform every material duty pertaining to his occupation." Id. The Court concluded that this interpretation reflected "the real intent and purpose of the contracting parties." Id. at 894. However, the Court did not discuss or harmonize its interpretation of the total disability provision of the policy with the partial disability provision.