Dumont v. United States - 98 U.S. 142 (1878)
U.S. Supreme Court
Dumont v. United States, 98 U.S. 142 (1878)
Dumont v. United States
98 U.S. 142
1. A bond given at the port of New York, when certain goods were imported, was conditioned that the importer should pay $425, that being the estimated duty based on the invoice, or the amount which should be subsequently ascertained to be due, or that he should within three years withdraw and export them or transport them to a Pacific port. That sum was paid on the withdrawal of the goods, but it was less than the duty which was afterwards regularly liquidated. A suit was brought against the surety for the balance. Held that he was not liable therefor.
2. The importer is liable for the duty, but the bond is discharged as to the surety by the performance of one of its alternative conditions.
3. "Or" is never construed to mean "and" when the evident intent of the parties would be thereby defeated.
The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.