226 N.Y. 302, Stewart v. Knickerbocker Ice Co.

Citation:226 N.Y. 302
Party Name:In the Matter of the Claim of LILLIAN E. STEWART, Respondent, v. KNICKERBOCKER ICE COMPANY, Appellant. STATE INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION, Respondent.
Case Date:April 29, 1919
Court:New York Court of Appeals
 
FREE EXCERPT

Page 302

226 N.Y. 302

In the Matter of the Claim of LILLIAN E. STEWART, Respondent,

v.

KNICKERBOCKER ICE COMPANY, Appellant. STATE INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION, Respondent.

New York Court of Appeal

April 29, 1919

Argued April 8, 1919.

COUNSEL

Frank R. Savidge, Frederick M. Thompson and Cleland R. Neal for appellant. The decedent, William M. Stewart, was, at the time of his death, engaged in a maritime employment, under a maritime contract, upon navigable waters; jurisdiction over all claims in such cases is reserved by the Constitution of the United States to the Federal courts, and neither the state legislature nor Congress can erect a remedy to be administered by state courts or authorities. (Atlantic Transport Co. v. Imbrovek, 234 U.S. 52; Southern Pacific Co. v. Jensen, 244 U.S. 205; Matter of Anderson v. Johnson Lighterage Co., 224 N.Y. 1; Matter of Doey v. Howland Co., 224 N.Y. 30; Matter of Keator v. Rock Plaster Co., 224 N.Y. 2; The Roanoke, 189 U.S. 185.)

Page 303

Charles D. Newton, Attorney-General (E. C. Aiken of counsel), for respondent. The state industrial commission had jurisdiction to make the award in question. (U. S. Judicial Code, § 256; Veasey v. Peters, 77 So. Rep. 948; Duart v. Simmons, 121 N. E. Rep. 10.)

HISCOCK, Ch. J.

This is an appeal from an affirmance of an award made under the Workmen's Compensation Act for injuries received by one Stewart while engaged in helping to unrig a derrick on one of the defendant's barges. It is conceded that the work in which the injured man was engaged was of a maritime nature and upon that conceded fact the argument is made that our Workmen's Compensation Act is not applicable because it is in conflict with the Constitution of the United States and with the Federal statute passed thereunder. The attempt is made to support this argument almost exclusively by reference to the decision of the United States Supreme Court in Southern Pacific Co. v. Jensen (244 U.S. 205).

The Jensen case was one involving the applicability of our Workmen's Compensation Act to injuries received by a stevedore while engaged in helping to unload a vessel belonging to the Southern Pacific Railroad Company. The two questions which were considered by Judge MILLER in his opinion (215 N.Y. 514) were the ones whether our act was unconstitutional as depriving employers of property without due process of law, and second, whether it was in conflict with the Federal Constitution because attempting directly to regulate or impose a tax or burden on interstate or foreign commerce, the Southern Pacific...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP