278 U.S. 492 (1929), 118, Michigan Central R. Co. v. Mix

Docket Nº:No. 118
Citation:278 U.S. 492, 49 S.Ct. 207, 73 L.Ed. 470
Party Name:Michigan Central R. Co. v. Mix
Case Date:February 18, 1929
Court:United States Supreme Court

Page 492

278 U.S. 492 (1929)

49 S.Ct. 207, 73 L.Ed. 470

Michigan Central R. Co.



No. 118

United States Supreme Court

Feb. 18, 1929

Argued January 10, 1929



1. A railroad company engaged in interstate commerce cannot be subjected to an action in a state court entailing a burden upon or an obstruction of its interstate commerce, brought under the Federal Employers' Liability Act without its consent in a state where the cause of action did not arise and where the company has no railroad and where it has not been admitted to do business and transacts none other than the soliciting of freight for transportation in interstate commerce over its lines in other states. P. 494.

2. The mere fact that the plaintiff acquired a residence in the suit after the cause of action arose and before commencing the action does not take the case out of this rule. P. 495.

Page 493

3. The railroad company cannot be constrained to try such an action by a rule of local practice making its motion to quash the summons equivalent to a general appearance. P. 495.

4. Filing a petition to remove from state to federal court is not a general appearance. Id.


Certiorari, 277 U.S. 581, to a judgment of the Supreme Court of Missouri denying an application of the Railroad Company praying for a writ of prohibition to enjoin the judges of a lower court from trying an action against the Company brought under the Federal Employers' Liability Act.

BRANDEIS, J., lead opinion

MR. JUSTICE BRANDEIS delivered the opinion of the Court.

Thomas Doyle, a switchman employed by the Michigan Central Railroad, was killed in Michigan in the performance of his duties. He was then a resident of Lansing in that state, and there his wife Augusta lived with him until his death. Shortly after, she removed to Missouri, was appointed administratrix of his estate at St. Louis, and, as such, brought in the circuit court of that city an action for damages against the railroad under the Federal Safety Appliance Act and the Federal Employers' Liability Act . The railroad is a Michigan corporation. No part of its line runs into Missouri. It has not consented to be sued there, has never been admitted to do business there, and has never done any business there, except soliciting freight for transportation in interstate...

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