73 F.2d 170 (9th Cir. 1934), 7545, The Admiral Peoples

Docket Nº:7545.
Citation:73 F.2d 170
Case Date:October 16, 1934
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Page 170

73 F.2d 170 (9th Cir. 1934)


No. 7545.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

October 16, 1934

William P. Lord, of Portland, Or., for appellant.

McCamant, Thompson & King and Wallace McCamant, all of Portland, Or., for appellee.

Before WILBUR, SAWTELLE, and GARRECHT, Circuit Judges.

WILBUR, Circuit Judge.

This is an appeal from a decree in admiralty sustaining appellee's exceptions to the appellant's libel in rem, which raised the question of the jurisdiction of the admiralty court over the tort upon which the appellant based her action.

The appellant was a passenger on the Admiral Peoples, and was injured while disembarking from the vessel by falling upon the dock as she attempted to step from the gangplank. The negligence complained of was in furnishing a gangplank which required the passenger to step down six inches to the dock when leaving the gangplank. The passenger was seventy-three years of age at th time, and as result of her fall suffered severe injuries.

It is well settled that injuries occurring upon the dock are injuries upon the land, and that admiralty has no jurisdiction over the place of injury. The cases in which this principle has been applied are so numerous that we deem it unnecessary to enter into an extended discussion of them. Recent decisions of the Supreme Court (State industrial Comm. v. Nordenholt Corp., 259 U.S. 263, 42 S.Ct. 473, 66 L.Ed. 933, 25 A.L.R. 1013; Smith & Son v. Taylor, 276 U.S. 179, 48 S.Ct. 228, 229, 72 L.Ed. 520; Nogueira v. N.Y., N.H. & H.R. Co., 281 U.S. 128, 50 S.Ct. 303, 74 L.Ed. 754; Employers' Liability Assur. Corp. v. Cook, 281 U.S. 233, 50 S.Ct. 308, 74 L.Ed. 823; Spencer Kellogg & Sons v. Hicks (The Linseed King), 285 U.S. 502, 52 S.Ct. 450, 76 L.Ed. 903; L'Hote et al. v. Crowell, Dep. Comm., 286 U.S. 528, 52 S.Ct. 499, 76 L.Ed. 1270; Vancouver S.S. Co. v. Rice, 288 U.S. 445, 53 S.Ct. 420, 77 L.Ed. 885) have so definitely settled the questions involved in this case that it is unnecessary to consider earlier decisions of the lower federal courts which conflict with the decisions of the Supreme Court announced in these recent cases, upon some of which appellant relies. The tenor of these recent decisions will be indicated by the following quotations:

In Smith & Son v. Taylor, supra, the Supreme Court said: 'Deceased was engaged in maritime work under a maritime contract. if the cause of action arose upon the river, the...

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