American Railroad Company of Porto Rico v. Federico Didricksen, No. 72

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtLurton
Citation33 S.Ct. 224,227 U.S. 145,57 L.Ed. 456
Decision Date27 January 1913
Docket NumberNo. 72
PartiesAMERICAN RAILROAD COMPANY OF PORTO RICO, Plff. in Err., v. FEDERICO DIDRICKSEN et ux

227 U.S. 145
33 S.Ct. 224
57 L.Ed. 456
AMERICAN RAILROAD COMPANY OF PORTO RICO, Plff. in Err.,

v.

FEDERICO DIDRICKSEN et ux.

No. 72.
Submitted December 2, 1912.
Decided January 27, 1913.

Page 146

Messrs. N. B. K. Pettingill and F. L. Cornwell for plaintiff in error.

No brief was filed for defendants in error.

Mr. Justice Lurton delivered the opinion of the court:

This is an action under the employers' liability act of April 22, 1908 (35 Stat. at L. 65, chap. 149), before its amendment by the act of April 5, 1910 [36 Stat. at L. 291, chap. 143, U. S. Comp. Stat. Supp. 1911, p. 1324]. The plaintiffs were the surviving parents of Pedro Didricksen, an employee of the American Railroad of Porto Rico, who died from an injury sustained while in its service.

1. Many errors have been assigned. One as signed, but not noticed in the brief of plaintiff in error, goes to the capacity of the plaintiffs to maintain the action.

Page 147

That the deceased left neither wife nor children is not denied. That the plaintiffs were, therefore, as his surviving parents, the sole beneficiaries under the statute, is also conceded.

One of the defenses made by the answer was that the plaintiffs had not been appointed administrators, as required by law, and had therefore no right to maintain this suit under the liability act of 1908. This was met after the jury had been summoned, by a motion, as shown by the plaintiffs' bill of exceptions, 'to amend the complaint by making the following interlineation: 'That plaintiffs are the duly appointed personal representatives of the deceased, appointed by the district court of the Island of Porto Rico,' which leave is granted by the court.' To this amendment the defendant excepted. A journal entry of the same date shows that, in support of the motion, the plaintiffs produced a certain certificate from the district court of Porto Rico, and that the complaint was amended by interlining the words, after the word 'support,'—'they were further the only personal representatives of the deceased.'

This certificate is not in the transcript, and we have no way of knowing its sufficiency as an appointment. The case went to the jury upon the issue of the capacity of the plaintiffs to sue, as well as upon the other issues. The court neither gave nor refused any instruction upon this point, and there was a general verdict for the plaintiffs.

2. The evidence upon the merits of the case, though obscure and meager as to the circumstances of the accident, was such as to justify its submission to the jury.

3. The complaint averred that the cars composing the train in charge of the deceased as conductor were not equipped as required by the safety appliance act of March 2, 1903 (32 Stat. at L. 943, chap. 976, U. S. Comp. Stat. Supp. 1911, p. 1314). There was some evidence tending to show that one or more of the couplers were not in repair, and some evidence tending

Page 148

to show that this had a causal connection with the accident. The court instructed the jury that the safety appliance act applied to Porto Rico. Was this error?

The acts of March 2, 1893 (27 Stat. at L. 531, chap. 196, U. S. Comp. (Stat. 1901, p. 3174), and April 1, 1896 (29 Stat. at L. 85, chap. 87, U. S. Comp. Stat. 1901, p. 3175), related only to railroad...

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158 practice notes
  • Favre v. Louisville & N. R. Co, 32973
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • January 24, 1938
    ...page 228; Sterrett v. Second Nat. Bank, 246 F. 753; LaCasse v. N. O. , T. & M. R. Co., 64 So. 1012; Am. R. R. of Porto Rico v. Didricksen, 227 U.S. 145. It seems, therefore, that it is always open to the defendant at anytime before final judgment is rendered to show that the title to the ca......
  • Jelke v. United States, 2168
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • March 2, 1918
    ...159 U.S. 510, 16 Sup.Ct. 62, 40 L.Ed. 237; Clune v. United States, 159 U.S. 592, 16 Sup.Ct. 125, 40 L.Ed. 269; Heike v. United States, 227 U.S. 145, 33 Sup.Ct. 226, 57 L.Ed. 450, Ann. Cas. 1914C, 128. Illinois Statute.-- The court, against objection, admitted the Illinois statute prohibitin......
  • Ivy v. Security Barge Lines, Inc., No. 76-4130
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • December 4, 1978
    ...Michigan Central R.R. v. Vreeland, 1913, 227 U.S. 59, 33 S.Ct. 192, 57 L.Ed. 417; American Railroad Co. of Porto Rico v. Didricksen, 1913, 227 U.S. 145, 33 S.Ct. 224, 57 L.Ed. 456. Because of the incorporation of FELA into the Jones Act, courts have uniformly interpreted Jones Act damage re......
  • Dutra Grp. v. Batterton, No. 18-266
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 24, 2019
    ...[under FELA] are limited 139 S.Ct. 2285 ... strictly to the financial loss ... sustained."7 American R. Co. of P. R. v. Didricksen , 227 U.S. 145, 149, 33 S.Ct. 224, 57 L.Ed. 456 (1913) ; see also Gulf , C. & S. F. R. Co. v. McGinnis , 228 U.S. 173, 175, 33 S.Ct. 426, 57 L.Ed. 785 (1913) (F......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
153 cases
  • Favre v. Louisville & N. R. Co, 32973
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • January 24, 1938
    ...page 228; Sterrett v. Second Nat. Bank, 246 F. 753; LaCasse v. N. O. , T. & M. R. Co., 64 So. 1012; Am. R. R. of Porto Rico v. Didricksen, 227 U.S. 145. It seems, therefore, that it is always open to the defendant at anytime before final judgment is rendered to show that the title to the ca......
  • Jelke v. United States, 2168
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • March 2, 1918
    ...159 U.S. 510, 16 Sup.Ct. 62, 40 L.Ed. 237; Clune v. United States, 159 U.S. 592, 16 Sup.Ct. 125, 40 L.Ed. 269; Heike v. United States, 227 U.S. 145, 33 Sup.Ct. 226, 57 L.Ed. 450, Ann. Cas. 1914C, 128. Illinois Statute.-- The court, against objection, admitted the Illinois statute prohibitin......
  • Ivy v. Security Barge Lines, Inc., No. 76-4130
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • December 4, 1978
    ...Michigan Central R.R. v. Vreeland, 1913, 227 U.S. 59, 33 S.Ct. 192, 57 L.Ed. 417; American Railroad Co. of Porto Rico v. Didricksen, 1913, 227 U.S. 145, 33 S.Ct. 224, 57 L.Ed. 456. Because of the incorporation of FELA into the Jones Act, courts have uniformly interpreted Jones Act damage re......
  • Dutra Grp. v. Batterton, No. 18-266
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 24, 2019
    ...[under FELA] are limited 139 S.Ct. 2285 ... strictly to the financial loss ... sustained."7 American R. Co. of P. R. v. Didricksen , 227 U.S. 145, 149, 33 S.Ct. 224, 57 L.Ed. 456 (1913) ; see also Gulf , C. & S. F. R. Co. v. McGinnis , 228 U.S. 173, 175, 33 S.Ct. 426, 57 L.Ed. 785 (1913) (F......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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