Swanson v. Marra Bros, No. 405

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtSTONE
Citation90 L.Ed. 1045,66 S.Ct. 869,328 U.S. 1
PartiesSWANSON v. MARRA BROS., Inc
Docket NumberNo. 405
Decision Date22 April 1946

328 U.S. 1
66 S.Ct. 869
90 L.Ed. 1045
SWANSON

v.

MARRA BROS., Inc.

No. 405 .
Argued Feb. 1, 1946.
Decided April 22, 1946.

Page 2

Mr. Abraham E. Freedman, of Philadelphia, Pa., for petitioner.

Mr. Joseph W. Henderson, of Philadelphia, Pa., for respondent.

Mr. Chief Justice STONE delivered the opinion of the Court.

Petitioner, a longshoreman in the employ of respondent stevedoring company, while on a pier and engaged in loading cargo on a vessel lying alongside in the harbor of Philadelphia, was struck by a life raft which fell from the vessel and injured him. The question for decision, which was reserved in O'Donnell v. Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co., 318 U.S. 36, 43, 44, 63 S.Ct. 488, 492, 87 L.Ed. 596, is whether petitioner may maintain a suit against his employer to recover for the injury, under the Jones Act, 41 Stat. 1007, 46 U.S.C. § 688, 46 U.S.C.A. § 688.

Petitioner, after having sought and received compensation for his injury under the state employers liability

Page 3

act of Pennsylvania, brought the present suit in the District Court for Eastern Pennsylvania 'pursuant to the Maritime Law as modified by Section 33 of the Merchant Marine Act of 1920' (the Jones Act). He alleged as the cause of the injury respondent's breach of duty in failing to provide a safe and seaworthy vessel and appliances and a safe place for petitioner to work, and in failing to make the life raft secure and to make adequate inspection of it. The district court dismissed the complaint, holding that there could be no recovery under the Jones Act by one not a seaman for an injury suffered by him while on shore. D.C., 57 F.Supp. 456. The Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed. We granted certiorari, 326 U.S. 710, 66 S.Ct. 139, because of the novelty and importance of the question presented.

The Jones Act provides in pertinent part: 'Any seaman who shall suffer personal injury in the course of his employment may, at his election, maintain an action for damages at law, with the right of trial by jury, and in such action all statutes of the United States modifying or extending the common-law right or remedy in cases of personal injury to railway employees shall apply * * *.' The Act thus made applicable to seamen, injured in the course of their employment, the provisions of the Federal Employers' Liability Act, 45 U.S.C. § 51 et seq., 45 U.S.C.A. § 51 et seq., which give to railroad employees a right of recovery for injuries resulting from the negligence of their employer, its agents or employees. Panama R. Co. v. Johnson, 264 U.S. 375, 44 S.Ct. 391, 68 L.Ed. 748; The Arizona v. Anelich, 298 U.S. 110, 118, 56 S.Ct. 707, 709, 80 L.Ed. 1075.

We have held that a stevedore who was injured while storing cargo, and while on but not employed by a vessel lying in navigable waters, was authorized by the Jones Act to bring suit against his employer to recover for injury caused by the employer's negligence. International Stevedoring Co. v. Haverty, 272 U.S. 50, 47 S.Ct. 19, 71 L.Ed. 157; Uravic v. F. Jarka &

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Co., 282 U.S. 234, 51 S.Ct. 111, 75 L.Ed. 312. It was thought that both the language and the policy of the Act indicated that by taking over principles of recovery already established for the employees of interstate railroads and in making them applicable in the admiralty setting, Congress intended to extend them to stevedores, the employees of an independent contractor, while working on a vessel in navigable waters and while rendering services customarily performed by seamen. International Stevedore Co. v. Haverty, supra, 272 U.S. 52, 47 S.Ct. 19, 71 L.Ed. 157; see O'Donnell v. Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co., supra, 318 U.S. 38, 39, 63 S.Ct. 489, 490, 87 L.Ed. 596.

Petitioner, in urging that the doctrine of the Haverty case be extended so as to allow him to recover for his injuries sustained on shore, places his reliance on O'Donnell v. Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co., supra. We there held the ship owner liable, under the Jones Act, for injuries caused to a seaman by a fellow servant while the former was on shore engaged in repairing a conduit which was a part of the vessel and used for discharging its cargo. But in that case we sustained the recovery because the injured person was a seaman and an employee of the vessel, engaged in the course of his employment as such. An incident to his employment by the vessel as a seaman was his right to maintenance and cure for injuries received in the course...

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183 practice notes
  • Barger v. Petroleum Helicopters, Inc., Civ. A. No. B-77-180-CA.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. United States District Court of Eastern District Texas
    • 21 Mayo 1981
    ...the Plaintiffs to recover under the Jones Act, 46 U.S.C. § 688,10 they must show that Barger was a seaman. Swanson v. Marra Brothers, Inc., 328 U.S. 1, 5, 66 S.Ct. 869, 871, 90 L.Ed. 1045 (1946); Wixom v. Boland Marine & Manufacturing Co., Inc., 614 F.2d 956, 957 (5th Cir. 1980); Guidry v. ......
  • Lucas v. " BRINKNES" SCHIFFAHRTS GES., Civ. A. No. 73-1120
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • 5 Agosto 1974
    ...making the longshoreman's remedy under the Act the exclusive method of relief against the employer.5 See Swanson v. Marra Brothers, Inc., 328 U.S. 1, 66 S.Ct. 869, 90 L.Ed. 1045 (1946) (holding that the Harbor Workers' Act provided the exclusive remedy by the longshoreman against his employ......
  • Dize v. Ass'n of Md. Pilots, No. 56
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • 21 Noviembre 2013
    ...the Jones Act and that the LHWCA “confine[d] the benefits of the Jones Act to the members of the crew of a vessel.” Swanson v. Marra Bros., 328 U.S. 1, 7, 66 S.Ct. 869, 90 L.Ed. 1045 (1946). As construed in Swanson, the LHWCA thus had the effect of narrowing Haverty's broad construction of ......
  • Voight v. R.L. Eldridge Const. Inc., No. 1:04-CV-532.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. United States District Court of Eastern District Texas
    • 8 Febrero 2006
    ...Inc., the Supreme Court declared that "master or member of a crew" is equivalent to the term "seaman" under the Jones Act. Swanson, 328 U.S. 1, 7, 66 S.Ct. 869, 90 L.Ed. 1045 (1946). Consequently, the Jones Act and the LHWCA are "mutually exclusive compensation regimes." Chandris, Inc. v. L......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
183 cases
  • Barger v. Petroleum Helicopters, Inc., Civ. A. No. B-77-180-CA.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. United States District Court of Eastern District Texas
    • 21 Mayo 1981
    ...the Plaintiffs to recover under the Jones Act, 46 U.S.C. § 688,10 they must show that Barger was a seaman. Swanson v. Marra Brothers, Inc., 328 U.S. 1, 5, 66 S.Ct. 869, 871, 90 L.Ed. 1045 (1946); Wixom v. Boland Marine & Manufacturing Co., Inc., 614 F.2d 956, 957 (5th Cir. 1980); Guidry v. ......
  • Lucas v. " BRINKNES" SCHIFFAHRTS GES., Civ. A. No. 73-1120
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • 5 Agosto 1974
    ...making the longshoreman's remedy under the Act the exclusive method of relief against the employer.5 See Swanson v. Marra Brothers, Inc., 328 U.S. 1, 66 S.Ct. 869, 90 L.Ed. 1045 (1946) (holding that the Harbor Workers' Act provided the exclusive remedy by the longshoreman against his employ......
  • Dize v. Ass'n of Md. Pilots, No. 56
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • 21 Noviembre 2013
    ...the Jones Act and that the LHWCA “confine[d] the benefits of the Jones Act to the members of the crew of a vessel.” Swanson v. Marra Bros., 328 U.S. 1, 7, 66 S.Ct. 869, 90 L.Ed. 1045 (1946). As construed in Swanson, the LHWCA thus had the effect of narrowing Haverty's broad construction of ......
  • Voight v. R.L. Eldridge Const. Inc., No. 1:04-CV-532.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. United States District Court of Eastern District Texas
    • 8 Febrero 2006
    ...Inc., the Supreme Court declared that "master or member of a crew" is equivalent to the term "seaman" under the Jones Act. Swanson, 328 U.S. 1, 7, 66 S.Ct. 869, 90 L.Ed. 1045 (1946). Consequently, the Jones Act and the LHWCA are "mutually exclusive compensation regimes." Chandris, Inc. v. L......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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