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Johnson v. Fleet Corporation, 280 U.S. 320 (1930)

Johnson v. U.S. Shipping Board Emergency Fleet Corporation*

Nos. 5, 32, 56, and 123

Argued November 26, 27, 1929

Decided January 6, 1930

280 U.S. 320


1. The Suits in Admiralty Act provides the exclusive remedy against the United States or the Fleet Corporation for maritime causes of action arising out of the possession and operation of merchant vessels, and precludes suits against the United States under the Tucker Act and actions at law in state or federal courts against the Fleet Corporation or other agents for the enforcement of such causes of action. P. 280 U. S. 325.

2. The following-described proceedings were therefore without jurisdiction:

(1) An action at law begun in a state court by an individual against the Fleet Corporation to recover for injuries received by the plaintiff when, in returning to the shore from a vessel on which he was seeking employment as a seaman and which was owned by the United States and operated for it by the defendant, he fell from the gangplank and was injured. P. 280 U. S. 322.

Page 280 U. S. 321

(2) An action in the district court against the Fleet Corporation and an operating agent, by a seaman, to recover damages for injuries sustained by him while serving on a merchant vessel owned by the United States, the complaint alleging (a) negligent failure to provide a safe place in which to work and (b) wrongful refusal after the injury to provide medical treatment and rest. Id.

(3) A suit in the district court against the United States, under the Tucker Act, for breach of contracts evidenced by bills of lading issued by the master of a vessel owned by the United States and operated through the Shipping Board and an agent, the breach consisting in failure to deliver goods, which were lost or damaged on the voyage. P. 280 U. S. 323.

(4) Actions against the Fleet Corporation, begun in a state court, one by underwriters, the other by cargo owners, to recover for loss and damage of cargo caused by negligence of the defendant, the cargo having been shipped on a merchant vessel owned by the United States and operated by the defendant. P. 280 U. S. 324.

24 F.2d 963; 28 id. 1014; 30 id. 254, reversed.

30 F.2d 946, affirmed.

These cases are separately and succinctly stated in the opinion.

Page 280 U. S. 322

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