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CHESAPEAKE & OHIO RY. CO. V. BRYANT, 280 U. S. 404 (1930)

U.S. Supreme Court

Chesapeake & Ohio Ry. Co. v. Bryant, 280 U.S. 404 (1930)

Chesapeake & Ohio Ry. Co. v. Bryant

No. 113

Argued January 16, 17, 1930

Decided February 24, 1930

280 U.S. 404



1. An action for wrongful death will not lie under the Federal Employers' Liability Act where the injury from which death resulted was inflicted two days after the employment of the decedent by the railway company had been terminated. P. 280 U. S. 405.

2. The writ of certiorari should not issue to review a case in a state court as one governed by the Federal Employers' Liability Act if judgment against the carrier was rested upon the state law, pursuant to a finding that the injured person's employment by

Page 280 U. S. 405

the carrier had ceased before the injury occurred, and if there was some evidence to support that finding. Id.

152 Va. 263 affirmed.

Certiorari, 279 U.S. 834, to review a judgment of the Supreme court of appeals of Virginia, affirming a recovery against the railway company in an action for death by wrongful act.

MR. JUSTICE HOLMES delivered the opinion of the Court.

This is an action seeking to charge the petitioner for the death of the respondent's intestate, who was shot and killed by the foreman of a gang in which the deceased, if not discharged, would have worked. At the evidence, on the petitioner demurred to the evidence on the ground, among others, that, at the time of the killing, the parties were engaged in interstate commerce. The demurrer was overruled and the respondent (plaintiff) got judgment, which was affirmed by an equally divided court. If the parties were governed by the Federal Employers' Liability Act, the respondent might have difficulties from the decisions of this Court. Davis v. Green, 260 U. S. 349; Atlantic Coast Line R. Co. v. Southwell, 275 U. S. 64. But the deceased was killed on Monday, and there was some evidence that he had been discharged on the Saturday before. If so, the Act of Congress did not govern, and the parties were left to the state law, with which we have no concern. The writ of certiorari would not have been granted but for the impression that there was no doubt that the deceased was employed by the petitioner in interstate commerce up to the moment immediately preceding his death.

Judgment affirmed.

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