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Bainbridge v. Merchants & Miners Transp. Co., 287 U.S. 278 (1932)

Bainbridge v. Merchants & Miners Transp. Co.

No. 90

Argued November 17, 1932

Decided December 5, 1932

287 U.S. 278


1. The provision in § 33 of the Merchant Marine Act that jurisdiction (meaning venue) of actions by seamen for personal injuries suffered in the course of their employment "shall be under the court of the district in which the defendant employer resides or in which his principal office is located" refers only to federal courts. P. 287 U. S. 280.

2. Where such action is in a state court, venue is determined by the state law. Id.

3. U.S.C. Title 28, § 837, (c. 113, 40 Stat. 683) provides that courts of the United States, "including appellate courts," shall be open to seamen without payment of or security for fees or

Page 287 U. S. 279

costs in suits in their own name and behalf for wages or salvage and "to enforce laws made for their health and safety." Held that it applies to appellate proceedings in this Court, in a suit by a seaman for personal injuries, under § 33 of the Merchant Marine Act, which section is an amendment of the Seamen's Act. P. 287 U. S. 281.

4. Statutes passed for the benefit of seamen should be liberally construed in the light of the policy of Congress to deal with seamen as a favored class. P. 287 U. S. 282.

306 Pa. 204 reversed.

Certiorari to review the affirmance of a judgment dismissing the action for want of jurisdiction.

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