Slater v. Mexican National R. Co. - 194 U.S. 120 (1904)
U.S. Supreme Court
Slater v. Mexican National R. Co., 194 U.S. 120 (1904)
Slater v. Mexican National Railroad Company
Argued February 29, 1904
Decided April 11, 1904
194 U.S. 120
A common law action cannot be maintained in a circuit court of the United States against a foreign railroad corporation for the wrongful killing in a foreign country of one upon whom the plaintiffs were dependent where the right of recovery given by the foreign country is so dissimilar to that given by the law of the state in which the action is brought as to be incapable of enforcement in such state.
Damages in the nature of alimony and pensions during necessity or until marriage given by the Mexican law to the wife and children of one wrongfully killed in Mexico by a railroad company cannot be commuted into a lump sum by a jury in a common law action brought in a circuit court of the United States.
Where foreign statutes are the basis of a claim for damages in an action in the Circuit Court of the United States, parol evidence of a properly qualified expert is admissible as to the construction of such statutes upon any matter open to reasonable doubt, notwithstanding certified copies of such statutes and agreed translations thereof are already in evidence.
The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.