Minnesota Iron Co. v. Kline - 199 U.S. 593 (1905)
U.S. Supreme Court
Minnesota Iron Co. v. Kline, 199 U.S. 593 (1905)
Minnesota Iron Company v. Kline
Argued December 5, 1905
Decided December 18, 1905
199 U.S. 593
If a state statute, as interpreted by the highest court of the state, is not violative of the federal Constitution, this Court will accept the construction of the state court.
The statute of Minnesota, G.S., 1894, § 2701, providing that the liability of railroad companies for damages to employees shall not be diminished by reason of the accident occurring through the negligence of fellow servants, and excepting from its provisions damages sustained by employees engaged in construction of new and unopened railroads, does not, as interpreted by the highest court of that state, discriminate against any class of railroads or deny to such class the equal protection of the laws; the exception merely marks the time when the statute takes effect.
There is no objection under the Fourteenth Amendment to legislation confined to a peculiar and well defined class of perils, and it is not necessary that they are shared by the public if they concern the body of citizens engaged in a particular work.
Freedom of contract may be limited by a state statute where there are visible reasons of public policy for the limitation.
The facts are stated in the opinion.