Cuba R. Co. v. Crosby
222 U.S. 473 (1912)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Cuba R. Co. v. Crosby, 222 U.S. 473 (1912)

Cuba Railroad Company v. Crosby

No. 124

Argued December 18, 1911

Decided January 9, 1912

222 U.S. 473

Syllabus

In dealing with rudimentary contracts, or tort made or committed abroad, courts may assume a liability to exist if nothing to the contrary appears, but they cannot assume that the rights and liabilities are fixed and measured in the same manner in foreign countries a they are in this.

With rare exceptions, the liabilities of parties to each other are fixed by the law of the territorial jurisdiction within which the wrong is done and the parties are at the time of doing it.

The extension of hospitality of our court to foreign suitor must not be made a cover for injustice to defendant of whom they may be able to lay hold.

There is no general presumption that the law of Cuba as inherited from Spain and as since modified is the same as the common law.

While as between two common law countries the common law may be presumed to be the same in one as in the other, a statute of one would not be presumed to be the statute of the other.

A trial court of the United States cannot presume that the same obligation rest upon an employer in Cuba as in this country to repair defect in machinery called to his attention, or in case of failure to repair to be deprived of the fellow-servant defense. Such a rule of law, if existent in a foreign jurisdiction, must be proved.

170 F. 369 reversed.

The facts are stated in the opinion.

Page 222 U. S. 477

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