Wabash R. Co. v. Hayes - 234 U.S. 86 (1914)
U.S. Supreme Court
Wabash R. Co. v. Hayes, 234 U.S. 86 (1914)
Wabash R. Co. v. Hayes
Motion to dismiss submitted April 27, 1914
Decided May 25, 1914
234 U.S. 86
Plaintiff, an injured employee of an interstate common carrier by rail, sued for personal injury, alleging that he was employed in interstate commerce, and stating a good cause of action under the Federal Employers' Liability Act, if so employed, and, if not, under the state law; the defendant asked for an instruction that the proof did not show that the injury occurred in interstate commerce, which the court gave, and then, over defendant's objection, treated the allegation to that effect as eliminated from the declaration and submitted the case to the jury as one under the state law, and plaintiff
had a verdict. Held that defendant, having asked for the instruction that the case could not be maintained under the federal act, was bound thereby, and therefore was denied no right under the federal law by the action of the state court, and the writ of error must be dismissed.
Where the state court treats a mistaken allegation that the injury occurred in interstate commerce as eliminated, it merely gives effect to a rule of local practice, and does not deprive defendant of any federal right.
Quaere as to what the effect would be if the shift from a claim under the federal act to one under the state law cut the defendant off from presenting a defense open under the latter or deprived him of a right of removal.
Writ of error to review 180 Ill.App. 511, dismissed.
The facts, which involve the jurisdiction of this Court to review a judgment of the state court in an action by a railroad employee for personal injuries which did not occur in interstate commerce, are stated in the opinion.