Seaboard Air Line Ry. v. Kenney
240 U.S. 489 (1916)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

Seaboard Air Line Ry. v. Kenney, 240 U.S. 489 (1916)

Seaboard Air Line Railway v. Kenney

No. 269

Argued March 10, 1916

Decided April 3, 1916

240 U.S. 489

Syllabus

The Federal Employers' Liability Act, insofar as it deals with the subjects to which it relates, is paramount and exclusive, and recovery under it can be had only in the mode prescribed, and by and for the persons in whose favor it creates and bestows a right of action.

The Federal Employers' Liability Act contains no definition of who are to constitute the next of kin to whom it grants a right of recovery, and the absence of such definition indicates the purpose of Congress to leave the determination of that question to the state law.

Page 240 U. S. 490

There is no merit in the contention that Congress intended that the term "next of kin" was used in the Employers' Liability Act in its common law significance, and as excluding all persons not included in that term under the common law. The ruling of the state court in this case that the next of kin of an intestate who was illegitimate were his half brothers and sisters legitimately born of the same mother excludes by implication the possibility of an asserted father's being the parent and person entitled to recover under the Employers' Liability Act.

167 N.C. 14 affirmed.

The facts, which involve the construction and application of the Employers' Liability Acts of 1908 and 1910 and the determination of who are the next of kin entitled to maintain an action thereunder are stated in the opinion.

Page 240 U. S. 491

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