Chesapeake & Ohio Ry. Co. v. Kelly - 241 U.S. 485 (1916)
U.S. Supreme Court
Chesapeake & Ohio Ry. Co. v. Kelly, 241 U.S. 485 (1916)
Chesapeake & Ohio Railway Company v. Kelly
Argued April 19, 20, 1916
Decided June 5, 1916
241 U.S. 485
Minneapolis & St. Louis R. Co. v. Bombolis, ante, p. 241 U. S. 211, followed to the effect that the Seventh Amendment does not apply to actions under the Employers' Liability Act brought in the state courts.
While the Employers' Liability Act does not require the damages to be apportioned among the beneficiaries, quaere, and not now decided, whether such an apportionment is prohibited by the Act.
Damages under the Employers' Liability Act should be equivalent to compensation for the deprivation of the reasonable expectation of pecuniary benefits that would have resulted from the continued life of the deceased employee.
A given sum of money in hand is worth more than the like sum payable in the future, and where a verdict is based upon the deprivation of future benefits, the ascertained amount of these should ordinarily be discounted so as to make the verdict equivalent to their present value.
In an action brought in a state court under the Employers' Liability Act, questions of procedure and evidence are to be determined according to the law of the forum; but the question of the proper measure of damages is inseparably connected with the right of action, and must be settled according to general principles of law as administered in the federal courts.
160 Ky. 296, 161 Ky. 655, reversed.
The facts, which involve the application of the Seventh Amendment to cases in the state court under the Employers' Liability Act, the construction and application of that Act, and the validity of a judgment in an action thereunder, are stated in the opinion.