Pacific Steamship Co. v. Peterson
278 U.S. 130 (1928)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Pacific Steamship Co. v. Peterson, 278 U.S. 130 (1928)

Pacific Steamship Co. v. Peterson

No. 49

Argued October 24, 1928

Decided November 26, 1928

278 U.S. 130

Syllabus

1. Under § 20 of the Seamen's Act, as amended by § 33 of the Merchant Marine Act, which provides that any seaman who shall suffer personal injury in the course of his employment may, "at his election," maintain an action for damages at law, etc., an action to recover compensatory damages for an injury due to the

Page 278 U. S. 131

negligence of another member of the crew may be maintained by the injured seaman against his employer although the seaman has demanded and received of the employer the maintenance, cure, and wages accorded in such cases by the old admiralty rules. Pp. 278 U. S. 134-138.

2. The right to maintenance, cure and wages under the old admiralty rules is a contractual right, cumulative to and not inconsistent with, or an alternative of, the new right to recover compensatory damages for injuries caused by negligence. P. 278 U. S. 136.

3. A general expression in an opinion concerning a particular aspect or effect of a statute as to which no question was raised in the case will not control judgment in a subsequent suit presenting the very point for decision, nor prevent the determination as an original question of the proper construction of the statute in that particular. P. 278 U. S. 136.

145 Wash. 460 affirmed.

Certiorari, 276 U.S. 612, to a judgment of the Supreme Court of Washington affirming a recovery of damages by a seaman from the owner of his ship, in an action for personal injuries occasioned by the negligence of the ship's mate.

Page 278 U. S. 132

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