Murray v. Joe Gerrick & Co.
291 U.S. 315 (1934)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

Murray v. Joe Gerrick & Co., 291 U.S. 315 (1934)

Murray v. Joe Gerrick & Co.

No. 308

Argued January 19, 1934

Decided February 5, 1934

291 U.S. 315

Syllabus

1. Where a tract within a state has been acquired by the United States for a Navy Yard, with the consent of the state legislature, and the legislature has ceded to the United States the state's jurisdiction over it saving only the right to serve process, a state law subsequently passed to regulate rights and remedies for death by negligence can have no operation over the tract save as it may be adopted by Congress. P. 291 U. S. 318.

2. The Act of February 1, 1928, provides that, in case of death of one person by neglect or wrongful act of another within a place subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States within the exterior boundaries of a state, "such right of action shall exist as though the place were under the jurisdiction of the state;" and that,

"in any action brought to recover on account of injuries sustained in any such place, the rights of the parties shall be governed by the laws of the state within the exterior boundaries of which it may be."

Held:

(1) That the Act does not adopt a state Workmen's Compensation Law by which claims are settled without recourse to actions and paid from a state insurance fund collected from employers; nor does it adopt, separately, a provision of such a law allowing actions to be brought against employers who fail to contribute to such fund. P. 291 U. S. 318.

(2) By force of the federal Act, a death statute of the State of Washington confining the right of action to the personal representative became applicable in the Puget Sound Navy Yard, superseding an early state statute, in force when that reservation was established, by which either heir or personal representative might sue. P. 291 U. S. 319.

172 Wash. 365, 20 P.2d 591, affirmed.

Certiorari, 290 U.S. 615, to review the affirmance of a judgment sustaining a demurrer to a declaration in an action for death by wrongful act.

Page 291 U. S. 316

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