South Buffalo Ry. Co. v. Ahern
344 U.S. 367 (1953)

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U.S. Supreme Court

South Buffalo Ry. Co. v. Ahern, 344 U.S. 367 (1953)

South Buffalo Railway Co. v. Ahern

No. 179

Argued December 17, 1952

Decided January 19, 1953

344 U.S. 367

Syllabus

An employee of appellant railroad was injured while employed in interstate commerce. He applied for compensation under the New York Workmen's Compensation Law, § 113 of which permits the State Board to assume jurisdiction in cases arising out of interstate commerce only when the claimant, the employer, and the insurance carrier waive their federal rights and remedies. Appellant did not object to the jurisdiction of the State Board, and made payments of disability compensation for over four years under successive awards by that Board. After the employee's remedies under the Federal Employers' Liability Act had lapsed and the employee had died, appellant objected to a final award of disability compensation by the State Board on the ground that the state law was in conflict with the Federal Employers' Liability Act.

Held:

1. Since the state court construed the state law as merely permissive, its grant of jurisdiction does not conflict with the federal act. Pp. 344 U. S. 370-372.

2. In the circumstances of this case, appellant was estopped to deny liability under the state law. Pp. 344 U. S. 372-373.

303 N.Y. 545, 104 N.E.2d 898, affirmed.

The Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court sustained an award of disability compensation to appellant's employee under the New York Workmen's Compensation Law. 277 App.Div. 1067, 100 N.Y.S.2d 639. The New York Court of Appeals affirmed. 303 ,N.Y. 545, 104 N.E.2d 898. On appeal to this Court, affirmed, p. 344 U. S. 373.

Page 344 U. S. 368

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