Annotate this Case
130 U.S. 201 (1889)
U.S. Supreme Court
The Alaska, 130 U.S. 201 (1889)
Submitted March 11, 1889
Decided April 1, 1889
130 U.S. 201
APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE UNITED
STATES FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
In a suit in admiralty in rem in a district court against a British steamship, brought by the widows of five persons to recover $5,000 each for the loss of their lives on board of a pilot boat by a collision which occurred on the high seas between the two vessels through the negligence of the steamship, a stipulation for value was given by the claimant of the steamship in the sum of $25,000 to obtain her release. The district court dismissed the libel. It was amended by claiming $10,000 for the loss of each life, and then the libelants appealed to the circuit court, which made the same decree. The libelants having appealed to this Court, the appellee made a motion, under subdivision 5 of Rule 6, to dismiss the appeal for want of jurisdiction, and united with it a motion to affirm. Held that the amount involved, if not the entire sum of $25,000, was at least, the sum of $10,000 in each case, and that the motion to dismiss must be denied
But as there was sufficient color for the motion to dismiss to warrant this Court in entertaining the motion to affirm, the decree was affirmed on the ground that the appeal was taken for delay only, in view of the decision in The Harrisburg, 119 U. S. 199, that in the absence of an act of Congress or of a statute of a state giving a right of action therefor, a suit in admiralty cannot be maintained in the courts of the United States to recover damages for the death of a human being on the high seas or on waters navigable from the sea, which was caused by negligence.
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