Maiorano v. Baltimore & Ohio R. Co.,
Annotate this Case
213 U.S. 268 (1909)
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U.S. Supreme Court
Maiorano v. Baltimore & Ohio R. Co., 213 U.S. 268 (1909)
Maiorano v. Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company
Argued March 5, 8, 1909
Decided April 5, 1909
213 U.S. 268
The construction of a state statute by the highest court of the state must be accepted by this Court even though similar statutes of other states have been differently construed by the highest courts of those states.
A treaty between the United States and a foreign government within the constitutional limits of the treaty making power is, by the express words of the Constitution, the supreme law of the land, binding alike on national and state courts, and must be enforced by them in the litigation of private rights.
While undoubtedly the giving of actions for injury and death results in care and security against accidents to travelers, the protection and security thus afforded are too remote to be considered as elements in contemplation of the contracting powers to the Treaty of 1871 between Italy and the United States.
By a fair construction, Articles 2, 3 and 23 of the Treaty with Italy of 1871, 17 Stat. 845, do not confer upon the nonresident alien relatives of a citizen of Italy a right of action for damages for his death in one of the states of this Union although such an action is afforded by a statute of that state to native resident relatives, and although the existence of such an action might indirectly promote his safety, and so held as to the statute of Pennsylvania, it having been so construed by the highest court of that state.
216 Pa.St. 402 affirmed.
The facts are stated in the opinion.