American Railroad Co. of Porto Rico v. Didricksen,
227 U.S. 145 (1913)

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U.S. Supreme Court

American Railroad Co. of Porto Rico v. Didricksen, 227 U.S. 145 (1913)

American Railroad Company of Porto Rico v. Didricksen

No. 72

Submitted December 6, 1912

Decided January 27, 1913

227 U.S. 145


Where the plaintiffs in an action under the Employers' Liability Act are the sole beneficiaries under the statute, a general verdict in their favor, without instructions on this point, overcomes the objection of lack of capacity to sue.

Page 227 U. S. 146

The Employers' Liability Act extends to Porto Rico, as held in American Railroad Co. v. Birch, 224 U. S. 547, and now held that the Safety Appliance Act also extends to Porto Rico.

While Porto Rico has not for all purposes been fully incorporated into the United States, it is not foreign territory, nor are its citizens aliens. Williams v. Gonzales, 192 U. S. 1. Its organization is in most essentials that of a territory. Kopel v. Bingham, 211 U. S. 468.

In view of the provisions of § 3 thereof, effect cannot be given to the Employers' Liability Act of 1908 in Porto Rico unless the Safety Appliance Act referred to in § 3 are in force there also.

Under the Employers' Liability Act of 1908, pecuniary damages only are recoverable, and these do not include loss of society or companionship of a son to a parent. Michigan Central Railroad v. Vreeland, ante, p. 227 U. S. 59.

5 P.R. 401, 427 reversed.

The facts, which involve the construction of the Employers' Liability Act of 1908 before its amendment by the Act of 1910, and the application of the act to Porto Rico, are stated in the opinion.

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