Northern Pacific Ry. Co. v. Meese,
239 U.S. 614 (1916)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Northern Pacific Ry. Co. v. Meese, 239 U.S. 614 (1916)

Northern Pacific Ry. Co. v. Meese

No. 133

Argued December 10, 1915

Decided January 17, 1916

239 U.S. 614


Federal courts must accept the construction of a state statute deliberately adopted by the highest court of that state.

The highest court of the state having held, in construing the Washington Workmen's Compensation Act of 1911, that the compensation thereby provided in the cases covered, by its terms, was intended to be exclusive of every other remedy and that all causes of action theretofore existing and not saved by its provisos were done away with, the federal court should accept that construction.

In view of that construction, held that, although the act did not specifically repeal § 183 and 194, Rem. & Ball.Code, the personal representatives of an employee, killed, while in the course, and at the place, of his employment, by the negligence of one not his employer, cannot maintain a suit at law therefor against the latter.

On the record in this case, it does not appear that the Workmen's

Page 239 U. S. 615

Compensation Act of Washington is unconstitutional as a denial of the equal protection of the law.

211 F. 254 reversed. .

The facts, which involve the construction of the Workmen's Compensation Act of Washington and the duty of the federal court to follow the construction of that statute in cases arising thereunder, are stated in the opinion.

Page 239 U. S. 617

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