Valley Steamship Co. v. Wattawa,
244 U.S. 202 (1917)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Valley Steamship Co. v. Wattawa, 244 U.S. 202 (1917)

Valley Steamship Company v. Wattawa

No. 469, 470

Argued January 10, 11, 1917

Decided May 21, 1917

244 U.S. 202


It being settled that, in the absence of congressional legislation, the commerce clause does not forbid a state to legislate concerning the relative rights and duties of employers and employees within her borders although engaged in interstate commerce, a contention to the contrary

Page 244 U. S. 203

will not afford jurisdiction to this Court to review a state judgment.

So held where an Ohio elective Workmen's Compensation Law, in withdrawing the defenses of contributory negligence, negligence of fellow servant, and assumption of risk from employers not accepting provisions of the act, was claimed to contravene the commerce clause, as applied to a company engaged in interstate transportation by steamship.

The objection that the Ohio Compensation Act, as applied to a steamship company engaged in interstate commerce, would be an unconstitutional invasion of the federal maritime jurisdiction cannot be considered in this case, since the jurisdiction of the court below is confined to review of the trial court's judgment for errors appearing on he record, and this objection was neither made in the trial court, nor, clearly, in the petition in error before the court below, nor definitely mentioned in the latter court's opinion. Mutual Life Insurance Co. v. McCrew, 188 U. S. 291.


The cases are stated in the opinion.

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