Panama R. Co. v. Bosse
249 U.S. 41 (1919)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Panama R. Co. v. Bosse, 249 U.S. 41 (1919)

Panama Railroad Company v. Bosse

No. 203

Submitted January 31, 1919

Decided March 3, 1919

249 U.S. 41


An order of the President continuing in force for the government of the Canal Zone "the laws of the land, with which the inhabitants are familiar," etc., was construed by the government as including

Page 249 U. S. 42

the Civil Code of Panama, and was followed by an act of Congress ratifying the laws, orders, etc., promulgated by the President. Held that the order merely embodied the rule that a change of sovereignty does not end existing private law, and that the act neither fastened upon the Zone a specific civil law interpretation of the Code nor overthrew the principle of common law construction adopted and applied by the Supreme Court of the Zone before the act was passed. P. 249 U. S. 44.

The provisions of the Civil Code of the Canal Zone touching the relation of master and servant are not inconsistent with the common law rule holding the former liable for personal injuries caused by the negligence of the latter while in the course of his employment, and it is not erroneous for the Supreme Court of the Zone to apply the common law interpretation, at least in cases arising since the Zone was expropriated and became peopled only by the employees of the Canal, of the Panama Railroad, and of licensee steamship lines and oil companies. P. 249 U. S. 45.

Pain may be considered in fixing damages for personal injuries in the Canal one. P. 249 U. S. 47.

239 F. 303 affirmed.

The case is stated in the opinion.

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