Messel v. Foundation Co.,
274 U.S. 427 (1927)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Messel v. Foundation Co., 274 U.S. 427 (1927)

Messel v. Foundation Company

No. 202

Argued March 9, 1927

Decided May 31, 1927

274 U.S. 427


1. Art. 2315, Rev.Code of Louisiana, providing: "Every act whatever of man that causes damage to another obliges him by whose fault it happened to repair it," applies to personal injuries suffered by a workman while engaged in repairing a vessel afloat on waters of the United States and due to the negligence of his employer. P. 274 U. S. 432.

2. Such cause of action, under Art. 2315, is not barred by the Louisiana Workmen's Compensation Act, which provides special means and measures for adjusting claims for personal injuries in certain occupations, including repair of vessels, and declares its remedies exclusive, but does not, by its terms, include maritime injuries or torts under federal law. P. 274 U. S. 432.

3. Art. 2315, Louisiana Rev.Code, supra, furnishes the equivalent of a "common law remedy," saved to suitors in the state court by § 9 Judiciary Act of 1789, § 256 Jud.Code. P. 274 U. S. 433.

Page 274 U. S. 428

4. The right of action under this section, in the state court, in a case of maritime tort, is governed by the federal admiralty law, including the applicable section of the Federal Employers' Liability Act incorporated in that law by the Merchant Marine Act, of June 5, 1920, § 33, c. 250, 41 Stat. 1007. P. 274 U. S. 434.

5. In an action under Art. 2315, supra, for personal injuries in performance of a marine contract, an amendment to the complaint claiming in the alternative under the workmen's compensation act is surplusage, and does not subject the plaintiff to the prescription of one year provided by the latter statute. P. 274 U. S. 433.

6. A denial by a state court of it jurisdiction is renewable here when based on an erroneous view of the federal law. P. 274 U. S. 432.


Certiorari (26 U.S. 544) to a judgment of the Supreme Court of Louisiana which refused to review a judgment of the state court of appeals affirming the dismissal of an action for damages resulting from personal injuries. The action of the state supreme court was based on the ground that the judgment of the intermediate court was correct.

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