Avondale Marine Ways, Inc. v. Henderson,
346 U.S. 366 (1953)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

Avondale Marine Ways, Inc. v. Henderson, 346 U.S. 366 (1953)

Avondale Marine Ways, Inc. v. Henderson

No. 44

Argued October 20, 1953

Decided November 9, 1953

346 U.S. 366




The judgment in this case is affirmed on the authority of the cases cited.

201 F.2d 437, affirmed.


The judgment is affirmed. Davis v. Department of Labor, 317 U. S. 249; Kaiser Co. v. Baskin, 340 U.S. 886; Baskin v. Industrial Accident Commission, 338 U.S. 854; Bethlehem Steel Co. v. Moore, 335 U.S. 874.

MR. JUSTICE DOUGLAS, concurring.

I do not think this case belongs in the "twilight zone" of Davis v. Department of Labor, 317 U. S. 249, 317 U. S. 256. Recovery was allowed under the Longshoremen's and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act for a death which occurred on a barge drawn up for repairs on a marine railway. Norton v. Vesta Coal Co., 63 F.2d 165 was such

Page 346 U. S. 367

a case, and Judge Woolley dissented from a holding that a marine railway was not included in the statutory language "any drydock."

As Judge Woolley explained, there are three kinds of drydocks. (1) A floating drydock, as its name makes clear, floats on the water, the vessel resting on the bottom of the drydock after the water has been removed. (2) A graven drydock is dug into the land. The vessel floats in, but rests on land once the water has been pumped out. (3) Finally, there is the marine railway, on which the vessel is drawn out of the water instead of the water's being drawn away from the vessel. A ship is no more and no less on land when it rests in a graven drydock than when it rests on a marine railway. The three types of drydocks are not different in kind; functionally, they are the same. And I see no basis for concluding that Contress treated one differently from the others for the purposes of this Act.

MR. JUSTICE BURTON concurs in the affirmance of the judgment of the Court of Appeals, but does so on the ground relied upon by that court and by the District Court. This was that the Deputy Commissioner, in making the award, acted within the terms of the Longshoremen's and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, 44 Stat. 1426, 33 U.S.C. § 903(a), in that the decedent, at the time of receiving his fatal injury, was engaged in cleaning a tank of a barge located on the ways of a marine railway, by means of which the barge had been hauled out of the Mississippi River for repairs. They held that his death resulted "from an injury occurring upon the navigable waters of the United States (including any dry dock)" as those terms are used in such Act. Avondale Marine Ways v. Henderson, 201 F.2d 437, following Maryland Casualty Co. v.Lawson, 101 F.2d 732, and Continental Casualty Co. v.Lawson, 64 F.2d 802.

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