Hopson v. Texaco, Inc.,
383 U.S. 262 (1966)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Hopson v. Texaco, Inc., 383 U.S. 262 (1966)

Hopson v. Texaco, Inc.

No. 18

Decided February 28, 1966

383 U.S. 262


Petitioners sued under the Jones Act for damages for injuries to one seaman and for death of another resulting from an automobile accident in Trinidad. The seamen, who were crew members of respondent's tanker docked at respondent's refinery, fell ill and were unable to continue the voyage. To comply with the statutory requirement that incapacitated seamen be brought before a U.S. Consul before discharge in a foreign port, the ship's Master procured a cab from one of the two local taxi companies usually used for trips outside the refiner area. The jury found the taxi driver negligent, and judgment on the jury's verdict was entered for petitioners in the District Court. The Court of Appeals reversed the determination that respondent is liable for the taxi driver's negligence.

Held: Under the standards of the Federal Employers' Liability Act, incorporated into the Jones Act, which render an employer liable for injuries to his employees inflicted through the negligence of his "officers, agents, or employees," respondent, who had a duty of getting the seamen to the Consulate and who selected, as it had done before, the taxi service, bears the responsibility for the negligence of the driver it chose. Sinkler v. Missouri Pac. R. Co., 356 U. S. 326.

Certiorari granted; 351 F. 2d 415 reversed.

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