Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Romero v International Terminal case brief

Romero v International Terminal case brief summary
Supreme Court 1959

An admiralty case is not a federal jurisdiction case. Admiralty jurisdiction does not derive from section 1331.
Getting into federal court in admiralty case is not a federal question.
If you get an admiralty case is not a federal question.

  • Spanish man signed on as a member of the crew of a Spanish steamship.
  • Compania was the Spanish line that operated it.
  • Romero was injured when struck by a cable on the deck.

  • Romero filed suit in the District Court of New York.
  • The complaint claimed damages from four separate corporate defendants from NY which acted as the husbanding agent for Compania’s vessels while in the port of NY.
  • Jurisdiction of the court was invoked under the Jones Act and section 1331 re a federal question jurisdiction.
  • In a pre-trial hearing the court dismissed the complaint for lack of jurisdiction because the Act didn’t provide a right of action for an alien seaman against a foreign ship owner.
  • The claims under the general maritime law were also dismissed because the parties were not of diverse citizenship.
  • The court of appeals affirmed.
  • Contacts with the US were insufficient, but it left complete diversity of citizenship among Spanish subject Romero and three US corporations and so the action was remanded.
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