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COON v. KENNEDY , 248 U.S. 457 (1919)

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United States Supreme Court


No. 398

Argued: December 11, 1918Decided: January 13, 1919

Mr. James D. Carpenter, Jr., of Jersey City, N. J., for plaintiff in error.

Mr. Isidor Kalisch, of Newark, N. J., for defendant in error.

Memorandum opinion by Mr. Justice McREYNOLDS.

This writ of error runs to a judgment of the Court of Errors and Appeals of New Jersey filed March 4, 1918, 103 Atl. 207, denying relief to Rebecca Coon, who [248 U.S. 457, 458]   sued to recover under the New Jersey Workmen's Compensation Act (P. L. 1911, p. 134), on account of her husband's death by drowning in the navigable waters of that state while employed as a fireman on a tugboat.

The court held that as the accident occurred August 4, 1915, the Act of Congress approved October 6, 1917 (40 Stat. L. c. 97, 1, p. 395 [Comp. St. 1918, 991, subd. 3]), 'saving ... to claimants the right and remedies under the workmen's compensation law of any state,' was inapplicable, and that under the doctrine announced in Southern Pacific Company v. Jensen, 244 U.S. 205 , 37 Sup. Ct. 524, L. R. A. 1918C, 451, Ann. Cas. 1917E, 900, the rights of the parties depended upon the maritime law of the United States.

There was no decision against the validity of a treaty or statute of or an authority exercised under the United States, nor in favor of the validity of a statute of or an authority exercised under a state challenged because of repugnance to the Constitution, treaties or laws of the United States. Consequently, under the Act of September 6, 1916 (39 Stat. L. c. 448, 2, p. 726 [Comp. St. 1214]), the writ of error was improperly sued out and must be


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