NEW YORK CENT. R. CO. v. CHISHOLM(1925)
Mr. Lowell A. Mayberry, of Boston, Mass., for New York Cent. R. co.
Mr. Wm. H. Lewis, of Boston, Mass., for administrator. [268 U.S. 29, 30]
Mr. Justice McREYNOLDS delivered the opinion of the Court.
On November 9, 1920, McTier, a citizen of the United States, while employed on a passenger train operated by the New York Central Railroad Company between Malone, N. Y., and Montreal, Canada, suffered fatal injuries at a point 30 miles north of the international line. His administrator, also a citizen of the United States, claiming damages under the federal Employers' Liability Act of April 22, 1908 (chapter 149, 35 Stat. 65), as amended April 5, 1910 (chapter 143, 36 Stat. 291 [Comp. St . 8657-8665]), brought an action in the United States District Court for Massachusetts and recovered a judgment for $3,000. This went for review to the court below, and it has asked instruction on the question which follows (Judicial Code, 239 [Comp. St. 1216]):
The Liability Act declares that every common carrier by railroad, while engaging in interstate or foreign commerce, shall be liable to any of its employees, or, in the case of his death, to his personal representative for the benefit of his widow and children, if any, if none, then for his parents, if none, then for his next of kin dependent upon him, for all damages which may result from the negligence of any of its officers, agents, or employees, or by reason of any defect or insufficiency due to its negligence in its cars, engines, appliances, machinery, track, roadbed, ways or works. [268 U.S. 29, 31] And section 6 provides:
It is unnecessary for us to consider the power of Congress to impose civil liability upon citizens of the United States for torts committed within the territory of another nation. The present case presents nothing beyond a question of construction.
The statute under consideration lacks the essential characteristics of those, now very common, which provide for compensation to employees injured in the line of duty irrespective of the master's fault. It only undertakes to impose liability for negligence which must be shown by proof ( Southern Ry. Co. v. Gray, 241 U.S. 333, 339 , 36 S. Ct. 558; New York Central R. R. Co. v. Winfield, 244 U.S. 147, 150 , 37 S. Ct. 546, L. R. A. 1918C, 439, Ann. Cas. 1917D, 1139), and demands under it are based wholly upon tort.
It contains no words which definitely disclose an intention to give it extraterritorial effect, nor do the circumstances require an inference of such purpose. United States v. Bowman, 260 U.S. 94, 98 , 43 S. Ct. 39.
In an action brought in a court of the United States to enforce the liability of a Colorado corporation for injuries wrongfully inflicted upon a citizen of Texas while within the territory of Mexico, this court said:
Under the circumstances disclosed the administrator had no right of action based upon the federal Employers' Liability Act. The carrier was subject only to such obligations as were imposed by the laws and statutes of the country where the alleged act of negligence occurred, and the administrator could not rely upon any others.
[ Footnote 1 ] Comp. St. 8657-8665.