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U.S. Supreme Court

Ohio River Contract Co. v. Gordon, 244 U.S. 68 (1917)

Ohio River Contract Company v. Gordon

No. 594

Argued April 9, 1917

Decided May 21, 1917

244 U.S. 68


The fact that personal injuries sued for occurred while plaintiff was employed on work which defendant was performing under contract with the United States does not prevent a state court from entertaining the action.

An Indiana corporation, in constructing a canal for the United States on a federal reservation in Kentucky, carried the excavated materials over a railroad it had built for the purpose to land belonging to another and dumped them there with such owner's consent. The dump and, in part, the railroad were within Kentucky and outside the reservation. Held that, without regard to whether the jurisdiction over the reservation was exclusively federal, the transport and deposit of the materials beyond its limits was such a doing of business in Kentucky as subjected the corporation to the jurisdiction of the courts of that state in a transitory action. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 244 U. S. 69

The corporation was sued in a Kentucky court for injuries suffered by an employee while engaged upon the work within the reservation, a summons being served in the reservation on an agent whom it had designated under the Kentucky law for receiving service of process in case of suit, and an alias summons being served on the agent while off the reservation at his home in Kentucky. Held that if the first service was void upon the ground that jurisdiction over the reservation was exclusively in the United States, the second was good, since the corporation did business in the state outside the reservation.

All action for personal injuries suffered on a reservation under exclusive jurisdiction of the United States, being transitory, may be maintained in a state court which has personal jurisdiction of the defendant.

170 Ky. 412 affirmed.

The case is stated in the opinion.

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