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U.S. Supreme Court

Denver & Rio Grande Western R. Co. v. Terte, 284 U.S. 284 (1932)

Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad Co. v. Terte

No. 130

Argued November 24, 1931

Decided January 4, 1932

284 U.S. 284


1. A court of a state where a foreign railroad corporation is authorized to do business, owns and operates part of its lines, maintains an office, and has agents for the transaction of its general business has jurisdiction of a suit against the company in damages for personal injuries under the Federal Employers' Liability Act, brought by a resident upon a cause of action which arose in another state when he was residing there. P. 284 U. S. 287.

2. Jurisdiction in such case is not defeated by the fact that a second railroad company, over which the court is without jurisdiction, is named codefendant. Id.

3. A foreign railroad corporation which is not authorized to do business within the state, and does not own or operate any of its lines within the state, although it owns some property there and employs agents who solicit traffic, held not subject to the jurisdiction of a court of that state in a suit in damages for personal injuries under the Federal Employers' Liability Act brought by a resident upon a cause of action which arose in another state when he was residing there, as otherwise an undue burden upon interstate commerce would result. Id.

4. The prohibition against burdening interstate commerce cannot be evaded merely by attaching the property of the foreign railroad corporation within the state, nor may it be avoided by joining as codefendant in the suit a second railroad company over which the court has jurisdiction. The burden and expense which the carrier must incur in order to make defense in a state where the accident did not occur has no relation to the nature of the process used to bring it before the court. Id.

5. The fact that witnesses for the plaintiff reside within the state, thus enabling him to try his cause there with less inconvenience chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 284 U. S. 285

than elsewhere, is not sufficient to justify the state court in retaining jurisdiction of the suit. P. 284 U. S. 287.


Certiorari, post, p. 601, to review a judgment of the Supreme Court of Missouri denying a petition for a writ of prohibition to restrain a county circuit court from entertaining further jurisdiction of a suit in damages for personal injuries, under the Federal Employers' Liability Act, against two foreign railroad corporations.

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