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U.S. Supreme Court

Olberding v. Illinois Central R. Co., Inc., 346 U.S. 338 (1953)

Olberding v. Illinois Central Railroad Co., Inc.

No. 27

Argued October 15, 1953

Decided November 9, 1953

346 U.S. 338


Basing jurisdiction solely on diversity of citizenship, an Illinois railroad corporation brought suit in a federal district court in Kentucky against an Indiana owner of a truck which, while on temporary business in Kentucky, collided with an overpass of the railroad, causing a derailment. The defendant was apprised of the action through service of process on the Secretary of State of Kentucky, in accordance with a Kentucky statute. The Kentucky statute did not require the designation of an agent for the service of process, and the defendant had made no such designation.

Held: under 28 U.S.C. § 1391(a), the defendant's motion that the case be dismissed on the ground of improper venue should have been granted. Pp. 346 U. S. 339-342.

(a) The defendant did not impliedly consent to be sued in a federal court in Kentucky simply by driving his motor vehicle on the highways of that State. Pp. 346 U. S. 340-341.

(b) The fact that a nonresident motorist who comes into Kentucky can, consistent with the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, be subjected to suit in the appropriate Kentucky state court is irrelevant to his rights under 28 U.S.C. § 1391(a). P. 346 U. S. 341.

(c) Neirbo Co. v. Bethlehem Corp., 308 U. S. 165, distinguished. Pp. 346 U. S. 341-342.

201 F.2d 582, reversed.

In a suit in a federal district court based solely on diversity of citizenship, the defendant's motion that the case be dismissed on the ground of improper venue was overruled, and there was a verdict for the plaintiff. The Court of Appeals affirmed. 201 F.2d 582. This Court granted certiorari. 345 U.S. 950. Reversed, p. 346 U. S. 342. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 346 U. S. 339

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