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BURNETT V. NEW YORK CENTRAL R. CO., 380 U. S. 424 (1965)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Burnett v. New York Central R. Co., 380 U.S. 424 (1965)

Burnett v. New York Central Railroad Co.

No. 437

Argued March 11, 1965

Decided April 5, 1965

380 U.S. 424


Petitioner brought an action in an Ohio court with jurisdiction against respondent, who was properly served with process, under the Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA) only a few days before the expiration of the three-year limitation period provided by the Act. Because, under Ohio law, venue was improper, the action was dismissed. Eight days later, and after the expiration of the three-year period, petitioner filed the FELA action in the federal court. The District Court dismissed the complaint as untimely, and the Court of Appeals affirmed.

Held: where a timely FELA action is begun in a state court having jurisdiction, the defendant is served with process, and the case is dismissed for improper venue, the FELA time limitation is tolled during the pendency of the state suit and until the state court order dismissing the action becomes final. Pp. 380 U. S. 426-436.

332 F.2d 529 reversed and remanded.

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