MR. JUSTICE SUTHERLAND delivered the opinion of the Court.
Petitioner brought this action in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, to recover damages for an injury sustained by her as a member of the crew of a steamship operated by respondent. The action was brought under the Jones Act, § 33 of the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, U.S.C., Title 46, § 688, which provides: "Jurisdiction
The question presented for our determination is whether the quoted provision in respect of jurisdiction applies to the state courts, or is limited to the federal courts. The decisions are conflicting, but we think the correct construction of the provision limits it to the courts of the United States. The word "district" is peculiarly apposite in that relation; but in order to apply it to a state court, whose territory for venue purposes may or may not be designated as a "district," an elasticity of interpretation would be required which it does not seem probable Congress had in mind. Thus in one instance, where an action had been brought in a state court, it was found necessary, in order to hold the provision applicable, to interpret the word "district" as meaning "county" in which the defendant resides or has his principal office. Wienbroer v. U.S. Shipping Board E.F. Corp., 299 Fed. 972. The contrary view limiting the provision to the federal courts, which we approve, is expressed in Lynott v. Great Lakes Transit Corp., 202 App. Div. (N.Y.) 613, 619; 195 N.Y.S. 13 (affirmed without opinion, 234 N.Y. 626; 138 N.E. 473); Patrone v. Howlett, 237 N.Y. 394, 397; 143 N.E. 232; Rodrigues v. Transmarine Corp., 216 App. Div. (N.Y.) 337, 339; 215 N.Y.S. 123; and State ex rel. Sullivan v. Tazwell, 123 Or. 326, 330; 262 Pac. 220. Compare Panama R. Co. v. Johnson, 264 U.S. 375, 384-385; Engel v. Davenport, 271 U.S. 33, 37-38. If the question were more doubtful than we think it is, we should be slow to impute to Congress an intention, if it has the power,
Another question has been raised which, however, affects only the proceedings in this court. The Clerk was requested by counsel for petitioner to docket the case here under c. 113, 40 Stat. 683, U.S.C., Title 28, § 837, which provides:
"Courts of the United States, including appellate courts, hereafter shall be open to seamen, without furnishing bonds or prepayment of or making deposit to secure fees or costs, for the purpose of entering and prosecuting suit or suits in their own name and for their own benefit for wages or salvage and to enforce laws made for their health and safety."
The Clerk, being in doubt, required a deposit to secure his fees and costs, and accordingly this was made by counsel for petitioner.
In Ex parte Abdu, 247 U.S. 27, it was held that the corresponding provision then in force (c. 27, 40 Stat. 157) did not apply to appellate proceedings; but the words which now appear, "including appellate courts," were not in the provision as it then read. That case, therefore, is not in point. With these words added, the provision now applies to appellate proceedings.
A more serious question is whether suits under the Jones Act may be regarded as suits by seamen "for wages or salvage" or "to enforce laws made for their health and safety." Such a suit is not for wages or salvage. Is it to enforce a law made for the health or safety of seamen? In The Bennington, 10 F.2d 799, the question was answered
The judgment below is reversed and the cause remanded for further proceedings not inconsistent with this opinion.