Farrell v. United States

336 U.S. 511, 69 S. Ct. 707, 93 L. Ed. 850, 1949 AMC 613 (1949)

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Farrell v. United States

United States Supreme Court
336 U.S. 511, 69 S. Ct. 707, 93 L. Ed. 850, 1949 AMC 613 (1949)

Facts

Farrell (plaintiff) was a seaman employed on a merchant vessel owned and operated by the United States (defendant) to transport cargo and troops during World War II. Farrell was granted shore leave while the vessel was docked in Palermo, Sicily, but returned to the ship after dark. Farrell lost his way, was directed through the wrong gate, and emerged at the waterfront by a drydock rather than where his ship was berthed. Farrell fell into the drydock and was seriously injured. The United States provided months of medical care for Farrell but eventually discharged him. As a result of the accident, Farrell was permanently blind, was completely disabled, and suffered from epileptic convulsions. Farrell sued the United States for maintenance and cure, alleging that he was entitled to maintenance for as long as he was disabled. The district court held that the duty of maintenance and cure only extended until the maximum possible cure had been effected and denied Farrell’s claims. The court of appeals affirmed the decision, and Farrell appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Jackson, J.)

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