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Norfolk Shipbuilding & Drydock Corp. v. Garris
United States Supreme Court
532 U.S. 811, 2001 AMC 1817 (2001)
Christopher Garris died from injuries he sustained while working on a ship for Norfolk Shipbuilding & Drydock Corporation (Norfolk). Christopher’s mother (plaintiff) brought suit against Norfolk (defendant) for negligence. Because the ship was in navigable waters of the United States when Christopher was injured, the suit was brought under federal admiralty jurisdiction, and damages were claimed under general maritime law. The District Court dismissed the action, finding that no cause of action existed under general maritime law for death of a non-seaman in U.S. waters resulting from negligence. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reversed and remanded, finding that a maritime cause of action for wrongful death was permissible. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Scalia, J.)
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