Romero v. International Terminal Operating Co.

358 U.S. 354, 79 S.Ct. 468, 3 L.Ed.2d 368, 1959 AMC 832 (1959)

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Romero v. International Terminal Operating Co.

United States Supreme Court
358 U.S. 354, 79 S.Ct. 468, 3 L.Ed.2d 368, 1959 AMC 832 (1959)

Facts

Francisco Romero (plaintiff) was a Spanish seaman who was injured while working on a Spanish-flagged vessel owned by a Spanish company, Compania Transatlantica (defendant) while the vessel was berthed in a New Jersey harbor. Romero sued Compania Transatlantica in federal district court under the Jones Act and for general maritime claims of unseaworthiness and for maintenance and cure. Romero did not bring these claims under federal admiralty jurisdiction, however, but rather as common-law claims in order to obtain a jury trial. Romero alleged that federal subject-matter jurisdiction existed for these claims based on federal-question jurisdiction. International Terminal Co. (defendant) was eventually added to the suit as a peripheral defendant. The district court dismissed Romero’s claims for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. The court of appeals affirmed the dismissal. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Frankfurter, J.)

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