United States v. Standard Oil Co. of California
United States Supreme Court
332 U.S. 301 (1947)
John Etzel, a United States soldier, was injured by a Standard Oil Company of California (Standard) (defendant) truck driven by its employee, Boone (defendant). The United States (plaintiff) paid Etzel’s medical expenses and wages while he was disabled. Standard and Boone paid Etzel $300 to release all his claims against them. The government filed suit against the defendants to recover its expenses related to Etzel’s injuries and interference with the government-soldier relationship with Etzel. The case was appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The appellate court noted that “it would seem that the state rules of substantive common law would govern an action brought by the United States in the role of a private litigant.” The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari to consider this novel issue.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Rutledge, J.)
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