WELLS V. SIMONDS ABRASIVE CO., 345 U. S. 514 (1953)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Wells v. Simonds Abrasive Co., 345 U.S. 514 (1953)

Wells v. Simonds Abrasive Co.

No. 394

Argued January 7, 1953

Decided May 18, 1953

345 U.S. 514


Petitioner's decedent was killed in Alabama by the bursting of a grinding wheel manufactured by respondent, a corporation with its principal place of business in Pennsylvania. More than one year but less than two years later, petitioner sued for damages in a federal court in Pennsylvania, basing jurisdiction on diversity of citizenship. The Alabama wrongful death statute permitted suit within two years, but the Pennsylvania statute outlawed such suits after one year. Holding that the Pennsylvania rule governing conflicts of laws required application of the Pennsylvania limitation, the court granted summary judgment for respondent.

Held: The Pennsylvania rule governing conflicts of laws does not violate the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Constitution, and the judgment is sustained. Pp. 345 U. S. 515-519.

(a) Applying the statute of limitations of the forum to a foreign substantive right does not deny full faith and credit. P. 345 U. S. 516.

(b) A different result is not required merely because a different statute of limitations is included in a foreign statute creating a substantive right unknown to the common law. Pp. 345 U. S. 517-518.

(c) Engel v. Davenport, 271 U. S. 33; Hughes v. Fetter, 341 U. S. 609, and First Nat. Bank v. United Air Lines, 342 U. S. 396, distinguished. Pp. 345 U. S. 518-519.

195 F.2d 814 affirmed.

In petitioner's suit for wrongful death, a federal district court granted summary judgment for respondent. 102 F.Supp. 519. The Court of Appeals affirmed. 195 F.2d 814. This Court granted certiorari. 344 U.S. 815. Affirmed, p. 345 U. S. 519.

Page 345 U. S. 515

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