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U.S. Supreme Court

Romero v. International Terminal Operating Co., 358 U.S. 354 (1959)

Romero v. International Terminal Operating Co.

No. 3

Argued March 13, 1958

Restored to the calendar for reargument May 19, 1958

Reargued October 22-23, 1958

Decided February 24, 1959

358 U.S. 354


Petitioner, a Spanish subject, was employed on board a ship of Spanish flag and registry, owned by a Spanish corporation, for a voyage beginning and ending in Spain. He was injured while the ship was in American territorial waters, and he filed suit on the law side of a Federal District Court in New York. He claimed damages under the Jones Act and under the general maritime law for unseaworthiness, maintenance and cure, and negligence against his Spanish employer and a New York corporation which acted as its husbanding agent in New York. Damages for negligence under the general maritime law were claimed against two other American corporations engaged in operations related to loading freight in New Jersey. The District Court dismissed the complaint, and the Court of Appeals affirmed.


1. Jurisdiction under the Jones Act was adequately alleged. P. 358 U. S. 359.

2. Jurisdiction on the law side of claims based on the general maritime law is not granted by 28 U.S.C. § 1331. Pp. 358 U. S. 359-380.

3. There was jurisdiction, "pendent" to jurisdiction under the Jones Act, to determine whether the claims against the Spanish corporation based on general maritime law stated a cause of action. Pp. 358 U. S. 380-381.

4. There was jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332 over the claims under the general maritime law against the three American corporations. P. 358 U. S. 381.

5. Neither the Jones Act nor the general maritime law of the United States is applicable to the claims against the foreign shipowner. Pp. 358 U. S. 381-384.

6. The claims for unseaworthiness and maintenance and cure against the husbanding agent were properly dismissed in light of the District Court's findings of fact. Pp. 358 U. S. 384-385.

Page 358 U. S. 355

7. The case must be remanded for consideration of the claims against the three American corporation based on negligence. P. 358 U. S. 385.

244 F.2d 409, judgment vacated and cause remanded to the District Court for further proceedings.

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