HORTON V. LIBERTY MUT. INS. CO., 367 U. S. 348 (1961)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Horton v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 367 U.S. 348 (1961)

Horton v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co.

No. 478

Argued May 3, 1961

Decided June 12, 1961

367 U.S. 348


Petitioner was injured while working in Texas for an employer insured by respondent insurance company. Under the Texas Workmen's Compensation Law, he filed a claim with the Texas Industrial Accident Board for $14,035. The Board awarded him only $1,050. Basing jurisdiction on diversity of citizenship, respondent sued in a Federal District Court to have the award set aside, alleging that petitioner was entitled to nothing, but had claimed and would claim $14,035. Petitioner moved to dismiss the suit on the ground that the value of the "matter in controversy" was only $1,050.

Held: The "matter in controversy" was more than $10,000, within the meaning of 28 U.S.C. § 1332, as amended in 1958, and the Federal District Court had jurisdiction. Pp. 367 U. S. 349-355.

(a) Notwithstanding the 1958 amendment which forbade the removal of state workmen's compensation cases from state courts to Federal District Courts, the District Court had jurisdiction to try this civil case originally filed therein, if the matter in controversy exceeded $10,000. Pp. 367 U. S. 350-352.

(b) In view of the allegation in respondent's complaint that petitioner had claimed and would claim $14,035 and petitioner's failure to deny that allegation or to disclaim any part of his original claim, the amount in controversy exceeded $10,000. Pp. 367 U. S. 352-354.

(c) Under the Texas Workmen's Compensation Law, as construed by the State Supreme Court, this suit was not an appeal from a state administrative order, and its dismissal by the District Court was not supportable on the ground that it was such an appeal. Pp. 367 U. S. 354-355.

275 F.2d 148, affirmed.

Page 367 U. S. 349

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