94 FEDERAL REPORTER.
bilities.withinwhich ·to'.olaim the benefit of the act?:Petitioners proctor admits that under the .act of 1851 such personal liability c9uldc:mly be limited with respect to out of. the last voyage, but insists that the wording of the act of 1884 is sufficiently broad to include all unpaid claims on account of the vessel outstanding at the time the petition to limit liability is filed, irrespective of the time the. Jiability was incurred. I cannot agree with this contention... TO. say that a .vessel QWMI' may navigate his vessel for an indefinite number of voyages, neglect or fail to ,during such voyages, but the pay the'liabilities benefit 'of the freights earned thereby, and then, l1pop subsequent disaster to the vessel, turn over to all prior creditors its remains, and exonerate from an-y personal liability, would, to my mind, be. putting a construction upon the purpose of the statute that would not be justified unless the plain wording of the act preclUded any othet'conclusion as to the intentiqri of congress. I am i*lined to c(lncur in the reasoning of Judge Brown in the case of The nose Culkin, 52 Fed. 328,332, in so far as it applies to the facts in this case, and to hold that the act of 1884 contemplates only the liabilities' incurred in the last or pending voyage; allowing a reasonable time after knowledge of the liability within which to surrender the ves'sel, providing that at the time of its surrender the vessel is in practically the same condition as at the close of said voyage. Therefore, with respect to the said claim of the O. S. R:ic:hardson Fueling Company, the prayer of the petition is denied.
RUNDELL.v. LA COMPAGNIE G:EJN:EJRALE TRANSATLANTIQUE. (District Court, N. D. Illinois, N. D. May 15, 1899.)
MA.RITIME LAW OF FOREIGN NA.TION -
ACTION FOR WRONGFUl.
Courts of admiralty of the United States ·will not enforce the maritime law of a foreign nation, giving a right ot action for death caused by a tort, on the ground that the alleged cause of action arose on a vessel of that nation; where it was at the time on the high seas, outside of waters subject to the jurisdiction of such nation.
This was a suit in admiralty by Rundell, administrator, against La Compagnie Generale Transatlantique, to recover for the death of his intestate while a passenger on defendant's steamship La Burgogne, through the alleged negligence of defendant. Heard on exceptions to the libel. McClelland & Monroe; for libelant. Isham, Lincoln & Beale, for defendant. KOHLSAAT, District Judge. The libel in this cause recites the loss of the French steamship La Burgogne by collision on the high seas, and the death of libelant's intestate, by reason: of the alleged
RUNDELL V. LA COMPAGNIE GENERALE TRANSATLANTIQUE.
fault and negligence of defendant, the owner of the steamship,-a corporation organized under the laws of France. Without passing upon the sufficiency of the allegations of the libel respecting the laws of France governing similar actions, I will consider only the salient feature of the controversy, upon the decision of which depends libelant's right to maintain this action in this court. Libelant admits in argument that the general maritime law of this country gives no right of action for death, but claims that the laws of France do give such a right, that the death in question occurred under such circumstances that the laws of France controlled, and that this court will enforce the said laws, under the circumstances of this case. The decisions of our supreme court in The Harrisburg, 119 U. S. 199, 7 Sup. Ct. 140, and The Alaska, 130 U.s. 201, 9 Sup. Ct. 461, Eettled what had been theretofore a point of considerable dispute, and in regard to which numerous conflicting decisions in the lower courts had been rendered, to wit, that the admiralty courts of this country could not take cognizance of a suit to recover damages for the death of a human being upon the high seas, caused by negligence, in the absence of an act of congress or a statute of a state giving a right of action therefor. The cases arising since the latter decision (1888) which throw any appreciable light on the question in contro"\'ersy herein are The City of Norwalk, 55 Fed. 98 (decision by Judge Brown), and Robinson v. Co., 20 C. C. A. 86, 73 Fed. 883 (decision by the court of appeals of the Sixth circuit). In the former case the court held that it had jurisdiction to enforce the law of a state within the navigable waters of which the tort causing death occurred; and the latter extended the doctrine to the enforcement of similar laws of a foreign state (the province of Ontario), where the tort causing death occurred within the waters over which such foreign state had jurisdiction. In the case at bar, libelant seeks to have this court go still further, and enforce the general maritime law of a foreign nation in regard to a death r.a.used by a tort occurring on a vessel of that nation while on the high seas, and outside of waters subject to the jurisdiction of that nation, on the theory that the vessel is a part of that nation, and that such nation would enforce its own laws under the circumstances. The latest and principal authority cited in support of this contention is that of U. S. v. Rodgers, 150 U. S. 249, 14 Sup. Ct. 109, although other previous authorities are also cited. The decision in the Rodgers Case was based upon section 5346 of the Revised Statutes of the United States, which gives the federal courts jurisdiction of crimes "arising upon the high seas, or in any arm of the sea, or in any river, haven, creek, basin or bay within the admiralty jurisdiction of the United States and out of the jurisdiction of any particular state"; and all the other cases cited by libelant on this point, so far as jurisdiction of our federal courts is concerned, are criminal cases, and are based on federal statutes sought to be enforced. In The Scotland, 105 U. S. 29, our supreme court, after deciding that rights are to be generally determined by the laws of the particular country or state in which they arise, used the following language:
occurs on the high seall, where the .laW' of no partlculat force, but all are equal, any foruplcaUed upon to settle theriglitsHt' the parties would prima fiicie determin,ethem. by its. own law, as presump1iively expressing the rules of justice; but,. if the contesting vessels belonged to the:same foreign nation,the:court would assume that they were subject to the :law of that nation, carried under their coDlmon flag, and would determineth\=l: accordillgly.. lf they belonged tp d.ifferent na tiall8, having diffe'rent'laws, since 'it woUld,1>e 'unjust to apply. the laws of either to the exclusion: of: 'the other, the'law of the forum (that is, the maritime law 38 received and practiced therein) would properly furnish the rule of decision. In all other cases each nation will administer jUstice according to its own laws. And it will do this without respect ofper!>ons,-to the stranger as well as to the citizen. * '. . Some laws, it is true, are necessarily special in their application to domestic ships, such as those relating to forms of ownership, charter party, and: .nationality. Others follow the vessel wherever she goes, as the law of the. tI:ag,-such as those which regulate the mutual relations of lllaster and creW, and the power of the mll-ster to bind the ship or her owners.
·. * *"
The nearest analogy which these rules bear to the present controversy would be in a case of a collision between an American and a foreign vessel, and in such case the.question would be as to whether or not. our courts would be governed uniformly by the maritime law recognized by them generally, or would only be governed by it at pleWO\ure, and would be at liberty to follow the maritime law as adminil3tered by the nation 9f the foreign vessel, when the latter would teDd to increase the rights of our own citizens. None of the cases cited by libelant decide that the law of the flag will be considered as governing a tort of a vessel towards its passengers while on the high seas, to such an extent that it will be enforced in a foreign forum as the maritime law applicable, in lieu of the general maritime law as recognized in that foreign forum, which, with respect to that particular tort, gives no right of action. I.amunable to find that this question has ever been passed upon by our courts, but; while the cases cited by defendant do not specifically refer to the point actually in controversy here, yet the wording of the generalized statements contained in the authorities upon which it relies seems to cover its contention; and, as a number of other suits will depend upon the final decision of this point, a speedy decision by the courts of last: resort upon· the question iI3 desirable, before litigants are put to the trouble and expense of a full trial upon the merits. In order,therefore, that the matter may go up on a simple record, and at anHnimumexpense, I will sustain defendant's exceptiouupon this point, and dismiss the libel.
SUPREME LODGE, KNIGHTS OF PYTHIAS, V. EKGLAND.
SUPREME LODGE, KNIGHTS OF PYTHIAS, v. ENGLAND. (Circuit Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit. April 10, 1899.)
REVIEW-FINDINGS OF FACT.
H is the peals that, sufficiency considered
settleu rule of the supreme court and the circuit courts of apwhere a case is tried by a federal court without a jury, the of the evidence to sustain its general findings of fact cannot be by the appellate court.
JUHISDICTION OF' FB;DKRAL COURTS--FEDERAL CORPORATIONS.
It is not the uomicile of a corporation created by an act of congress which confers jurisuiction on the federal courts of suits to which it is a party, but the fact that it was so created, and that any suit by or against it arises under a law of the United States.
In Error to the Circuit Court of the United States for the Eastern District of Arkansas. W. M. Hough (W. S. McCain, on the brief), for plaintiff in error. J. M. Moore and 'V. B. Smith, for defendant in error. Before CALDWELL, SARBORR, and THAYER, Circuit Judges. CALDWELL, Circuit Judge. This action was tried below by the court, a jury having been waived by the parties. There was an agreed statement of facts, and also other evidence. At the close of the evidence the bill of exceptions recites that:
"On this evidence the plaintiff moved for judgment against defendant for the amount of the certificate, $3,000, and interest, which the court gave, over and against the objection of the defendant, to which defendant excepted."
The court made no special findings of fact. There was no demurrer to the evidence, no exceptions to the admission or rejection of evidence, and no declarations of law made by the court, and none asked by the defendant. It is the settled rule of the supreme court of the United States and of this court that, when a case is tried by a federal court without a jury, the sufficiency of the evidence to sustain its general findings. of fact cannot be considered by the appellate court. Hoge v. Magnell, 56 U. S. App. 500, 29 C. C. A. 564, and 85 Fed. 355, and CMeS there cited; Minchen v. Hart, 36 U. S. App. 534, 18 C. C. A. 570, and 72 Fed. 294. In Lehnen v. Dickson, 148 U. S. 71, 77, 13 Sup. Ct. 481, the supreme court declare with emphasis that:
"The duty of finding the facts is placed upon the trial court. We have no authority to examine the testimony in any case, anu from it make a finding of the ultimate facts."
The jurisdiction of the court below is questioned because the plaintiff in error, although created by an act of congress, has its domicile in the District of Columbia. In Supreme Lodge v. Kalinski, 163 U. S. 289, 16 Sup. Ct. 1047, the supreme court failed to dismiss the case for want of jurisdiction; and although it is true, as claimed by counsel, that the question of jurisdiction was not raised, yet the statement of the case shows that it was originally brought in a state court, and removed to the federal court upon the ground that it was a federal corporation. The supreme court does not have to be moved