LOCATION: Pawn Shop
DOCKET NO.: 76-1726
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1975-1981)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
CITATION: 436 US 618 (1978)
ARGUED: Jan 10, 1978 / Jan 11, 1978
DECIDED: Jun 05, 1978
Carl J. Schumacher, Jr. - for petitioner
Jack C. Benjamin - for respondents
Facts of the case
Media for Mobil Oil Corporation v. Higginbotham
- Opinion Announcement - June 05, 1978
- Oral Argument - January 10, 1978
- Oral Argument - January 11, 1978
Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - January 11, 1978 in Mobil Oil Corporation v. Higginbotham
Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - June 05, 1978 in Mobil Oil Corporation v. Higginbotham
Warren E. Burger:
The judgments and opinion of the Court in number 76-1726, Mobile Oil Corporation against Hagginbotham will be announced by Mr. Justice Stevens.
John Paul Stevens:
This is a wrongful death case arising out of a fatal accident on the high seas.
The question is whether damages may be recovered for loss of society as well as pecuniary loss.
Congress has enacted a statute which only authorizes the recovery of pecuniary damages when the death occurs more than three miles from shore.
Inside the three-mile limit, where the statue does not apply, this Court has held, the damages for loss of society can also be recovered.
In this case, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, held at the same rule should be applied on a high seas because we are persuaded that the courts must apply the standard selected by Congress.
We reverse the judgment of the Court of Appeals.
Mr. Justice Marshall has filed a dissenting opinion in which Mr. Justice Blackmun has joined.
Mr. Justice Brennan took no part in the consideration or decision of this case.
Warren E. Burger:
Thank you, Mr. Justice Stevens.