Senko v. LaCrosse Dredging Corporation

PETITIONER: Senko
RESPONDENT: LaCrosse Dredging Corporation
LOCATION: California State Capitol

DOCKET NO.: 62
DECIDED BY:
LOWER COURT:

CITATION: 352 US 370 (1957)
ARGUED: Dec 12, 1956
DECIDED: Feb 25, 1957

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Senko v. LaCrosse Dredging Corporation

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - December 12, 1956 (Part 1) in Senko v. LaCrosse Dredging Corporation

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - December 12, 1956 (Part 2) in Senko v. LaCrosse Dredging Corporation

Earl Warren:

Proceed.

Stuart B. Bradley:

I'll just take a few more moments Your Honor.

Justice Frankfurter asked for a definition of a -- a vessel, and there's another --

Felix Frankfurter:

That isn't quite my thought.

I'm asking what -- whether the statute, just by reading any statute and to find out whether it is straight toward the (Inaudible)

Stuart B. Bradley:

Well, there's Title 1, Section 3 United States Code Annotated defines vessels -- defined a vessels as -- as follows.

The word "vessel" includes every description of watercraft or other artificial contrivance used or capable -- capable of being used as a means of transportation on water.

That's another definition.

I don't urge upon the Court, but the Court's bound with that definition but there is a definition in that particularly.

Felix Frankfurter:

Because they are bound and (Inaudible)

Stuart B. Bradley:

That's Title 1 Section 3 U.S. Code Annotated.

I said I didn?t urge it on the point of the Court.

(Inaudible)

Stuart B. Bradley:

What did you say, sir?

I said, I wouldn?t even care for that definition (Inaudible)

Stuart B. Bradley:

Well, I'd like that.

Felix Frankfurter:

And -- and your position is that, if I just read this at -- I just consider and mindful with that definition I would know that this created a vessel.

Stuart B. Bradley:

I would think so.

Felix Frankfurter:

All right.

Hugo L. Black:

Do you add -- do you -- do you have emphasis to the words "ponder over" or do you say that by reading (Inaudible)

I should think you can read it.

That's right.

Felix Frankfurter:

You wouldn't discourage thinking about that, would you?

Stuart B. Bradley:

No, Your Honor.

The Gianfala case scited several cases in this per curiam decision and the -- a couple of the decisions, the Wilkes versus Mississippi River Sand and Gravel Company and Gahagan Construction Company versus Armao cited there and the South Chicago Coal and Dock Company were all dredge cases.

And it's interesting to note that in the South Chicago Coal and Dock Company, the Court held that -- they held in that case that they were bound by the findings of the commissioner that the man was not a crew member.

But, they also held that was a question of fact defined and the -- the appellate court in reversing this judgment used the South Chicago Coal and Dock Company to reverse it.

Now, in my interpretation to the South Chicago Coal and Dock Company is -- case -- is that that case says that you leave it to a question of fact whether it should be the Commission or whether it should be the jury, whichever, what way you happen to go on the thing and they used that particular thing to say that the dredge -- where it was situated couldn't -- since it was anchored and so on and so forth, it could keep it beyond the -- in the Jones Act.

Now, in distinguishing this case, the appellate court, from the case of McKie versus Diamond Marine Company, 204 F.2d 132 and Wilkes versus Mississippi River Sand and Gravel Company, 202 F.2d, the Court said whether these cases should be regarded as close or as a encroaching on any like -- enacted legislation is immaterial.

They do not apply to a plaintiff, employed under a union, permit to perform common labor on a local project and who's duties are to perform while the applicant is securely attached to the garment.