The opinion of the court was delivered by: KALODNER
KALODNER, District Judge.
This is an action in admiralty under Section 33 of the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 (commonly known as the Jones Act), 41 Stat. 1007, 46 U.S.C.A. § 688.
Section 688 provides (in part) that: "Jurisdiction in such actions shall be under the court of the district in which the defendant employer resides or in which his principal office is located."
The law is well settled that the benefits of the Jones Act are available not only on the law side but also on the admiralty side in an in personam action. See Panama Railway Co. v. Johnson, 264 U.S. 375, 44 S. Ct. 391, 68 L. Ed. 748.
It is also well settled that in an action under the Jones Act, where its benefits are sought in a proceeding on the law side, that the respondent must be a resident of, or have his principal place of business in, the district.
The pleadings in the instant case present the issue: Are the venue provisions of the Jones Act applicable to a proceeding in personam (by foreign attachment) in admiralty?
The issue stated has been considered in a number of cases in various jurisdictions with conflicting results.
In this jurisdiction it has been decided that the benefits of the Jones Act are available in an in personam action in admiralty, by foreign attachment, although the defendant neither resides in nor has his principal place of business in the district. See Eckert v. Socony-Vacuum Oil Co., D.C., 13 F.Supp. 342; Carr v. Union Sulphur Company; Essigman v. Standard Oil Co., No. 29 of 1939, in Admiralty.
Similar rulings were made in other jurisdictions in the following cases: McDaniel v. Baker Sand & Gravel Co., D.C., 24 F.2d 987; Arthur v. Compagnie Generale Transatlantique, 5 Cir., 72 F.2d 662; McKola v. McCormick S.S. Co. et al., D.C., 24 F.Supp. 378.
Because of the conflict in the decisions cited, the court en banc took under consideration the question presented in the instant proceeding, which involves a libel in personam and in rem filed by a seaman based upon personal injuries allegedly sustained while employed on the respondent's vessel.
The libel alleges two causes of action: (1) For damages for personal injuries, based on the alleged negligence of the respondent; (2) for maintenance and cure.
The respondent is a Delaware corporation, and maintains its principal office in the City of Wilmington, and does not maintain any office within the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
There were two services of the libel and two separate returns of service made by the United States marshal. Service of the libel so far as it proceeded in personam was made by writ of foreign attachment under which the Steamship "Swiftarrow" was attached within the ...