Craig Allen, Introduction, The Osceola After 100 Years: Its Meaning and Effect on Maritime Personal Injury Law in the United States, 34 Rutgers L.J. 605 (2003), https://digitalcommons.law.uw.edu/faculty-articles/93
Rutgers Law Journal
A century ago the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in The Osceola [189 U.S. 158 (1903)], announcing four legal propositions that controlled personal injury claims by seamen at the time. On the 100th anniversary of the Court's decision, the four admiralty law professors contributing to this symposium take the opportunity to critically examine the Court's renowned decision, Congress' responses to the decision, and the effect of both The Osceola's four propositions and the responsive legislation on the remedies available to injured maritime workers in the 21st century.
In the first of the three articles that follow, Professor Steven Friedell mines the archival record behind this important decision to reveal numerous factual aspects of the case that were, until now, largely overlooked or misstated by the official reports. Professor Joel Goldstein then scrutinizes the reasoning and support for each of the case's famous four propositions, noting the Court's comparative law approach, the effect of the four propositions on uniformity in maritime law and also their summary, even elliptical, phraseology. In the third article, Dean Thomas Galligan takes aim at the fourth of The Osceola's propositions, revealing its illogic and its failure to promote the exercise of due care by ship masters and fellow servants. Dean Galligan demonstrates why those who believe the Jones Act rendered The Osceola irrelevant to a contemporary maritime personal injury claim should reconsider.