Admirality – Jurisdiction – Action for Wrongful Death on the High Seas Limited to Admiralty

Plaintiff as widow and administratrix seeks damages from the United States for the alleged wrongful death of her husband on the high seas. Action was brought at law under the Federal Tort Claims Act. Government’s motion to dismiss was sustained. There is no common law cause of action for wrongful death on the high seas. The federal Death on the High Seas Act gives a remedy to the representative only “in Admiralty,” and thus jurisdiction is lacking at law in the district court. Kunkel v. United States, (S.D. Cal. 1956) 140 F. Supp. 591.