The Court of Appeals of the State of Washington affirmed the dismissal of a lawsuit on the basis of comity. In the instant case, plaintiff seaman was allegedly injured while working as a crew member
on an Alaska state ferry. When the state started handling the injury as a workmen’s compensation issue in accordance with state law, plaintiff filed a declaratory judgment action in Alaska state court. After losing at the trial level, plaintiff appealed in Alaska and brought this separate action in Washington State seeking recovery against the State of Alaska under
the federal Jones Act
. The Washington appellate court noted that the dispute arose in Alaska, is based on Alaska law, and is being separately litigated in Alaska. As a matter of interstate comity, the Washington court declined to hear the case on the merits.
v. State of Alaska, No. 59622-5 (Wash. App., January 7, 2008)-(HK Law)