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Wrongful Death
"A theory survives long after its brains are knocked out."
T.H. Huxley

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Massachusetts Bonding & Insurance Co.


United States
Wrongful Death

Justice Frankfurter Dissent
December 10, 1956
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Underlying the court's reasoning is the belief that the language of the 1947 amendment is so clear that it would require creative reconstruction of the amendment to limit the amount of the judgment to the maximum recoverable under the Massachusetts Death Act.

...The notion that the plain meaning of the words of a statute defines the meaning of the statute reminds one of T.H. Huxley's gay observation that at times "A theory survives long after its brains are knocked out." One would suppose that this particular theory of statutory construction had had its brains knocked out in Boston Sand & Gravel Co. v. United States.