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There are also enclosed copies of three reports accompanying the letter from the police department giving additional information. These reports show that Mr. Doerner was taken to the county hospital with lacerations on the right side of the head, shock, concussion and bleeding from the right ear believed to be a possible skull fracture.
The reports show that some responsibility may be imputed to the Government for failure to take precautionary measures to prevent unauthorized use of the Marine Corps truck and, therefore, that Mr. Doerner is entitled to some relief. The Navy Department, however, has not been furnished with the items making up the amount of $635 claimed in the bill nor the evidence in support thereof and, therefore, is not in a position to advise as to the sufficiency of the relief sought. The cost of the proposed legislation
is $635. In view of the foregoing, the Navy Department recommends the enactment of the bill H. R. 1774 in such amount as the Congress may deem appropriate.
The Navy Department has been advised by the Bureau of the Budget that there would be no objection to the submission of this recommendation. Sincerely yours,
STATE OF CALIFORNIA,
County of San Diego, 88: Cyril Doerner, a resident of Waite Park, Stearns County, Minn., being first duly sworn, deposes and says that from November 10, 1941 to August 31, 1942, inclusive, he was a full-time employee of Consolidated Aircraft Corporation at San Diego, Calif.; that on the night of August 31, 1942, he was driving a car on the streets of San Diego during a dim-out during which the speed limit is 20 miles per hour and only parking lights are permitted to be used on moving cars; that while his car was in the center of a street intersection the same was struck' by a truck causing him serious injuries from which he did not recover consciousness for 4 days and from the effects of which he is still suffering; and also did considerable damage to the car he was driving;
Further, that police records of the city of San Diego disclose that the truck which struck his car was occupied by two United States marines, one of whom was driving at the time of the accident; that said United States marines were apprehended by the police a short distance from the accident but were later released to the military police.
Affiant further states that upon his release from the hospital 10 days after the accident he made inquiry from the military authorities at Camp Elliott, San Diego, regarding payment for the injuries and money loss sustained by him, and that he was there informed that the two men involved had been shipped out and that there was nothing to be done about it. Also that his request for the names of the marines involved in the accident was refused, as was every other kind of information he requested.
Affiant further deposes and says that the injuries he sustained in the above described accident caused him to be rejected, on April 6, 1943, for Military Service in the Army of The United States, he having been place in class 4-F.
CYRIL DOERNER. Subscribed and sworn to before me, a notary public in and for San Diego, County, Calif., this 3d day of May 1943. (SEAL)
Notary Public My commission expires February 28, 1945.
H. Repts., 78-2, vol. 346
SAN DIEGO COUNTY GENERAL HOSPITAL
SAN DIEGO, CALIF.
SEPTEMBER 22, 1942.
To Cyril J. Doerner,
San Diego, Calif.
8 days, at $4.50.Other service:
X-rays of skull.
Total... (This hospital bill is the only one immediately available.)
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
REPORT No. 1474
A. L. RINKENBERGER AND JOHN FLOERING
May 22, 1944.—Committed to the Committee of the Whole House and ordered
to be printed
Mr. Carson, from the Committee on Claims, submitted the following
(To accompany H, R. 2066)
The Committee on Claims, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 2066) for the relief of A. L. Rinkenberger and John Floering, having considered the same, report favorably thereon with an amendment and recommend that the bill as amended do pass.
The amendment is as follows:
Page 1, line 7, strike out the figures “$15,000” and insert in lieu thereof “$1,000".
The purpose of the proposed legislation is to appropriate the sum of $5,000 to A. L. Rinkenberger, of Elmhurst, Ill.; to pay the sum of $10,000 to John Floering, of Melrose Park, Isl., in full settlement of all claims against the United States for personal injuries, property damage, medical and hospital expenses sustained by them when a Civilian Conservation Corps truck collided with the automobile in which they were riding on Illinois State Route No. 83, about a quarter of a mile south of Lake Street, in Du Page County, Ill., on November 6, 1941.
STATEMENT OF FACTS
It appears that on November 6, 1941, a car owned and operated by A. L. Rinkenberger, in which John Floering and Herbert Nelson were riding as passengers, was completely destroyed in an accident on State Highway Route No. 83 in Du Page County, Ill. There was a convoy of Civilian Conservation Corps trucks passing. The last truck in the convoy, driven by Enrollee Donald Kerr, who either was sleeping or had dozed off temporarily without knowing that his truck crossed the middle line of the road, going over on the left side crashed into the civilian car.
From the facts of the case ascertained by the Interior Department it appears that the accident was due to the negligence of the Civilian
Conservation Corps driver. The Department admits its liability in the following:
The accident occurred on November 6, 1941, and it is evident from the reports received by this Department that the accident was the fault of the driver of the Government truck, an enrollee of the Civilian Conservation Corps.
Dr. A. F. Akkeron, of Melrose Park, Ill., in a statement of April 10, 1944, states that he has examined and treated A. L. Rinkenberger for injuries sustained on November 6, 1941; that he has treated Mr. Rinkenberger up to and including April 5, 1944, the date of his last examination; that Mr. Rinkenberger complained of pain in the left elbow and inability to lift his arm, pain in the wrist and stiffness of the elbow; that examination showed an impairment of flexion and he is only able to extend the arm about half way, and in lifting he experiences considerable pain; that Mr. Rinkenberger has failed to improve to any further treatment and the injuries are of a permanent nature. He further states that nothing can be done medically to improve or remove the permanent condition, which exists.
Mr. John Floering, who was a passenger in Mr. Rinkenberger's car, was seriously injured in the accident. He was taken to the Elmhurst Hospital where he remained for a period of 7 weeks. He was then removed to his home where he convalesced for a period of 4 months before he was able to walk with the aid of a cane. Mr. Floering is a married man with a wife and three children. He is 58 years of age, his profession having been a lather for approximately 40 years. His hospital bill amounted to $316 and his medical bill for the period he was hospitalized totaled $125. He suffered considerably during the time he was in the hospital and had to be administered with opiates for rest and sleep. Upon being released from the hospital he returned to his home where he remained in bed for several months, then only able to move about with the aid of crutches. He is still receiving treatments from the physician and has been advised that his injuries and treatments are of a permanent nature.
In an affidavit dated April 10, 1944, Dr. A. F. Akkeron made the following statement regarding Mr. Floering's injuries:
That on April 8, 1944, the date of his last examination, his injuries were of a permanent rfature, which were as follows: (a) He had a permanent shortening of the right leg, producing a permanent limp; (b) there was impairment of movement as to extension, flexion, abduction, and adduction of the right leg; (c) there was present a marked calcification and fibrosis and marked impairment to the general circulation and nerve supply about the head of the femur and about the acetabular cavity.
He further states that Mr. Floering has difficulty in stooping and in walking up or down stairs and that he is in considerable pain; that the injuries will prevent him from following his occupation of a lather and that these conditions cannot be improved by any further medical treatment.
At the time of the accident Mr. Floering was a lather and earned about $75 a week. The union scale was $1.70 per hour and he was working 8 to 10 hours a day. He estimates that his total loss as the result of the accident will exceed the sum of $15,000.
From the facts and evidence submitted in this case your committee recommends that the bill be amended to pay the sum of $5,000 to A. L. Rinkenberger, and to pay the sum of $10,000 to John Floering.
Therefore, your committee recommends that the bill be favorably considered, as amended.
Appended hereto is the report of the Department of the Interior together with other pertinent evidence.
Washington 25, D. C., February 11, 1944 Hon. Dan R. McGEHEE, Chairman, Committee on Claims,
House of Representatives. My Dear Mr. McGEHEE: Further reference is made to your request for a report on H. R. 2066, entitled “A bill for the relief of A. L. Rinkenberger and John Floering."
I recommend that favorable consideration be given to this claim in such amount as your committee may deem appropriate.
This bill would authorize and direct the Secretary of the Treasury to pay to A. L. Rinkenberger the sum of $5,000 and to John Floering the sum of $15,000 in full settlement of all claims against the United States for personal injuries, property damage, and medical and hospital expenses sustained by them when a Civilian Conservation Corps truck collided with the automobile in which they were riding. The accident occurred on November 6, 1941, and it is evident from the reports received by this Department that the accident was the fault of the driver of the Government truck, an enrollee of the Civilian Conservation Corps.
Copies of papers in our file that are material to the facts of the case are enclosed, Your special attention is invited to an opinion of the Solicitor of this Department dated July 30, 1943, in which the claim of A. L. Rinkenberger, the owner of the private car, and the claim of the Connecticut Fire Insurance Co., as subrogee, totaling $463.70, were considered for payment under section 16 of the act of June 28, 1937 (50 Stat. 321, 16 U. S. C., sec. 5840). The provisions of that act limit the amount that may be allowed on any claim to a maximum of $500, and further limit the amount that may be allowed on account of personal injuries to “necessary medical and hospital expenses.' In the case at hand the Solicitor allowed the sum of $265 to the insurance company as subrogee and $168.75 to Rinkenberger. This award included $118.75 for medical and hospital expenses-the full amount claimed by Mr. Rinkenberger for such expenses—and $315 for damage to the private car—this being $29.95 less than the amount claimed for such damage. However, it does not appear from our records that Mr. Rinkenberger has accepted the amount allowed, which would have been in full satisfaction of his claim.
This Department is without information as to any additional facts which would justify the higher amounts claimed under the terms of the bill other than the circumstance that both Mr. Rinkenberger and Mr. Floering sustained traumatic injuries of the type for which damages on account of pain and suffering and on account of loss of working time are frequently granted in negligence actions. It is believed that data concerning any such additional factors should be presented to your committee by the claimants.
I have been advised by the Bureau of the Budget that “the sums proposed to be paid appear to this office to be grossly excessive, but that there would be no objection to the enactment of legislation that would authorize the payment to the claimants of amounts more commensurate with the injuries sustained by them.” Sincerely yours,
HAROLD L. ICKES, Secretary of the Interior.
AFFIDAVIT STATE OF ILLINOIS,
County of Cook, 38: 1. A. F. Akkeron, being first duly sworn upon his oath, deposes and says, that he is a duly licensed and practicing physician and surgeon, in the State of Illinois; that his office is located at 146 Broadway, Melrose Park, Cook County, Ill.
2. This affiant further states he has examined and treated A. L. Rinkenberger for injuries he sustained on November 6, 1941.