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Mrs. Collins received as a result of the accident $35.50 under & policy with the Sterling Insurance Co., Chicago, Ill., which was intended to cover $1.50 physician's fee and $1.50 hospital fee as well as $32.50 disability while she was confined in the hospital.
The medical testimony with respect to the personal injuries sustained by W. W. Collins as a result of the accident is not clear. It appears that Mr. Collins was examined by Dr. C. L. Harshbarger, Norton, Va., who states he considered the injuries of such a nature that hospital treatment was required. Mr. Collins refused to accept hospital treatment. Approximately a year and 2 months after the accident Mr. Collins was examined by Dr. J. J. Porter, Norton, Va., who states that an X-ray examination of the right knee joint shows no evidence of any fracture to the knee joint proper; that there is a suggestive healed incomplete fracture of the kneecap which offers no disability; that examination of the right hip joint showed a healed fracture of the head of the femur with most of the femoral head riding too high in its socket by reason of a partial dislocation of the hip as a result of the fracture; and that there was a slight atrophy of the entire right leg. Dr. Porter estimates that there is approximately a 75-percent disability in the leg.
The only bills incurred by Mr. Collins as a result of his injuries appear to be the bill of Dr. Porter of $15
for X-ray and $5 for professional services. It is alleged by Rebecca Collins and W. W. Collins that, during the year preceding the accident, their combined efforts produced an income of $1,830 in the proportion of two-thirds to W. W. Collins and one-third to Rebecca Collins. This income was derived mainly from the sale of farm products, poultry, and livestock. There is no evidence in the file of the Work Projects Administration in support of this allegation.
The automobile in which Rebecca Collins and W. W. Collins were riding at the time of the accident was owned by their daughter, Bettie Ione Collins, who presented a claim to the Work Projects Administration, which was determined favorably in the sum of $85. W. W. Collins states that there were 13 bushels of apples in the automobile at the time of the accident which were lost, and that 187 bushels of apples stored in his apple house were lost by reason of spoiling, because of the personal injuries he sustained. He claims $200 for this damage. There is no other evidence of any property damage sustained as a result of the accident.
In view of the above, which establishes that the accident was caused by the negligence of an employee of the Work Projects Administration, this Agency recommends enactment of the proposed legislation in an amount commensurate with the personal injuries and property damage sustained by Rebecca Collins and W. W. Collins by reason of the accident.
There are enclosed photostatic copies of pertinent papers from the files of the Work Projects Administration.
The Bureau of the Budget advises me that there would be no objection to the submission of this report to the committee. Sincerely yours,
ALAN JOHNSTONE, General Counsel.
signal his intention to make a left turn, and, failing to observe the approaching motorcycle because of a curve in the street, began such turn; and that Mr. Dyer was unable to bring his motorcycle to a stop in time to avert a collision or otherwise to prevent it from crashing into the Army truck. The motorcycle was damaged beyond econonomical repair, and Mr. Dyer sustained fractures of the left femur, the left wrist, and the left scapula.
In an affidavit dated December 23, 1943, Dr. Edwin H. Crabtree made the following statement concerning Mr. Dyer's injuries:
He was in the county hospital 1 month and his leg was in a cast for 4 to 5 months. An open operation was done and the bone plated. He also fractured his left ulna and his left shoulder blade had a severe bruise of his left shin, followed by ulceration for 23 weeks.
At the present time there is partial foot drop on the left side and motion in the ankle joint is limited about 40 percent in both directions. His left calf is onehalf the circumference of the right calf. There is definite evidence of paralysis of the peroneal nerve. There is crepitation present in the knee joint. There is a blue color of the left calf due to some change in circulation from pressure above. The left wrist is limited about 20° in radial motion. The left shoulder shows some muscle rigidity over the deltoid but passive motion is good.
Opinion: This man is partially disabled and will be for the rest of his life.
The War Department feels that the proximate cause of the accident was the negligence of the Army driver in making a left turn without first ascertaining whether such movement could be made in safety, and in failing to yield to Mr. Dyer the right-of-way to which he was entitled by reason of approaching the intersection from the opposite direction. The evidence discloses no fault or negligence on the part of Mr. Dyer either in causing or contributing to the accident.
As a result of this accident Mr. Dyer was severely injured as shown by the medical examination, reports, and statements in the file of the War Department. He has sustained actual out of pocket losses in the amount of $3,132, consisting of $227 medical and hospital expenses and $2,905 loss of earnings.
The War Department recommends that Mr. Dyer be compensated in the amount of $5,000 for his injuries and losses sustained. Your committee concurs in the recommendation of the War Department.
Therefore, your committee recommends that the bill be favorably considered, as amended. Appended hereto is the report of the War Department, together with other pertinent evidence.
Washington, April 6, 1944. Hon. Dan R. McGEHEE,
Chairman, Committee on Claims, House of Representatives. DEAR MR. McGehee: The War Department is opposed to the enactment of H. R. 1318, Seventy-eighth Congress, in its present form. This bill would authorize and direct the Secretary of the Treasury to pay “to Jack V. Dyer, Ocean Beach, Calif., the sum of $10,000
in full settleinent of all claims of the said Jack V. Dyer against the United States on account of personal injuries sustained by him on January 23, 1942, in San Diego, Calif., when the motorcycle which he was driving was in collision with a truck in the service of the War Department.” The Department, however, would interpose no objection to the enactment of the bill if it should be so amended as to authorize the payment to Mr. Dyer of the sum of $5,000.
On January 23, 1942, at about 2:14 p. m., an Army truck, operated by an enlisted man on official business, was proceeding east on Chatsworth Boulevard in San Diego, Calif., and approaching the intersection of that boulevard and
Zola Street. At the same time a motorcycle owned and operated by Jack V Dyer, of 4451 Mentone Street, Ocean Beach, Calif., was approaching the intersection from the opposite direction. It appears that upon reaching the intersection the Army driver indicated by a hand signal his intention to make a left turn, and, failing to observe the approaching motorcycle because of a curve in the street, began such turn; and that Mr. Dyer was unable to bring his motorcycle to a stop in time to avert à collision or otherwise to prevent it from crashing into the Army truck. The motorcycle was damaged beyond economical repair, and Mr. Dyer sustained fractures of the left femur, the left wrist, and the left scapula.
On January 30, 1942, the Army driver made the following statement to the investigating officer:
"I was traveling east on Chatsworth about 2:05 p. m., January 23, 1942. I started to make a left-hand turn into Zola Street. I looked and saw no one coming so I started to turn. Afcer I started to turn I saw a motorcycle coming west down Chatsworth. I had already started my turn to the left; I stopped as quickly as possible but it was too late as he had come around the blind curve and I didn't see him. The next thing I knew I'd stopped and he had hit me. He hit my right front bumper. I jumped out and a few seconds later some patrolmen came up and the man was taken off in an ambulance.
As to further details of the accident, my truck showed marks on the pavement where my tires had skidded when I stopped. I estimate my speed at between 10 and 15 miles per hour as I was in fourth gear coming up on incline. I put out my hand for a left-hand turn before turning. My brakes on the touch are perfect. The day was clear and the streets dry. I made every effort to avoid the collision but it was impossible. I cannot truthfully say the motorcycle driver was at fault, but, it seems to me that he could have swerved in time to avoid the collision."
On January 29, 1942, Mr. Dyer made the following statement to the investigating officer:
"My name is Jack V. Dyer, and I think that on January 23, 1942, I was proceeding west on Chatsworth on a motorcycle when I was struck by an Army truck at intersection of Zola and Chatsworth. Due to shock and pain following I can't distinctly remember what took place. At present time not able to look over the situation, as I am in San Diego County Hospital.”
On May 6, 1942, the board of officers convened to investigate the accident found in part as follows: “(1)
In attempting the left turn into Zola Street and after giving the proper hand signal for same, Private
(the Army driver) on going into the turn failed to observe the oncoming motorcycle which was coming down Chatsworth Boulevard. That Private
failed to observe existing traffic rules and regulations wherein he did not stop to allow the motorcycle the rightof-way, thus resulting in the collision. That Private
claims not to have seen the approaching motorcycle until too late to avoid the collision as it was approaching from a blind curve.
“(2) That in view of the evidence and affidavits submitted the Board finds that Private
should be held responsible for causing the accident The police report of the accident contains the following remark: “Physical evidence disclosed that
(the Army driver) was not making a proper left turn."
With respect to the injuries sustained by Mr. Dyer, Dr. B. A. Adams, superintendent of the San Diego County General Hospital, on July 7, 1942, made the following statement:
"Injuries found on admittance, and corroborated by X-ray: Fracture of left femur; fracture left wrist; stellate fracture of left scapula. Treatment: Open reduction of fracture of left femur on February 6, 1942, following period of traction; casting of shoulder and wrist for fractures. Discharged February 12, 1942, to orthopedic clinic.
“Clinic follow-up: February 25, 1942 Arm cast removed. X-rays of arm and femur rechecked. March 25, 1942 X-ray of left femur; small amount of callus present, but union does not look firm. April 6, 1942, was found to have developed inability to flex the left foot due apparently to pressure nerve injury, and was readmitted to hospital for physiotherapy treatment which he received until discharged April 26, 1942. Mr. Dyer was then followed in orthopedic clinic, and at his last visit July 6, 1942 still showed a residual paralysis of part of the muscles of the left lower leg. The amount of recovery from this paralysis will necessarily have to be determined by his progress in future examinations.”
On December 5, 1943, Maj. Thomas M. Oliver, Medical Corps, battalion surgeon, Sixty-ninth Army Antiaircraft Gun Battalion, San Diego, Calif., examined Mr. Dyer and made the following report:
I have this date examined Jack V. Dyer and from a purely physical standpoint, without any supporting X-ray evidence, I find him to be suffering from the following disabilities:
"(a). One inch shortening of left leg, with bowing of left femur, and fixation at midpoint of external rotation.
“(6) Healed tropic ulcers of left heel and anterior surface of left lower leg.
"(c) Contracture of tendons of left foot with 50 percent loss of flexion of left toes. Extension normal.
"(d) Healed fracture, left wrist, toth Lones, with noderate deformity in dorsiflexion and 25 percent loss of ability to flex left wrist. Extension, pronation, and supination normal.”
A sworn statement made by Mr. Dyer on December 5, 1943, reads as follows:
“I, Jack V. Dyer, being duly sworn, depose and say, that I was born on January 4, 1909, and was 33 years 17 days old on January 23, 1942. I further state that my dependents are Mary C. Dyer, my wife, and Dyonis, daughter, age 9; Jack V. Jr., son, age 8; Catherine, daughter, age 7, all of whom are entirely dependent upon me.
“On January 23, 1942, I suffered injuries when the motorcycle on which I was riding collided with an Army truck. The nature of my injuries were: Broken and crushed femur of left leg; broken left wrist; broken shoulder blade; bruises on heel and shin of left foot and leg which resulted in ulcers. My left leg, as a result, is now about one-half inch shorter than my right leg, and I have silver plates attached to femur on left leg. I would estimate my percentage of di ability as a result of these injuries at least 50 percent.
“My actual cash outlay for hospital and medical bills has been $227. The county hospital called in a Dr. West, San Diego surgeon, who is now in Medical Corps of United States Army. He performed the operation on my left leg and placed therein the silver braces, all of which services were performed without cost to me, and the value of which I am advised was approximately $1,000.
“I was unable to work for a period of approximately 9 months after the accident. I was earning $55 per week driving a truck for R. E. Hazard & Son, San Diego contractors, at the time of accident, making my initial loss about $2,145. When I became able to work I was given switchboard work at $125 per month, which I did for 1 month, making a loss there of $100. Then I was given service station work at $135 per month, which job I held for about 5 weeks, making another loss of about $100. At this time, about Christmas, 1942, I left the employment of Hazard & Son and accepted a job driving a truck, at which job I made an average wage of about $40 per week until July 1, 1943, making a loss of about $360 during this period. On July 1, 1943, I returned to my regular trade, commercial fishing, which work I had to stop on or about September 1, 1943, for the reason that my physical condition was unequal to the rigor of duties and labor of fishing. I intend to continue with commercial fishing, but will have to take on a partner or employ help to take my place because of my physical inability to perform the necessary duties of that work. It is impossible to state the loss I have suffered and will continue to suffer because of physical disability limiting my activity and endurance in fishing business. Since September 21, 1943, I have been driving trucks off and on for several concerns, and have averaged about $35 per week, making a loss of about $200 during this period. Due to the limitation of action in my leg it is impossible for me to stand up under heavy work regularly, and I realize that in the future when jobs become more scarce I will have difficulty obtaining employment."
On April 30, 1942, Mr. Dyer filed a claim with the War Department for $10,100 ($100 for damage to his motorcycle, and $10,000 for personal injury). Upon review in the Department the claim for property damage was approved in the amount of $75 under the provisions of the act of December 28, 1922 (42 Stat. 1066; 31 U. S. C. 215), and was transmitted to the General Accounting Office for settlement on January 22, 1943. The claim for personal injury was necessarily disapproved, since there was at that time no statute or appropriation available to the Department for the administrative settlement of claims of this character.
Mr. Dyer's approximate monetary loss resulting from the accident up to December 5, 1943, according to his affidavit of that date, hereinbefore quoted, may be summarized as follows:
Medical and hospital expenses.
$227 Loss of earnings--
2, 905 Total..--
3, 132 It is the view of the War Department that the proximate cause of the accident was the negligence of the Army driver in making a left turn without first ascertaining whether such a movement could be made in safety, and in failing to yield to Mr. Dyer the right-of-way to which the latter was entitled by reason of approaching the intersection from the opposite direction. In this connection, section 551 of the California Vehicle Code provides as follows:
"Vehicle turning left at intersection: The driver of a vehicle within an intersection intending to turn to the left shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction which is within the intersection or so close thereto as to constitute an immediate hazard
The evidence discloses no fault or negligence on the part of Mr. Dyer either in causing or contributing to the accident.
The amount of the proposed award, $10,000, is excessive, but in view of the serious nature of Mr. Dyer's injuries, the considerable loss of earnings thus far incurred by him, and the continued diminution in his earning power to be anticipated as a result of the permanent disability sustained by him, the Department interposes no objection to the enactment of the bill if it should be so amended as to authorize the payment to Mr. Dyer of the sum of $5,000.
The fiscal effect of the bill is manifest.
The Bureau of the Budget has advised that while there would be no objection to the enactment of legislation which would reasonably compensate the claimant for the injuries sustained, the expenses incurred, and the loss of pay due to the accident, it would appear that a payment of as much as $5,000 in this case would be somewhat liberal
HENRY L. STIMSON,
Secretary of War.
AFFIDAVIT OF EDWIN HODGE CRABTREE, M. D. STATE OF CALIFORNIA,
County of San Diego, 88: Edwin Hodge Crabtree, being first duly sworn, deposes and say: That he is and at all times herein mentioned was a physician and surgeon duly licensed to practice his profession in the State of California; that on November 12, 1943, affiant examined Jack V. Dyer, age 34, residence, 3451 Mentone Street, San Diego, Calif.
Statement of injury.-On January 23, 1942, he was struck by a United States Army truck, breaking his left femur at the lower middle third. He was at the county hospital 1 month and his leg was in a cast for 4 to 5 months. operation was done and the bone plated. He also fractured his left ulna and his left shoulder blade and had a severe bruise of his left shin, followed by ulceration for twenty-three weeks.
Examination: The man's general examination is good. His main disability is to his left femur and leg and ankle.
At the present time there is partial foot drop on the left side and motion in the ankle joint is limited about 40 percent in both directions. His left calf is onehalf the circumference of the right calf. There is definite evidence of paralysis of the peroneal nerve. There is crepitation present in the knee joint. There is a blue color of the left calf due to some change in circulation from pressure above.
The left wrist is limited about 20° in radial motion.
The left shoulder, at the present time, shows some muscle rigidity over the deltoid but passive motion is good.
X-ray films seen at the county hospital were reported as follows, which will give a clear picture of the bony injury:
“January 24, 1942: (Left femur.) There is a comminuted fracture involving about 3 cm, of the bone just below the middle of the shaft. The proximal fragment is displaced anterolaterally the diameter of the bone with about 2-inch overriding.
“January 24, 1942: (Left wrist.) There is a comminuted fracture of the distal cm. of the radius. There is no appreciable separation or displacement, but there