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ESTATE OF RALPH A. STOWELL

FEBRUARY 27, 1945.—Committed to the Committee of the Whole House and

ordered to be printed

Mr. Cole, from the Committee on Claims, submitted the following

REPORT

(To accompany H. R. 1669)

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The Committee on Claims, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 1669) for the relief of the estate of Ralph A. Stowell, having considered the same, report favorably thereon with amendments and recommend that the bill as amended do pass.

The amendments are as follows:

Line 5, after the word "to" strike out “Mrs. Dorothy Stowell,”. insert in lieu thereof “the estate of Ralph A. Stowell, of".

Line 6, strike out" for the benefit of said Mrs. Dorothy Stowell and her minor children, the sum of $10,000.” Insert in lieu thereof "the sum of $5,000.”

Line 8, after the word "claims" strike out "of the said Mrs. Dorothy Stowell and children".

Line 10, strike out "her husband,".

At the end of bill add: : Provided, That no part of the amount appropriated in this Act in excess of 10 per centum thereof shall be paid or delivered to or received by any agi attorney on account of services rendered in connection with this claim, and the same shall be unlawful, any contract to the contrary notwithstanding. Any person violating the provisions of this Act shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be fined in any sum not exceeding $1,000.

The purpose of the proposed legislation is to pay the sum of $5,000 to the estate of Ralph A. Stowell, who was killed on November 19, 1943, by a United States Army ambulance near Bruning, Nebr.

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STATEMENT OF FACTS

It appears that on November 19, 1943, an Army ambulance on official business was proceeding north on an unnumbered county road in Thayer County, Nebr., at a speed of between 45 and 50 miles per hour and approaching an intersection with another unnumbered road a few miles south of Ohiowa, Nebr. A Chevrolet coach operated by Ralph A. Stowell was proceeding east on the intersecting road at a moderate rate of speed toward the same intersection. The view of each driver in the direction from which the other was approaching was obstructed by high vegetation along the roadside. The civilian car entered the intersection first. The Army driver applied his brakes in an attempt to stop, but the ambulance, skidding for a distance of 50 or 60 feet, crashed into the right side of the civilian car, knocking it sidewise about 40 feet into a ditch. The civilian car was demolished and its driver, Ralph A. Stowell, sustained injuries from which he died about an hour later.

The damage to the civilian car and funeral expenses were paid by the War Department.

Mr. Albert Stowell, the father of Ralph Stowell, stated that his son worked for him by the month and had a wife and two children to support.

The War Department recommends the enactment of this bill if amended to read “$5,000" instead of “$10,000.” Your committee recommends favorable consideration to the bill as amended. Appended hereto is report of the War Department, together with letter from Mrs. Ralph A. Stowell.

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WAR DEPARTMENT,

Washington, September 18, 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. 4974, Seventy-eighth Congress, a bill for the relief of Mrs. Dorothy Stowell, in its present form. This bill would authorize and direct the Secretary of the Treasury "to pay

to Mrs. Dorothy Stowell, Bruning, Nebraska, the sum of $10,000

in full settlement of all claims of the said Mrs. Dorothy Stowell against the United States on account of the death of her husband, Ralph A. Stowell, who was killed on November 19, 1943, when his automobile was struck by a United States Army ambulance near Bruning, Nebraska.”

The Department would not, however, oppose the enactment of the bill if it should be so amended as to provide for an award of $5,000.

On November 19, 1943, at about 8:45 a. m., an Army ambulance on official business, operated by an enlisted man, was proceeding north on an unnumbered county road in Thayer County, Nebr., at a speed of between 45 and 50 miles per hour and approaching an intersection with another unnumbered county road 1 mile west and 3 miles south of Ohiowa, Nebr. Although several patients were being carried in the ambulance, it does not appear to have been an emergency trip. A Chevrolet coach owned by Albert Stowell

, of Bruning, Nebr., and operated by his son, Ralph A. Stowell, also of Bruning, was proceeding east on the intersecting road at a moderate speed toward the same intersection. The weather was fair. The view of each driver in the direction from which the other was approaching was obstructed by high vegetation along the roadside. The civilian vehicle entered the intersection first. The Army driver applied his brakes in an attempt to stop but the ambulance, skidding for a distance of 50 or 60 feet, crashed into the right-hand side of the civilian vehicle, shoving it sidewise about 40 feet and into the ditch at the northeast corner of the intersection, where it was overturned on its left side against a telegraph pole. The civilian automobile was demolished and its driver, Ralph A. Stowell, sustained injuries from which he died about an hour later.

On March 22, 1944, a claim was filed with the War Department by Albert Stowell (father of Ralph A. Stowell and owner of the automobile the latter was driving at the time of the accident) in the amount of $80 for the damage to his car. On the same date Albert Stowell, as administrator of the estate of Ralph A. Stowell, deceased, filed a claim with the War Department in the amount of $438.60 for the expenses incurred in connection with the burial of Ralph A. Stowell. The claims were approved by the War Department in the amounts claimed under the provisions of the act of July 3, 1943 (57 Stat. 372; 31 U. S. C. 223b), and were paid on April 13, 1944. In a sworn statement dated November 29, 1943, Albert Stowell said:

My son (Ralph A. Stowell) worked for me by the month. I had agreed to trade labor with Ed Sawkop who lives about 242 miles east of the scene of the accident. My son's car was out of order so I loaned him mine. I considered it my duty to furnish him transportation as he was on my business.

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"My son is survived by his widow, Dorothy Stowell, a son Richard A. Stowell, aged 19 months, and a daughter, Sandra Stowell, aged 9 months. He was their sole support.”

The records of the War Department fail to disclose the age of Ralph A. Stowell at the time of his death or his income. Inasmuch as his address was the same as that of his father (Rural Free Delivery, Bruning, Nebr.), it is reasonable to assume that he was engaged in farm work at the time of his death.

It is the view of the War Department that the proximate cause of the accident and resulting death of Ralph A. Stowell was the negligence of the Army driver in that he approached the intersection at an excessive speed, considering that he did not have a clear and unobstructed view in all directions, and for that reason was unable to slow down or stop and yield the right-of-way to the civilian automobile which had entered the intersection first. There was no negligence on the part of Mr. Stowell, who, apparently, was operating his vehicle at a moderate speed. The Department, therefore, believes that his widow, Mrs. Dorothy Stowell, should be reasonably compensated for his death. The proposed award of $10,000 is excessive, but the Department would not oppose the enactment of the bill if it should be so amended as to provide for an award of $5,000.

The fiscal effect of the bill is manifest. The Bureau of the Budget advises that there is no objection to the submission of this report. Sincerely yours,

HENRY L. STIMSON,

Secretary of 'War.

State of

County of Fillmore, 88: Dorothy Stowell, being first duly sworn upon her oath, deposes and says that she is 23 years of age and that her maiden name was Dorothy Goodman; that she is the widow of Ralph A. Stowell who was killed on November 19, 1943, when his automobile was struck by a United States Army ambulance near Bruning, Nebr.

That the affiant and the decedent, Ralph A. Stowell, were married November 9, 1940; that two children were born to said union, Richard Austin Stowell, a son; whose age is 2 years, and Sandra Jo Stowell, a daughter, whose age is 1 year.

Affiant further states that she has no means of her own whereby to support herself and the said minor children; that since the death of her husband, she has resided, together with her two chldren, in the home of her mother-in-law, Mrs. Albert C. Stowell.

Affiant further states that her husband was an able-bodied man and that he had, prior to the fatal accident above referred to, always enjoyed good health. That at the time of the death of the said Ralph A. Stowell, affiant and her husband were living on 320 acres of real estate, southwest of Ohiowa, Nebr., and that the said decedent was working on the said farm under a special arrangement with his father, Albert C. Stowell; that the said arrangement was substantially as follows: The decedent received his house rent, his butter, eggs, meat, and living expenses for himself and family; that, in addition thereto, the decedent and his said father operated a combine and other machinery and that one-half of the net profits were turned over to the decedent; that, in addition thereto, the father of the decedent paid him the sum of $25 per month.

That the said Ralph A. Stowell was therefore earning at the time of his death the very minimum of $100 per month; and that all of his earnings were devoted to the support and maintenance of affiant and family.

Affiant further states that her husband was an industrious, hard-working man, and that affiant enjoys good health, and that there is every reason to believe that her husband, if he had not been killed, would have lived his entire expectancy which is 40.09 years; and that the expectancy of affiant is 39.39 years.

DOROTHY STOWALL. Subscribed in my presence and sworn to before me this 28th day of September 1944. (SEAL)

ROBERT B. WARING, Notary Public.

STATE OF NEBRASKA,

County of Fillmore, 88: Verald Hedden, being first duly sworn upon his oath, says that he is 34 years of age; that he is a brother-in-law of Ralph A. Stowell who was killed in an automobile accident on November 19, 1943, when his automobile was struok by a United States Army ambulance near Bruning, Nebr.; that affiant knew the said decedent many years prior to his death.

That the said Ralph A. Stowell was a young man with a wife and two children and that he had always, prior to said accident, enjoyed good health; that at the time of his death and for some time prior thereto the said decedent resided on a farm of 320 acres located near Ohiowa, Nebr.; that the operator of said farm was the father of the said decedent, one 'Albert C. Stowell; that Albert C. Stowell was unable to conduct said farming operations alone; that he also owned and operated a combine and other machinery with which the said Albert C. Stowell did custom work for other farmers.

That the arrangement between the father and the son was that the father should pay the son $25 per month and also gave him and his family board and lodging, which included meat, butter, and eggs; that he also gave the son one-half of the net profits from said custom work; that at the very minimum, the value of said arrangement to decedent was $100 per month.

Affiant further states that the affidavit of the father of said decedent cannot be submitted for the reason that the said Albert C. Stowell died shortly after the death of his said son. Affiant further states that the said widow, Dorothy Stowell, was left without any means whatsoever to support herself and her said children; that the said decedent was just getting started in the farming business when he lost his life; and, therefore, he left no substantial estate.

VERALD HEDDEN. Subscribed in my presence and sworn to before me this 28th day of September 1944. (REAL)

ROBERT B. WARING, Notary Public.

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79TH CONGRESS | HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 1st Session

HARDY H. BRYANT

FEBRUARY 27, 1945.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House and

ordered to be printed

Mr. Jennings, from the Committee on Claims, submitted the following

REPORT

(To accompany H. R. 2005)

The Committee on Claims, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 2005) for the relief of Hardy H. Bryant, having considered the same, report favorably thereon with amendments and recommend that the bill as amended do pass.

The amendments are as follows:

Line 6, after the word "claims" strike out "due him by the Government of” and insert in lieu thereof "against”.

At the end of bill add: : Provided, That no part of the amount appropriated in this Act in excess of 10 per centum thereof shall be paid or delivered to or received by any agent or attorney on account of services rendered in connection with this claim, and the same shall be unlawful, any contract to the contrary notwithstanding. Any person violating the provisions of this Act shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be fined in any sum not exceeding

STATEMENT OF FACTS

It appears that the Post Office Department advertised for bids to carry the mail on route 450002, Beaumont, Tex., for the period July 1, 1942, to June 30, 1946.

Mr. Hardy J. Bryant submitted his bid of $2,924 per annum, which was accepted by the Post Office Department. However, in Mr. Hardy's statement, he states that the miles and trips which were to be made were increased afterward. The miles he was to make were 74.4 per week, and he was required to make 124.3 per week. to make 42 trips daily except Sunday and 30 on Sunday. Instead, he was required to make 54 trips daily except Sunday and 50 trips on Sunday. He was to use two 1-ton trucks of 200 cubic feet capacity. Instead, he was required to use two 2-ton trucks with 546 cubic feet capacity.

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