Lapas attēli
PDF
ePub

Also the skin area on the back of his arm has lost all feeling due to the destruction of superficial branches of the radial nerve."

Mr. Gause was examined by Maj. James H. Wooten, Jr., Medical Corps, Station Hospital, Camp Wallace, Tex., who submitted the following report on December 30, 1943:

"Examination: There is 142 inches of shortening of the left upper extremity as compared to the right. There is rather marked atrophy of the muscles of the arm and forearm but very little evidence of atrophy of the muscles of the left hand. The left elbow joint is a flail joint. The insertion of the left biceps muscle into the tuberosity of the radius is intact. Since the olecranon process of the ulna is gone, the triceps muscle has no attachment. The patient is capable of flexing the left elbow about 30° by contracting the biceps brachii muscle. To do this, it is necessary for the bones of the forearm to be pulled up so that they impinge on the intact articular surface of the humerus which is then used as a fulcrum. Motion in the left wrist is somewhat impaired. Flexion is limited by about 75 percent. This seems to be partially due to damage to the flexor muscles and their nerve supply at the time of the injury. Hyperextension at the wrist is limited only by about 25 percent. Range of motion of all fingers seems to be normal. There is, however, some weakness of flexion amounting to about 50 percent. The intrinsic muscles of the left hand seem to be essentially normal in motor power. This neurological examination of the left upper extremity showed some hypoesthesia of the medial half of the volar surface of the forearm extending from the point of injury at the elbow to a point about an inch proximal to the left wrist. There was no evidence of diminished sensation in the left hand when tested for sharp and dull sensation. X-rays of the left elbow showed that about 2 to 3 inches of the proximal end of the left ulna had been removed. The proximal end of the left radius has been removed down to a point just proximal to the tuberosity of the radius. The distal articular end of the left humerus seems to be intact.

“This patient has a flail left elbow joint due to the removal of the proximal 2 to 3 inches of the left ulna and the proximal 14 inches of the left radius.

“The insertion of the left biceps brachii is intact and the insertion of the left triceps brachii is gone. There is some ability to flex the flail joint but none to extend it. There is some loss of muscle power in the flexor muscles of the left forearm. At this examination the patient shows inability to perform the motions of pronation and supination.

"The radial, ulna, and median nerve supply to the left hand appears to be intact. This examiner feels that this patient has approximately 75 percent of disability in his left upper extremity. This disability is considered to be permanent.”'

Rosalind Gause sustained a severe fracture of the skull for which she was hospitalized for a period of 33 days. On December 20, 1943, Dr. John M. Thiel, of Galveston, described her injuries as follows:

"She (Rosalind Gause) was brought to the John Sealy Hospital and was in a very critical condition when I examined her. She was unconscious and in marked shock, and had a large wound about 5 inches long on her left forehead. The skull in this region was crushed and was depressed into the brain and there were bits of brain tissue protruding from the wound. She had frequent convulsions and muscular twitchings. Physical and neurological examination showed marked evidence of serious brain damage.

"She was treated for shock and X-rays of the skull were obtained. These films showed a badly comminuted fracture involving the left frontal, parietal, and temporal bones, with the skull depressed about 1 inch in the left frontal region.

"She was taken to the operating room and after the usual cleansing and preparation of the head, the wound was explored. Her injuries consisted of a compound comminuted depressed skull fracture of the frontal region, with extensive laceration and contusion of the left frontal lobe of the brain. Portions of the bone from the skull bad been driven into the brain. The section of the fractured skull was elevated and temporarily removed, and the piece of bone imbedded in the brain was withdrawn. Because of the serious injury to the brain in this region, it was necessary to remove the damaged portion of this part of the brain, as well as the. blood clots and debris present in the brain. Following this the depressed fragments of bone, which had been removed, were reshaped into normal contour and placed into normal position in the skull. The soft tissues of the scalp were then closed over the skull by sutures and the patient was taken to her bed in the hospital. Her condition remained critical but she showed a few signs of improvement the following day. Her brain, however, had been seriously damaged and she had numerous convulsions and twitchings which continued off and on at irregular intervals for the following week. In addition, she had definite weakness of the right arm and leg amounting almost to a paralysis. She gradually regained

*

*

consciousness within a week after the injury but she was unable to talk. Within the next several weeks she showed gradual improvement and upon dismissal from the hospital on March 22, 1943, she was able to speak a few words and seemed to understand some things said to her, but she had definite evidence of permanent disability. The weakness of the right arm and leg, while showing some improvement, persisted so that her movements were clumsy when reaching for objects with the right hand, and upon walking she dragged her right leg.

“She had definite personality changes, and impairment of intellect, and these continued during the period of post-operative observation. Within the next 2 months there was some slight improvement noticed in the weakness of her right arm and leg. However, she was definitely handicapped in using these extremities. Her difficulty in speaking persisted, although she used a few words. Her vocabulary however was much less than it was prior to her accident.

“Psychological examination done on June 1, showed that her present functioning level of intelligence was inferior to her former level of performance. She showed definite retardation in her performance of standardized test situations, and in addition she seemed irritable, negativistic, impulsive, and abnormally affected by slight changes in the momentary situation. This psychological examination, plus physical and neurological examinations done at this time, as well as encephalographic studies done by Dr. Snodgrass

showed that she would have permanent effects due to the serious brain damage which she had suffered.

“When last examined on December 16, 1943, she showed definite impairment of mentality and weakness of her right arm and leg. She did not have a normal walk and her steps seemed somewhat uncertain. She could use her right hand and arm in a limited capacity but when she attempted to pick up objects or to grasp for them her attempt was very clumsy, and her hand was used in claw-like fashion. She seemed able to understand most things said to her but her selfexpression was very poor, most of her words used being unintelligible. The site of the original wound was healed and showed a large noticeable scar. In addition there was a small defect in the skull between two of the fragments which had been depressed. The general contour of her skull, however, had been restored to normal shape by, operation. No further improvement is expected. Her mentality has been impaired; she shows definite personality changes; she has poor use of her right arm and hand and walks with a noticeable defect in her gait, and these are permanent effects. As a result of this accident she will be definitely handicapped to the extent of being unable to care for herself or live any semblance of normal life.”

Dr. S. R. Snodgrass, of Galveston, submitted the following report on the condition of Rosalind Gause on June 29, 1943:

“In my opinion this child has suffered such severe damage to the brain that she will be handicapped throughout her life. While some further improvement is to be expected, it appears certain that use of the right arm will never be sufficiently good to enable her to use it for any skilled activities. Her leg will likewise never be sufficiently useful that she can walk without a marked limp. The possibility of improvement in her speech to the point where it will be sufficiently good for her to talk well is also very unlikely and she may not be able to learn to read or to write. There is also a great likelihood that this child will in the future suffer from convulsive seizures as a result of the damage to the brain at the time of injury: these seizures may come on at any time from a few months to 20 or more years after injury-usually they appear within the first year after injury. Although there is some disagreement as to the frequency of such seizures after injuries of this type there is a minimal incidence of 20 percent and a maximum of 50 percent. I believe that this child will be handicapped socially and economically to such an extent that she will be unable to lead a normal life and be self supporting or marry."

Dr. Snodgrass examined Rosalind Gause again after approximately 6 months and made the following supplemental report on December 15, 1943:

"The child was alert and cooperative and appeared to understand everything said to her. I was unable to get her to enter into conversation and she made no complete sentences except to say that she wished to go to town. She was able to name correctly most objects shown her although she named some of them by saying what they were used for. I did not believe that she could express herself in a normal fashion but a great deal of improvement had occurred during the last 4 months insofar as her speech was concerned. The general strength of the child was good but she remained unable to use the right hand for any skilled movements and she had a marked limp when she attempted to walk. When she attempted to put on her stockings and shoes she made no attempt to use the right hand and when attempting to pick up an object with the right hand she attempted to scoop up the object and made no use of her right thumb or index finger. She was unable to wriggle the toes or ankle on the right and her gait appeared unimproved.

“There appears little doubt that the convulsive attacks will recur and that the patient will [be] handicapped throughout her entire life by her speech disability and by the inability to use the right side in a normal fashion. It is certain that she will be more and more aware of these difficulties as time goes on and that they will be an increasing source of unhappiness to her as she realizes her inability to lead a normal life.”

Rosalind Gause was examined by Captain Bernard H. Shulman, Medical Corps, Chief, Psychiatric Section, Station Hospital, Camp Wallace, Texas, who submitted the following report on December 31, 1943:

"Due to the severe brain damage as evidenced by observation on admission and also the marked dilation of both lateral ventricles as shown by pneumoencephalography, one can state that the damage, as noted above, to the right upper and lower extremities is permanent. Also because of the involvement of the frontal lobe of the brain personality changes will also be present. These have already been noted as evidence by the history as obtained from the parents of the child.

"It is my opinion, therefore, that this child is left with permanent disability involving th3 right arm and leg. Also her personality make-up has been altered to such an extent that she will be disabled for the rest of her life. These statements are made because of the definite brain damage as noticed by X-rays and loss of brain tissue on admission at the time of the accident."

In the accident Helen Gause sustained a severe laceration of the scalp and fracture of the skull. In a statement dated December 20, 1943, Dr. John M. Thiel, of Galveston, described her condition as follows:

"This patient, a white child, age 6, had a laceration 4 inches long in the frontal region of her head. She was conscious and in moderate shock. “Further examination revealed a fracture line in the skull at the depth of the scalp wound. However, her neurological and physical examination showed that the brain injury was not as severe as that encountered by her sister. X-rays of the skull showed a long ragged fracture line in the right front bone extending down toward the base. This injury was also extremely serious and the patient's condition was critical. She was treated for shock and was taken to the operating room after her sister Roselind had first been taken care of. Afte the usual preparation of her head, the wound was thoroughly cleansed and explored. The compound, comminuted fracture in the frontal region was identified and was treated by thorough cleansing and removal of all debris present at the site of fracture. Following this the soft tissues of the scalp were sutured together.

"Her post operative convalescence was satisfactory and she was dismissed from the hospital on March 11. However, she had a slight flattening of the right side of her forehead as a result of this accident. Subsequent physical and neurological examinations in the succeeding months indicated that she probably had no serious permanent impairment as a result of the brain injury.

"Ti hen last examined on December 16, 1943, she showed slight flattening of the right side of the forehead and a scar at the site of the original injury, these being permanent effects of the accident.

"Apparently her recovery has been satisfactory. However, it is possible that she may yet show other effects of her injury, at some subsequent time, even though none is in evidence now."

The evidence shows that as a result of the personal injuries sustained by himself and his two daughters in this accident Francis L. Gause incurred medical and hospital expenses in the aggregate amount of $2,006.65, which may be itemized as follows: John Sealy Hospital: For Ě. L. Gause..

$264. 40 For Rosalind Gause.

182. 00 For Helen Gause..

110. 25 Dr. John M. Thiel: For Rosalind Gause.

750. 00 For Helen Gause..

250. 00 Dr. G. W. N. Eggers, for F. L. Gause.

350. 00 Dr. S. R. Snodgrass, for Rosalind (ause...

100.00 Total..

2, 006. 65

The evidence contains a statement from William D. Decker, attorney for the claimant, that the civilian vehicle which was involved in the accident had been purchased by Mr. Gause a few months before it was wrecked at a cost of $90 and that by working on it himself and adding new parts its value had been enhanced to approximately $130. After the accident it was sold for salvage for $16.

At the time of the accident Mr. Gause was 38 years of age and was employed as a boilermaker's helper. He was married and had six children ranging in age from 4 to 17 years, all of whom presumably were dependent upon him for their support.

The evidence clearly establishes that the accident was not caused by any fault or negligence on the part of Mr. Gause or any of the passengers in his automobile, but was caused solely by an instrumentality of the Government for which it may properly assume liability. It is, therefore, the view of the War Department that Mr. Gause should be compensated for the property damage and personal injuries sustained by him and for the medical and hospital expenses incurred for himself and for his two injured children. Moreover, it is the view of the War Department that the United States should provide compensation for the permanent disabilities sustained by Mr. Gause's minor children. While the amounts of the awards stated in the bill are excessive, the War Department would not oppose the enactment of the bill if it should be so amended as to provide for the payment to F. L. Gause of the sum of $7,120.65 ($114 for property damage; $2,006.65 for medical and hospital expenses actually incurred; and $5,000 for personal injuries). Inasmuch as Rosalind Gause and Helen Gause are minors and have sustained serious injuries which have resulted in permanent disabilities, it is believed that, if this bill is approved, it should be so amended as to direct that the payment of the amounts appropriated thereunder for their relief be made to their legal guardians. If that is done the expenditure of the money appropriated will be under the supervision of a court. While the amount of the proposed award for the benefit of Rosalind Gause, $25,000, is excessive, the Department would not oppose an appropriation for her benefit in the amount of $6,000. Inasmuch as the medical evidence in this case shows that Rosalind Gause sustained in this accident such unusually severe injuries, both physical and mental, “that she will be disabled for the rest of her life,” it is believed that an appropriation for her relief in the amount of $6,000 would be fair and reasonable and not excessive. The amount of the proposed award for the benefit of Helen Gause, $1,500, appears to be fair and reasonable.

It is, therefore, recommended that the title of the bill be amended to read "A bill for the relief of F. L. Gause, the legal guardian of Rosalind Gause and the legal guardian of Helen Gause." It is further recommended that everything after the words "not otherwise appropriated," on line 5, page 1, of the bill, and before the word Providedon line 7, page 2 of the bill, be stricken out, and that in lieu thereof there be inserted the following: “the sum of $7,120.65 to F. L, Gause for property damage, personal injuries and permanent disability to himself, and medical and hospital expenses incurred for himself and his minor daughters, Rosalind Gause and Helen Gause; the sum of $6,000 to the legal guardian of Rosalind Gause, a minor, for personal injuries and permanent disability; and the sum of $1,500 to the legal guardian of Helen Gause, a minor, for personal injuries and permanent disability, as a result of a United States Army airplane crashing into the automobile in which they were riding on West Beach Road, Galveston Island, Galveston County, Texas, on February 21, 1943."

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.

STATEMENT AND AUTHORITIES

FAMILY STATUS

F. L. Gause is 38 years of age and his wife is 38 years of age. They were married in Texas in 1925, and as the result of such marriage, have had born to them six children, ranging in age from 4 to 17 years inclusive. Two children, Helen Gause and Rosalind Gause, 6 and 4 years of age respectively, and F. L. Gause were injured in this accident.

Prior to this accident, F. L. Gause had made a living for himself and family by doing semiskilled labor, the type of work which required the use of both arms and hands. Gause is an uneducated man and is unable to do any type of work other than manual labor or semiskilled labor, such as a helper. According to the American Experience Mortality Table, F. L. Gause has a life expectancy of 29.62 years and Rosalind Gause has a life expectancy of 51.22 years.

STATEMENT OF ACCIDENT

On Sunday, February 21, 1943, at about 11:30 or 11:45 a. m., Mr. Gause and several members of his family were riding on that portion of West Beach of Galveston Island, Texas, which is used as a traveled thoroughfare, close to what is commonly referred to as the Thirteen Mile Road. The weather was warm and clear and the sum was shining brightly. Gause was traveling in a westerly direction when he noticed an Army bomber approaching him from the west about a mile or so down the beach. The bomber was so low, that he called it to the attention of his children in the car.

The bomber proceeded on toward where Gause was traveling at a very low altitude. There were several cars scattered on the beach and the bomber approached them at an ext mely low altitude, ascending sufficiently to pass over them and then descending again. This happened up until the time the bomber approached the Gause car. It failed to ascend sufficiently to clear such vehicle. Statements of eye-witnesses attached hereto conclusively show that the bomber was not in any difficulty.

The accident resulted in the Gause car being completely demolished, its occupants being severely and permanently injured, and complete destruction of the bomber and the death of its entire crew of five. This entire tragedy was brought about by the pilot of the bomber diving his ship at various cars lawfully on a recognized highway in an attempt to frighten the occupants of such vehicles. See attached statements.

INJURIES OF F. L. GAUSE

As the result of this collision, Mr. Gause received numerous and severe contusions and abrasions over his entire body. His left arm was so badly shattered at the elbow joint that it was necessary to remove the elbow, which rendered his left arm hopelessly useless, as the only thing holding it together at the elbow is flesh. There has been considerable atrophy in his entire left arm due to nonuse, which will continue.

Prior to this accident F. L. Gause was left-handed, which further complicates the serious situation. See medical report attached hereto of Dr. G. W. N. Eggers, a specialist in orthopedic surgery and on the staff of the University of Texas Medical School.

INJURIES OF ROSALIND GAUSE

As the result of this accident, Rosalind Gause had her skull fractured, and when she was taken to the hospital, part of her brain was sticking out. Because of the severity of the injury, it was necessary to remove a certain portion of her brain. which has left her practically paralyzed on her entire right side, including the features on the right side of her face down to her foot. When she walks, it is necessary to drag her right foot. She has but very little use of her right hand. Her speech has been affected, and as a further result of the removal of a portion of her brain, her mind has been affected and she has become an imbecile. There is absolutely no hope of recovery. Specialists predict that as a result of this accident, she will be subject to fits. Such condition now exists. Since the medical report on Rosalind Gause, she has undergone one such experience.

This baby girl, who is now 4 years of age, has a life expectancy of 51.22 years, during which time she will be a hopeless cripple and imbecile. She will have to be waited upon and taken care of the rest of her entire life. See medical report of Dr. S. R. Snodgrass, associate professor of surgery at the University of Texas Medical School and report of Dr. John M. Thiel, assistant professor of surgery at the University of Texas Medical School.

INJURIES OF HELEN GAUSE

As the result of this accident, Helen Gause suffered a fractured skull. There is a permanent scar completely across her forehead, resulting in disfiguring her for life. The skull was depressed leaving a flat place. She has suffered excrutiating pain. See medical report of Dr. John M. Thiel, assistant professor of surgery at the University of Texas Medical School.

H. Repts., 79-1, vol. 1-27

« iepriekšējāTurpināt »