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Nothing further was heard from this matter until on December 16, 1941, Mrs. Loacker received a letter addressed to Mr. Loacker under date of December 12, 1941, at Washington, D. C., which gave the desired information but Mr. Loacker had been officially retired November 1, 1941, taken to the hospital on November 3 and passed away on December 4, 1941, 8 days before the letter was written him from Washington and 12 days before the letter was actually received by Mrs. Loacker.
This was pure carelessness on the part of some clerk in the Retirement Section of the Railway Mail Service and Mrs. Loacker was denied the benefits her husband desired her to have which are provided for under the Retirement Act. I am enclosing copy of a letter from Harry B. Mitchell, President of the Civil Service Commission, which is addressed to Senator Bone as he had previously introduced S. 818
in the Senate in her behalf. H. R. 3659 is a companion bill. H. R. 3659 is a meritorious piece of legislation and we certainly hope that your committee will report same out so action can be taken by the House. "Nothmg can be done until the bill is reported out by your committee so if you can arrange to have this done it will be greatly appreciated by a lot of people who feel that Mrs. Loacker was denied something which she is justly entitled to due to the carelessness of some clerk in the Department. As you will see there is no appropriation involved and all that is necessary is for Congress to authorize the Civil Service Commission to allow this claim. We trust that you will use your influence as chairman of the Committee on Claims to that end. Very truly yours,
L. C. MACOMBER, President.
FEBRUARY 13, 1945—Committed to the Committee of the Whole House and
ordered to be printed
Mr. Keogh, from the Committee on Claims, submitted the following
(To accompany H. R. 1483)
The Committee on Claims, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 1483) for the relief of Mrs. W. V. Justice, having considered the same, report favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that the bill do pass.
A similar bill was favorably reported by this committee in the Seventy-eighth Congress.
The facts will be found fully set forth in House Report No. 55, of the Seventy-eighth Congress, which is appended hereto and made a part of this report.
(H. Rept. No. 55, 78th Cong., 1st sess.) The purpose of the proposed legislation is to pay to Mrs. W. V. Justice, of Jackson, Niss., the sum of $1,000 for personal injuries received by her on September 6, 1940, when the car which she was driving was struck by a United States mail truck.
On September 6, 1940, at about 1:30 p. m., an automobile being driven by Mrs. Justice was struck by a United States mail truck. Mrs. Justice was heading east on Capitol Street when she noticed a car being backed from a parking space being vacated; that when the car was almost to a complete stop it was struck on
the rear bumper by a postal truck; that the impact threw Mrs. Justice against the steering wheel, causing very severe injuries.
The Post Office Department is of the opinion that the pending bill should not receive favorable' consideration.
Your committee is of the opinion that the postal driver was the sole cause of the accident and sets forth the following to show why the committee recommends the passage of this bill.
The Department contends that Mrs. Justice did not give a hand signal; that there are attached hereto three affidavits that set forth that she did.
The Department is of the belief that the impact was not serious enough to cause injuries to Mrs. Justice; that in this connection there follows part of Mrs. Lula Allbritton's statement which shows exactly what happened.
“We noticed a car backing out some distance up the street and Mrs. Justice held her hand out to signify intentions of parking and gradually decreased speed, but before she could park the car was hit in the rear by a United States mail truck with such force Mrs. Justice was thrown over on the steering wheel and was rendered unconscious for a short time."
The Department contends that the facts were corroborated by Police Officer Paul Stribling who witnessed the accident; that the report of A. T. Monroe, Jr., post-office inspector, shows that Officer Stribling is at Camp Blanding in Florida, with the Mississippi National Guard; and that he was not interviewed.
It is also noted that the postal driver does not say that Mrs. Justice did not give a signal of her intention to stop, but says that he stopped his truck as promptly as he could, and if Mrs. Justice gave the proper hand signal, he did not see her
Also in this connection the courts have found that the driver of a car following another car should at all times keep his car a safe distance behind the other and that if there is a collision the rear car is responsible for the accident.
Appended hereto is the report of the Post Office Department, together with other pertinent papers.
OFFICE OF THE POSTMASTER GENERAL,
Washington, D. C., June 10, 1941. Hon. Dan R. McGEHEE, Chairman, Committee on Claims,
House of Representatives. MY DEAR MR. McGEHEE: In compliance with the request of your committee dated May 22, I transmit for consideration with H. R. 4830, all papers on file in the Department relating to the claim of Mrs. W. V. Justice, of Jackson, Miss., in the sum of $1,500, arising out of an accident involving a United States mail truck.
The investigation of this accident disclosed that it happened midway of a block; that the mail truck was following the private car in traffic when the claimant made a sudden stop in order to park her car in a vacant place at the curb; and that by reason of the unexpected action of the claimant in stopping short without a signal, the postal chauffeur was unable to avoid bumping her car. It further appears that there was no visible evidence of damage to either vehicle nor did it appear that the impact was serious enough to cause injuries to any of the occupants of the private car. These facts are corroborated by Police Officer Paul Stribling who witnessed the accident and instructed the claimant to move on; also by Mrs. Fred R. Coney, a disinterested witness, who also stated that the impact was so slight that it could not have caused injury to any occupant of either vehicle.
Mrs. Justice presented a claim under the provisions of 5 United States Code 392, as amended, but upon the basis of the facts disclosed in the investigation, her claim was disallowed on the ground that the evidence did not establish the responsibility of the Government.
In the circumstances it is believed that the pending bill should not receive favorable consideration. Very truly yours,
Acting Postmaster General.
Post OFFICE DEPARTMENT,
OFFICE OF INSPECTOR,
Jackson, Miss., February 20, 1941. A. T. MONROE, Jr., Inspector. Case No. 92379-U. Subject: Jackson, Miss.: Accident on September 6, 1940, involving United States
mail truck No. 18207, operated by R. L. Moman, carrier, and an automobile driven by Mrs. M. V. Justice, resulting in injury to the latter. Examined, approved and forwarded to Chief February 24, 1941.
W. B. WOOTEN,
Inspector in Charge. The INSPECTOR IN CHARGE,
Chattanooga, Tenn. 1. This case relates to a motor-vehicle accident at Jackson, Miss., and was given personal attention at that office and at Florence, Miss., December 31, 1940, January 3, 1941, February 11 to 15, 1941, and today, in connection with the investigation of other cases.
2. There will be found in the files, Form 26, completed by City Carrier Robert L. Moman, showing the accident occurred on September 6, 1940, about 1:30 p. m., at the corner of Lamar and Capitol Streets. Carrier Moman stated the accident occurred just after he had crossed the intersection and was heading east on Capitol Street, and the car in front of him, driven by Mrs. W. V. Justice, came to a sudden stop to obtain a parking space. A diagram on Form 26, showing the relative positions of the two vehicles at the time of the accident corresponds with the report of Carrier Moman. The report in question was not made to the assistant superintendent of mails until September 12, 1940, although an oral report thereof was made when the carrier returned to the office. The accident appeared to be so minor, the completion of the form was not considered to be necessary. Form 27 is also in the files, covering an investigation of the accident made by Assistant Superintendent of Mails J. B. Murray, which contains practically the same information furnished by the carrier, except the time of the accicent was placed at 1:14 p. m. instead of 1:30 p. m. On Form 4560 which is herewith in the files, it is shown no one was injured as a result of this accident and no action was recommended as there was no damage to either vehicle involved. It is also shown the accident occurred after the parcel-post truck bad crossed Lamar Street, while proceeding east on Capitol and was caused by the automobile just in front of the truck making a sudden stop to wait for another vehicle to back out of a parking space the driver of the automobile wanted to use. Witnesses to the accident were shown to be Mrs. F. R. Coney and Police Officer Paul Stribling, while Officers L. D. Marbuary, L. C. Bennett and G. E. Pritchard were present after the accident occurred.
3. Mrs. Justice has completed Form 28, showing that she was driving east on Capitol Street when a parcel-post truck driven by a Negro, ran into the rear of
that she suffered back and chest injuries, in addition to severe shock which was almost fatal, and that she was confined to her bed for all of 8 weeks and part of 2 weeks. Mrs. Justice stated she was given medical aid by Drs. J. E. Wadlington, Temple Ainsworth, and T. H. Blake, and has made claim in the sum of $5,000 for personal injury. Mrs. Justice also submitted a written statement showing she was accompanied by Mrs. Lulu Allbritton and Mrs. Price Allbritton at the time of the accident; that just after crossing Lamar Street she saw a car backing out of the fifth or sixth parking space from the corner and decided to park therein; that she immediately held out her hand indicating her intentions of parking and after slowing speed gradually to permit the other car to right itself to drive east, her car was hit by the parcel-post truck. Mrs. Justice claimed she was stunned for a short time after the impact, and her attention was then attracted by Police Officer Stribling telling her to move on as her car was not damaged; that she then informed the officer she was hurt and he told her to drive in to the curb. According to Mrs. Justice's statement, it was necessary for her to take two aspirin tablets to calm her nerves after the accident, but she later drove her car home and about 5 o'clock began to feel sick and suffered severe pains all over her body which necessitated her calling Dr. Wadlington. Mrs. Justice further stated she was given a sedative and taken to the Baptist Hospital where Dr. Blake was called for consultation and X-rays taken to determine the extent of her injuries; that she became quite ill that night about 10 o'clock and would have died if Dr. Wadlington had not been called to her aid; that the doctor recommended the services of two registered nurses be obtained and one of them stayed with her until she left the hospital on September 10.
4. Mrs. Lula Allbritton, who was a passenger in the front seat of Mrs. Justice's car, was interviewed, and her affidavit is in the files. In this statement Mrs. Allbritton stated the automobile was severely bumped by the parcel-post truck, and Mrs. Justice was completely knocked out while she herself was blinded for a minute or two after the impact. Mrs. Allbritton claimed she became so nauseated after the accident she had to throw up." Mrs. Allbritton claimed Mrs. Justice gave the proper signal to show she intended to make a left turn into a parking space, and that since the truck driver failed to heed this signal, she believed he was guilty of negligence and entirely to blame for the accident. Mrs. Allbritton stated she believed Mrs. Justice was entitled to be reimbursed for her doctor and hospital bills caused by this accident.
5. Mrs. Fred R. Coney was interviewed and stated she was in her car, which was parked on the first space on Capitol Street just east of Lamar Street, and the accident in question happened just back
of her car; that she did not see the accident but was talking with Police Officer Paul Stribling at the time, and when they heard the bump caused by the impact they both looked around to see the
Mrs. Coney stated she saw no evidence of an injury to any of the occupants of the car nor did any one of them appear to have been stunned. She described the impact as very slight, and stated it was not severe enough to have caused injury to any occupant of either vehicle. Mrs. Coney is a disinterested witness, and it is believed full credence should be given to her statement with reference to the severity of the accident.
6. Mr. G. E. Pritchard, traffic investigation officer, was interviewed and furnished me the information shown on his report of the accident. According .to this report, there was no evidence to show the impact was severe; that the bumpers did not show any scratches and there was no dirt on the street to indicate the impact was severe anough to dislodge accumulated dirt from under the fenders. Officer Pritchard stated his report showed no damage to either vehicle and no injury to any occupant thereof; that Mrs. Justice complained of an old back injury but he did not see any signs to indicate the impact was severe enough to have caused it. Officer Pritchard stated his report showed the vehicles were probably making a speed of about 10 miles per hour as they had both just passed the street intersection when they came together. The officer claimed his report did not disclose negligence on the part of the city carrier who was driving the truck, and that the accident was considered one which was not avoidable on a street having as heavy traffic as that on Capitol, where cars are operated so close together. Inquiry of Officer Pritchard disclosed that Mr. Stribling is now at Camp Blanding, in Florida, with the Mississippi National Guard. Since Officer Pritchard prepared the report of the accident, it was not considered necessary to interview other officers.
7. City Carrier Robert L. Moman was interviewed and stated he could add nothing to his report of the accident; that he stopped his truck as promptly as he could and if Mrs. Justice gave the propc hand signal to show she was going to stop, he did not see her do so. Carrier Moman has a good record and has been driving a parcel-post truck for a number of years. He is considered to be a good driver and has not been involved in accidents in the past to indicate he is careless. The carrier stated his brakes were in good condition and the accident was due to the very sudden stop made by Mrs. Justice in order that she could park in a space being vacated by a car just ahead of her; that Mrs. Justice had to stop a few cars lengths behind in order for the car to back out. Carrier Moman stated he did not make an immediate written report of the accident as he called the asstant superintendent of mails by telephone and that official came to the scene of the accident to make an investigation.
8. Mr. John B. Murray, assistant superintendent of mails, was interviewed and stated his investigation disclosed no damage was done to the parcel-post truck or the car belonging to Mrs. Justice; that no scratches could be found on the bumpers of the vehicles and the impact was not of sufficient force to engage the bumpers: that he did not observe Mrs. Justice was in pain after the accident and this opinion was expressed by the police officers who were at the scene of the accident. Mr. Murray explained that he did not consider an accident report was necessary in the case since an investigation was made by police officers but his attention was called to the necessity for the making of such reports promptly, regardless of the seriousness of the accidents. Mr. Murray stated he made the accident report on September 12, and had Carrier Moman also prepare a statement on that date, as Mr. Justice came to the office to report the alleged serious injury to his wife. Mr. Murray stated he was berated by Mr. Justice for prjtecting a Negro, when he tried to explain the carrier was not at fault and that