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while in the performance of their duties, and for other purposes',_approved September 7, 1916, as amended, are hereby waived in favor of Galen E. Walter, Pony, Montana, who allegedly sustained an injury on May 9, 1942, while employed as a forest guard at the Gallatin National Forest, and his claim for compensation is authorized to be considered and acted upon under the remaining provisions of such Act, as amended, if he files such claim within six months from date of the approval of this Act: Provided, That no benefit shall accrue prior to the approval this Act."
It appears from the Commission's records that a report of injury was received on December 27, 1943, from the official superior of Mr. Galen E. Walter, Pony, Mont., setting forth that on May 9, 1942, while employed as a forest guard by the Department of Agriculture (Forest Service) in Gallatin National Forest at Ennis, Mont., Mr. Walter suffered injury to his back when he fell from a telephone pole which he had climbed to make line repairs. Mr. Walter apparently reported his alleged injuries to his supervisor on the third day after the event, but declined to file written notice of injury (on Form CA-1 prescribed by the Commission) and declined at that time to see a physician with respect to his alleged injuries, indicating "that he would be all right in a day or two." Mr. Walter apparently continued to work at his usual employment until October 25, 1943, after which he was disabled for work.
Medical reports submitted to the Commission disclosed that Mr. Walter consulted an osteopath on May 26, 1942, complaining of “a pain low on his hip," but would not consent to X-ray of his hip be ause of the expense involved. The Commission received from Dr. Louis W. Allard, of Billings, Mont., a medical report in this case dated January 14, 1944, which is in full as follows: "Re: Galen Walter, age 48, Pony, Mont., employed as a forest ranger at Ennis,
Mont. “GENTLEMEN: History of disability: On May 9, 1942, the subject sell about 10 feet from a telephone pole, landing on his buttocks. He felt discomfort in the lumbar spine and left leg but did not believe there was anything the matter and did not pay too much attention to it. He was able to work all that summer. during the spring of 1943 the back began to bother a great deal and pain began to extend down both legs. This pain is recurrent and gradually getting more severe, back discomfort becoming severe enough to interfere with the subject's ability to work.
“Physical examination: Relative to complaint-reveals a definite first degree lumbar kyphosis with marked limitation of all movements (flexion, extension and rotation) in the lumbar spine; movements of the spine are not easily permitted beyond 20% of the normal range. The legs are the same length, no evidence of atrophy; reflexes (knee and ankle) present but limited. Sensation and neuromuscular action normal.
“X-ray pictures of the spine show definite compression, angulation of the second lumbar vertebra, evidently an old compression fracture which has become symptomatic.
“General physical examination: Height, 67 inches (used to be 68 inches); weight 147 pounds (normal 175); temperature 98, Julse 104; blood pressure 95/154; urine, 1,020, chemically and microscopically normal; blood Wassermann negative; no evidence of gross pathology in the organs or systems of the body (left ear drum retracted, tonsils atrophied, all but three upper and three lower teeth have been removed, prostate smooth and normal, no hemorrhoids).
“Treatment: The subject was sent to St. Vincent Hospital in Billings, Mont., and placed on hyperextension back frame for about 3 weeks and then fitted with a Taylor type ambulatory back brace. Under treatment the subject's symptoms gradually subsided as the kyphosis was corrected.
“Diagnosis: Wedging of second lumbar vertebra with a suggestion of activity in this region (no primary lesions found any place in the body). Leg and back symptoms secondary to compression of the vertebral body.
"The 10-foot fall on the buttocks on May 9, 1942, could very well have caused fracture of a lumbar vertebral body and be followed by the symptoms now presented.”
Since it did not appear that Mr. Walter had given written notice of injury or filed a claim for compensation within 1 year from the date of his injury as required by the mandatory provisions of sections 15 to 20, inclusive, of the Federal Employees' Compensation Act of September 7, 1916, the Commission was without authority of law to consider the merits of his claim and Mr. Walter was so advised. As for such reason no determination was made of his right to compensation on the merits of the case, the Commission is unable to comment upon this aspect of his The bill S. 2088 is apparently designed to waive in favor of Mr. Walter the bar of the time limitations in sections 15 to 20, inclusive, of the Federal Employees' Compensation Act, and to leave the Commission free to determine the merits of his claim if filed not later than 6 months after the date of the approval of the act, and to afford him such measure of relief as the facts, when established, may show him to be entitled to under the provisions of the compensation law, subject to the provision that no benefits shall accrue prior to the approval of the measure.
In view of the foregoing, the Commission makes no recommendation as to the advisability of the enactment of bill S. 2088.
This report has been submitted to the Bureau of the Budget, pursuant to Budget Circular No. A-19 Revised, dated August 1, 1944, and has been returned with the advice that there would be no objection to the presentation of the proposed report to the committee. Very truly yours,
(Mrs.) JEWELL W. SWOFFORD, Chairman.
Pony, Mont., May 22, 1944. SENATOR MURRAY,
Washington, D. C. DEAR SENATOR MURRAY: I am writing you this letter hoping that you can help me in a little matter. It is about an injury, a broken back, which I received while working for the Gallatin National Forest on a telephone line in Potosi Canyon in the Ennis district on May 9, 1942. As I had always lived in the mountains and was very healthy I did not pay much attention to the injury when I received it although my back and leg seemed badly hurt. I worked that summer although the pains kept getting worse. On October 3, 1943, I went to Dr. Hill of Whitehall, Mont., who took three X-rays of my back and found it to be broken.
He has permitted me to refer you to him in regard to my condition. He sent me to Dr. Allard, of Billings, who also took X-ray pictures of my back and told me the back was broken, same as Dr. Hill, of Whitehall, Mont. Dr. Allard put me in bed in the St. Vincent Hospital in Billings, Mont., on a fracture bed for 28 days. I expected the Forest Service to pay the bill as I have worked for them 13 summers. The claim papers were made out by the district ranger at Ennis, Mont., and sent in to the Commission, but because I had been injured over a year before filing the claim they would not pay the hospital nor Dr. Allard. Dr. Allard's bill is $47 and the St. Vincent Hospital was $181. Dr. Hill's bill at Whitehall is $17.
I have not been able to work since. I think the Drs. Hill and Allard are entitled to pay; also the St. Vincent Hospital, and as it is a legitimate claim I feel that the Government should pay it. I don't ask any compensation for myself as we are milking seven cows here on the ranch and myself and family will try to live on that till I get better, but it won't pay these bills.
My boy went into the United States Navy May 8, 1944, so we are quite alone here-my wife age 44, myself, a crippled boy, and a small girl 10 years old. We are born American citizens and our ancestry were.
Any help you can give me in this matter will be greatly appreciated as I think these people should be paid by the Commission as the claim was legitimate. Thanking you for any help on this, I am, Yours truly,
GALEN E. WALTER.
CHARLES R. HOOPER
FEBRUARY 22, 1945.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House and
ordered to be printed
Mr. Ramey, from the Committee on Claims, submitted the following
[To accompany H. R. 249)
The Committee on Claims, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 249) for the relief of Charles R. Hooper, 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 6, strike out the figures "$5,000” and insert in lieu thereof the figures “$3,000”.
An identical bill passed the House, Senate and was vetoed by the President, with the exception of the amount, which was $5,000. Your committee has amended the bill and recommend the sum of $3,000 be paid Mr. Hooper. A letter from him is included in this report for the information of the Congress. Also, included in this report are copies of Private Law 186, Seventy-third Congress; Private Law 467, Seventy-fourth Congress; and Private Law 97, Seventy-fifth Congress, which are almost identical bills. Your committee feel that Mr. Hooper is justly entitled to the sum of $3,000 for the loss of his eye and the suffering he has gone through for so many years. As stated in the Committee Report 830, Seventy-eighth Congress, Mr. Hooper's other eye is badly affected at this time.
The facts will be found fully set forth in House Report No. 830, Seventy-eighth Congress, which is appended hereto and made a part of this report.
(H. Rept. No. 830, 78th Cong., 1st sess.) The purpose of the proposed legislation is to appropriate the sum of $3,000 to Mr. Charles R. Hooper, of Washington, D. C., in full settlement of all claims against the United States for peronal injuries sustained while employed by the United States Navy Yard at Washington, D. C.
STATEMENT OF FACTS
It appears that Charles R. Hooper was employed by the Government in the Navy Yard in Washington, D. C., from May 1890 to March 1895, in the gun shop for the manufacture of large guns as a first-class blacksmith. While working in the line of his duty his left eye was destroyed by the stroke of a small piece of steel cast off of the hammer of a fellow workman by reason of a side blow struck upon and iron band that they were engaged in placing upon a wooden body.
There is some showing before the committee that Mr. Hooper was a skilled workman, sober, honest, reliable, and upright. The proof before the committee by experts shows that in all probability the loss of the other eye, which is seriously affected now by reason of being sympathetic, will gradually be destroyed, and the claimant become totally blind. He is at present almost wholly incapacitated for any labor whatsoever and particularly in the vocation in which he has heretofore engaged.
Legislation for Mr. Hooper's relief has been passed four times by the House and three times by the Senate, but never at the same time. It has never gone through both the Senate and the House in the same session of Congress.
In the report from the Navy Department they state: "It is the general policy of the Navy Department to withhold approval of legislation purporting to give individuals compensation to which they would not be entitled under the provisions of the United States Employees' Compensation Act.”
It is not understood by the committee as to what interpretation it should put on this paragraph in the Navy Department's report, for if the United States Employees' Compensation Act had been in effect at the time of this accident he would have been entitled to compensation under this law. This is evidently the only objection the Navy Department has to this proposed legislation. It is true that it is an old claim, but it has been passed by either the House or the Senate several times in the past.
Therefore, your committee recommend the bill be amended to read "$5,000”. instead of "$10,000” and recommend favorable consideration to the proposed legislation,
Appended hereto is the report of the Navy Department, together with other pertinent evidence.
Washington, September 7, 1943.
House of Representatives. MY DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: The bill (H. R. 2075) for the relief of Charles R. Hooper was referred to the Navy Department by your committee with request for the opinion of the Navy Department as to its merits.
The purpose of the proposed legislation is to pay to Charles R. Hooper, of Washington, D. C., the sum of $10,000, in full settlement of all claims against the United States for personal injuries sustained by Charles R. Hooper while employed in the United States navy yard at Washington, D. C., in the year 1894.
It appears from the records of the Navy Department that Charles R. Hooper, the claimant named in the bill, was employed in the Ordnance Department at the Navy Yard, Washington, D. C., on May 15, 1890 as a blacksmith, class 3; was rated class 2 in April 1891, and class 1 on April 1, 1892.
On August 1, 1894. the surgeon of the navy yard reported that on that date Mr. Hooper “received a wound of the left eye by the entrance of a large piece of steel, causing serious hemorrhage and other injury, which will eventuate in partial or complete loss of vision of the injured eye.'
The eye was removed on August 10, 1894, and shortly thereafter Mr. Hooper returned to his duty and was given light work that would cause the least strain or danger to him. He continued on that work until the latter part of September 1894, when he left the navy yard to engage in the grocery business. His discharge from the navy yard was effected October 1, 1895, on the expiration of his leave, his conduct and work having been marked "satisfactory.”
It is the general policy of the Navy Department to withhold approval of legislation purporting to give individuals compensation to which they would not be entitled under the provisions of the United States Employees' Compensation Act.
The cost of the proposed legislation is $10,000.
In view of the foregoing the Navy Department recommends against the enactment of the bill (H. R. 2075).
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,