« iepriekšējāTurpināt »
started to pass through. . The trucks were traveling at intervals of about 100 yards. There were no road guards posted at the intersection. After the light turned green a civilian car came in the opposite direction; not noticing the convoy he proceeded through and was hit by one of the trucks. It is my belief that the civilian driver was not at fault as no truck passed through the intersection from the time the light changed and the car was hit. Having no guards at the intersection there was no chance of warning the civilian and he could not see the convoy because of
gas station on one corner; what was on the other corner I do not remember."
The claims officer, who made a careful investigation of this accident, made the following findings:
“At the intersection of Route 460 with Route 31, the truck in the convoy ahead of subject vehicle went across the intersection in observance of a green light but according to the preponderance of the testimony; the light changed to red before the vehicle operated by Notestone (the Army driver) started to cross. Mr. Robert Lee Slade, driving a 1932 Chevrolet coach south on Route 31 with Pvt. Russell E. Johns as passenger, started to cross the intersection as the light turned green in his direction and the aforementioned truck was driven into the side of the civilian automobile, causing it to be almost completely demolished and causing personal injuries to Mr. Slade, the driver.
“The proximate cause of the collision and the resulting property damage and personal injuries were due to the negligence of the driver of the Government truck. He should have observed the traffic signal light and given the right-of-way to the driver of the civilian vehicle. There is no negligence indicated on the part of Mr. Slade that will preclude his recovery.
Dr. Philip Jacobson, of Petersburg, Va., in a statement dated April 15, 1944, described Mr. Slade's condition as follows:
"This is to certify that I treated Robert Lee Slade who was admitted to the Petersburg Hospital December 5, 1943, after an accident. He was considerably shocked, had many bruises, and there were fractures of the shaft of the left tibia and fibula. He was treated for shock, the fractures were set, and a cast applied.
“Upon removal of the cast the fractures were found to be partially united and there was a marked swelling of both the knee and ankle joints.
“This leg, because of arthritis of the knee and ankle joints and pain and tenderness around the site of the fracture, is practically useless to him now, and amputation around the knee joint may be necessary. For the present he is completely disabled and it is my impression that he will remain that way permanently."
Dr. T. M. Raines, of Wakefield, Va., on April 14, 1944, made the following statement:
"I saw this patient on April 12. The entire left leg was terribly swollen, edematous, and very painful. The ankle was immovable and flexed inwardly. The left knee was very much larger than the right, and immovable. There is some arthritis of knee and ankle due to the immobility necessary for recovery of the fracture. All of which is a result of the accident. As he is, I consider him an invalid for life. I advise an amputation of the leg above the knee."
Capt. J. Chayet, Medical Corps, station hospital, Fort Eustis, Va., examined Mr. Slade on June 7, 1944, and made the following report:
“Robert Lee Slade, Dendron, Va.
"He was driving an automobile which was struck by an Army vehicle. It is not known whether he was unconscious or not, but it appears that he did not lose consciousness. He sustained injuries to his left side and hip and left leg. He was unable to walk on the left leg and was taken in a passing automobile driven by : nurse friend, Mammie Bailey, to a Petersburg hospital. His wife saw him 3 hours later. He was conscious and was soon taken into the operating room for treatment. She states that she saw the bone of his leg protruding through the skin. After the operation, his leg was placed in a plaster cast. He remained in the hospital for 1 month and was then taken home. He had to return to the hospital 2 weeks later and was kept there again for 1 week. Since then he has been confined to bed at home. He still complains of occasional aches and pains in his left leg in the region of the injury. He is unable to walk on the leg.
"Past history: He has always been in fairly good health but did have a stomach complaint for some time. He was told by doctors some time ago that he had diabetes, but he has never been on a diet. There is no history of any previous
accidents or injuries. His usual weight is about 140 pounds. His appetite is poor and he sleeps poorly.
"Statement of the attending physician, Dr. T. M. Raines, Wakefield, Va.: The patient received his major treatment at the hospital in Petersburg. He has not as yet received their report. He saw him sometime in April and has seen him off and on since. His diagnosis is a compound comminuted fracture of the midsection of the left tibia.
"Physical examination: The patient is lying in bed practically fully clothed. He appears to be in no apparent distress. He is fairly well developed and nourished. He is extremely hard of hearing and it is necessary to shout in order for him to hear. The head shows no evidence of any recent injury. The eyes are clear, the pupils are normal and react to light and distance. The tongue is clear and protrudes in the mid-line. Only few teeth and a few stumps are present. The neck is of normal contour and development and all the motions are normal. The thyroid gland is normal. The heart is of normal size, the sounds are clear but slightly distant and no murmurs are heard. The lungs are clear and resonant. The back in the infrascapular region on the right shows a marked fatty tumor about the size of a fist. It is nontender and occasions no complaint. The spine is held rather stiffly and motions are slower, but within the normal range. abdomen is negative. The hips are normal in appearance, the range of motion is within the normal but the motions are slowed. The left thigh shows evidence of swelling but there is no tenderness or induration of the soft tissue. It is about 2 inches greater in circumference than the right thigh. The left knee is swollen, slightly tender, and has a restricted range of motion of about 50 percent. The contour of the knee joint is normal but there is evidence of some arthritic change in the structure of the knee joint. The left lower leg in its midsection shows a deformity of the tibia on the anterior surface. This deformity is manifested by a depression of the upper fragment of the broken bone and a protrusion of the lower fragment of the broken bone giving an angular effect to the appearance of the leg. This protrusion is at least from a quarter to one-half inch in length. The skin over this area is discolored and shiny and appears somewhat swollen. In fact, the left lower leg is 1 inch larger than the right leg at this level. The soft tissues are nontender and show no induration. The skin over the left lower leg and also over the right lower leg is lightly bluish when the legs are put over the edge of the bed. There is no apparent shortening of the left leg. The left foot shows evidence of foot drop. The dorsalis pedis arteries of both feet are easily palpable. The skin of both feet is shiny and shows some evidence of atrophy. There is absolute restricted motion of the left foot other than the position of foot drop. The patellar reflex of the left leg is markedly diminished and no objective response is seen to plantar stimulation. Blood pressure: 188/90.
“Diagnosis, based on physical examination: (1) senility; (2) arthritis; (3) recent fracture of mid section of left tibia; (4) lipoma of back; (5) paralysis of left foot; (6) arteriosclerosis with retardation of mental process.
“Opinion: This senile arthitic hypertensive man sustained a recent fracture to the mid section of the left lower leg. The results at this date show poor position - with marked deformity and angulation, a foot drop with loss of function of the left lower extremity.
“The main function of the tibia is to bear the body weight. This he is unable to do at this time.
"The musculature at the site of injury is usually intact, but the lower fragment of the fracture is pulled upward showing that there is some abnormal pull on the lower fragment.
“The main blood supply of the leg is fairly good and was not damaged as a consequence of the accident, but the condition of the skin at present may be due to senility or the result of the alleged diabetes. It is possible, however, that the application of the plaster cast may have been an influence, but the condition of the skin of the other leg is practically identical.
“The cause of foot drop is open to debate. The anterior tibial and peroneal nerves are subcutaneous and are exposed to injury by direct trauma or pressure from & plaster cast.
"In general, this man is totally disabled at this time. I feel that his condition is permanent because of his age and general condition of debility. I would not advise open reduction."
E. C. Holloway, attorney, of Wakefield, Va., has submitted the following items as medical, hospital, and incidental expenses incurred by Robert Lee Slade as a result of this accident: Petersburg Hospital, Petersburg, Va
$171. 35 Dr. T. M. Raines, Wakefield, Va-
50.00 Dr. Philip Jacobson, Petersburg, Va.
110. 00 Dr. Edith I. Miller, Petersburg, Va. (X-rays).
25. 00 Judge Bailey (transportation)
66. 00 John W. Parham (transportation)
5. 00 Total...
440. 35 The records of the War Department contain a sworn statement signed by two disinterested automobile dealers which shows that the value of Mr. Slade's car before the accident less its salvage value after the accident to be $185, and that the car was damaged beyond repair.
On April 14, 1944, Robert Lee Slade, filed a claim with the War Department in the aggregate amount of $8,125.35 ($7,500 for personal injury; $440.35 for incidental expenses; and $185 for property damage)." In view of the introduction of H. R. 4640 no action has been taken on the claim.
It appears that Mr. Slade is 71 years of age, and that his wife, Mrs. Gertrude James Slade, age 61 years, is his sole dependent.
The post claims officer, Fort Eustis, Va., interviewed Mr. Slade at his home near Dendron, Va., on June 7, 1944, and made the following report:
"Mr. Slade's loss of earnings and future loss of earnings would be difficult to determine, as he was a farmer of advanced age, who, according to his wife, Gertrude, was not able to do a man's full day's work before the accident. He worked around his place and on 'off seasons' did odd jobs for neighbors, such as sorting peanuts.
“The undersigned visited the attorney handling Mr. Slade's claim, who lives in Wakefield, Va. Mr. Holloday (the attorney) stated he had furnished the claims judge advocate, Virginia branch, with a statement showing earnings of Mr. Slade in the preceding year, amounting to $600. It is not known how this amount was arrived at. It was also determined that the $7,500 over and above hospital, medical bills and other incidentals, amounting to $625.35, was for pain and suffering, loss of use of limb, and loss of earning power since the accident and future loss of earning power resulting from disability. The amount was the attorney's idea of a judgment which a jury might allow.
The evidence fairly establishes that the collision and resulting injury of Mr. Slade and the destruction of his automobile were not caused by any fault or negligence on the part of Mr. Slade, but were due solely to the negligence of the Army driver in attempting to proceed through an intersection against a red traffic signal light. It is, therefore, the view of the War Department that Mr. Slade should be reasonably compensated for the damages sustained by him. While the proposed award of $8,125.35 is excessive, the Department would have no objection to the enactment of the bill if it should be so amended as to provide for the pav. ment to Mr. Slade of the sum of $3,625.35 ($185 for property damage; $140.35 for medical and hospital expenses actually incurred; and $3,000 for personal injuries), which, considering the age, occupation, and estimated previous earnings of the claimant, it is believed would constitute a fair and reasonable settlement of his claim.
The fiscal effect of the bill is manifest.
The Office of the Bureau of the Budget in a letter to the War Department dated July 27, 1944, concerning the report on this bill, stated:
Í am authorized by the Director of the Bureau of the Budget to advise you that there would be no objection to the submission of the proposed report to the committee.
"It is noted that the bill fails to contain the usual provision that not more than 10 percent of the appropriated amount can be paid to an agent or an attorney
ROBERT P, PATTERSON,
Acting Secretary of War.
STATE OF VIRGINIA,
County of Surry, to wit: This day personally appeared before me R. A. Savedge, a notary public of and for the county of Surry, Va., the undersigned Robert Lee Slade, who first being duly sworn deposes and says: That he is 72 years of age; that his occupation is farmer; that on the 5th day of December 1943, when driving his automobile from Dondron to Wakefield on Route No. 31, he came to the intersection of Route No. 31 (Virginia) and Route No. 460 (Virginia); that at this intersection there is a traffic light which is tripped mechanically by automobiles approaching said intersection on Route No. 31; that when an automobile passes over the mechanical automatic trip the caution light for traffic on No. 460 goes on immediately; that this is followed by the red light for No. 460 traffic and the green light for No. 31 traffic; that when the green light for No. 31 traffic went on he drove his car into the intersection; that when the green light for No. 31 traffic came on the affiant entered the intersection; that the red light was then simultaneously against traffic on No. 460;' that against the red light a 172-ton Chevrolet cargo truck of the United States Army bearing United States Army No. W-322515, traveling north on No. 460, came into the intersection after the same had been entered by the affiant and crashed into the left side of affiant's 1932 model Chevrolet automobile, damaging it beyond repair and injuring the affiant; that doctor's diagnosis and prognosis as to the personal injuries is herewith submitted as to his injuries; that this affiant has been permanently and totally injured in accordance with the said doctor's diagnosis and prognosis; that he has been confined to his home and bed since that time and has been unable to do any work whatsoever; that his income for the year 1943 was $670; that his doctors' bills, nursing bills, and other expenses incident to said injuries are hereto attached and made a part hereof; that they have not been paid because he has no funds for the payment of the same.
ROBERT LEE SLADE. Personally subscribed and sworn to before me, R. A. Savedge, a notary public of and for the county of Surry, in the State of Virginia, this 14th day of April 1944, in my State and county aforesaid.
My commission expires on the 22d day of October 1947. (SEAL)
R. A. SAVEDGE, Notary Public.
WAKEFIELD, VA., April 14, 1944. Regarding Robert Lee Slade:
I saw this patient on April 12. The entire left leg was terribly swollen, edematous, and very painful. The ankle was immovable and flexed inwardly. The left knee was very much larger than the right and immovable. There is some arthritis of knee and ankle due to the immobility necessary for recovery of the fracture. All of which is a result of the accident. As he is, I consider him an invalid for life. I advise an amputation of the leg above the knee. Yours very truly,
T. M. RAINES, M. D. Personally subscribed and sworn to before me, Evelyn Hargrave, a notary public of and for the county of Sussex, in the State of Virginia, this 14th day of April 1944, in my County and State aforesaid. (SEAL)
EVELYN HARGRAVE, Notary Public. My commission expires February 19, 1946.
July 14, 1944. To Whom It May Concern:
This is to certify that I treated Robert Lee Slade, who was admitted to the Petersburg Hospital December 5, 1943, after an accident. He was considerably shocked, had many bruises, and there were fractures of the shaft of the left tibia and fibula. He was treated for shock, the fractures were set and a cast applied
Upon removal of the cast the fractures were found to be partially united and there was a marked swelling of both the knee and ankle joints.
This leg, because of arthritis of the knee and ankle joints and pain and tenderness around the site of the fracture, is practically useless to him now and amputatation around the knee joint may be necessary. For the present he is completely disabled and it is my impression that he will remain that way permanently. Very truly yours,
PHILIP Jacobson, M. D.
State OF VIRGINIA,
City of Petersburg, to wit:
Given under my hand this 14th day of July 1944.
HELEN F. CUMMINS, Notary Public.