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As a result of the accident, the automobile belonging to Mrs. Clay was extensively damaged. None of the Clay family received personal injuries in the accident. The Clay car was repaired by the Al Hartness Body and Fender Garage, Fontana, Calif., and the files of the War Department contain an itemized paid bill of that firm in the amount of $353.25, covering such repairs.

On February 26, 1944, a claim was filed with the War Department by Bessie I. Clay in the amount of $353.25 for damages caused to her car in this accident. The claim was disapproved by the War Department on the ground that the Army driver was not, at the time of the accident, acting within the scope of his employment, or engaged in an authorized mission for the Government.

The evidence clearly establishes that the accident and resulting damage to the automobile of Mrs. Clay were not caused by any fault or negligence on her part or on the part of Samuel 0. Clay, the operator of her car, but were caused by the negligence of a member of the United States Army who was driving an Army vehicle on a personal mission and who had materially deviated from the original purpose for which the vehicle was taken. It is well established that the United States is not responsible for the acts of its officers, agents, or employees while acting outside the scope of their employment. Under the circumstances, however, the War Department prefers to make no recommendatoin in the premises and to leave the matter of whether relief should be granted in this case to the equitable determination of the Congress.

If, in view of the foregoing, the Congress should deem it advisable to grant relief to the claimant, the War Department will offer no objection to an award to Mrs. Clay in the amount of $353 (for property damage), the amount stated in the bill.

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.

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ROBERT LEE SLADE

FEBRUARY 22, 1945.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House and

ordered to be printed

Mr. GRANAHAN, from the Committee on Claims, submitted the

following

REPORT

[To accompany H. R. 1602)

The Committee on Claims, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 1602) for the relief of Robert Lee Slade, 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, strike out the figures “$8,125.35” and insert in lieu thereof the figures “$3,625.35”.

At the end of the bill, strike out the period and insert: : 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 $1,000.

The purpose of the proposed legislation is to appropriate the sum of $3,625.35 to Robert Lee Slade, of Dendron, Va., in full settlement of all claims against the United States for personal injuries and property damage sustained on December 5, 1943, when the automobile owned and driven by him was struck by a United States Army truck at the intersection of State Route 31 and State Route 460, near Wakefield, Va.

STATEMENT OF FACTS

It appears that on December 5, 1943, at about 3:30 p. m., an Army 1%-ton cargo truck was proceeding west, in convoy, on Route No. 460 approaching its intersection with Route No. 31, near Wakefield, Va., at a speed estimated at 35 miles per hour. · At the same time a 1932

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Chevrolet sedan owned and operated by Robert Lee Slade, of Dendron, Va., in which an enlisted man was riding as a passenger, was traveling south on Route No. 31 approaching the same intersection, at an estimated speed of 15 miles per hour. The intersection in question was protected by an electric traffic signal light which, according to a preponderance of the evidence, was green for the civilian car and red for the Army truck when the two vehicles entered the intersection. The Army driver attempted to avoid the civilian car, but was unable to do so, and crashed into its left side. There were no road guards posted at the intersection at the time of the accident.

As a result of the collision the civilian automobile was demolished and Mr. Slade was severely injured. He was taken from the scene of the accident to the Petersburg Hospital, Petersburg, Va., where he remained until January 25, 1944. On February 28, 1944, he was readmitted to that hospital, and remained there until March 5, 1944.

In a statement dated April 15, 1944, Dr. Philip Jacobson, of Petersburg, Va., described Mr. Šlade'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.

On April 14, 1944, Dr. T. M. Raines, of Wakefield, Va., 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.

The records indicate 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. As a result of his injuries Mr. Slade incurred medical and hospital expenses in the amount of $440.35. At the time of the accident Mr. Slade was 71 years of age. His wife, Gartrude James Slade, age 61 years, is his sole dependent.

As the evidence establishes that the collision and resulting personal 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 the view of the War Department that Mr. Slade should be reasonably compensated for the damages sustained by him. The War Department recommends the bill be amended to provide an award of $3,625.35 ($3,000 for personal injuries; $185 for property damage; and $440.35 for medical and hospital expenses actually incurred.) Your committee concurs in the recommendation of the War Department.

Therefore, your committee recommends that the bill be favorably considered, as amended. Appended hereto is the report of the War Department, together with other pertinent information.

*

*

WAR DEPARTMENT,

Washington, D. C., August 8, 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. 4640, Seventy-eighth Congress, a bill for the relief of Robert Lee Slade, in its present form.

This bill would authorize and direct the Secretary of the Treasury to pay “to Robert Lee Slade, Dendron, Va., the sum of $8,125.35

in full settlement of all claims of the said Robert Lee Slade against the United States for personal injuries and property damage sustained on December 5, 1943, when the automobile owned and driven by him was struck by a United States Army truck at the intersection of State Route 31 and State Route 460, near Wakefield, Va.

The Department, however, would have no objection to the enactment of the bill if it should be so amended as to provide for an award of $3,625.35 to Mr. Slade.

On December 5, 1943, at about 3:30 p. m., an Army 192-ton cargo truck was proceeding west, in convoy, on Route No. 460 approaching its intersection with Route No. 31, near Wakefield, Va., at a speed estimated at 35 miles per hour. At the same time a 1932 Chevrolet sedan owned and operated by Robert Lee Slade, of Dendron, Va., in which an enlisted man was riding as a passenger, was traveling south on Route No. 31 aproaching the same intersection, at an estimated speed of 15 miles per hour. The intersection in question was protected by an electric traffic signal light which, according to a preponderance of the evidence, was green for the civilian car and red for the Army truck when the two vehicles entered the intersection. The Army driver attempted to avoid the civilian car, but was unable to do so, and crashed into its left side. There were no road guards posted at the intersection at the time of the accident.

As a result of the collision the civilian automobile was demolished and Mr. Slade was severely injured. He was taken from the scene of the accident to the Petersburg Hospital, Petersburg, Va., where he remained until January 25, 1944. On February 28, 1944, he was readmitted to that hospital, and remained there until March 5, 1944.

The Army driver on December 7, 1943, made the following sworn statement regarding the accident:

“As I approached the intersection of Route 460 with Route 31, at about 35 miles per hour, I noticed that the light was green for me.

When I was about 35 to 40 feet away from the light, I shifted my eyes from the green light and saw a Chevrolet coach moving into the intersection. I immediately put on my brakes and turned slightly left, but could not stop in time to avoid a collision. My bumper struck the civilian car in the left door. None of the soldiers in my truck nor I was hurt in the accident. The civilian Chevrolet damaged in the accident, Virginia license No. 256–235, was later found to be owned and operated by Robert Lee Slade, Route 1, Dendron, Va., who was injured in the accident.”

The enlisted man who was riding in Mr. Slade's car as a passenger submitted the following affidavit on December 18, 1943:

"On the afternoon of December 5, while I was en route to return to my station at Camp Sutton, N. C., from furlough, I was offered a lift to the Wakefield, Va., railroad station by a colored civilian, Mr. Lee Slade, a neighbor.

“I got into the car, a closed one whose make or license I do not know, and we proceeded toward the station on Route 31. At the intersection of Route 460 with Route 31 we were stopped by a traffic light. I ncticed that two command cars crossed the intersection of Route 31, coming from my left on route 460, while the light was green for Route 460 and red for Route 31.

“The light then changed to green for Route 31, and the car in which I was riding started across Route 460. Then a G. I. 272-ton truck coming up the hill on Route 460 from my left struck the car in which I was riding about at the left front door.

“While I did not see the truck until it struck, the time between the passage of the second command car and the time of impact was such that the truck must have been at least 200 yards behind the command car.'

On January 8, 1944, Warrant Officer (Jr. Gr.) August G. Natsis, Jr., Fortysixth Coast Artillery, Camp Pendleton, Va., a disinterested eyewitness to the accident, made the following sworn statement:

On December 5, 1943, at the intersection of Highways No. 460 and No. 31 in the town of Wakefield, Va., about 1430 (2:30 p. m.) Lieutenant Nolan and myself stopped at a signal light. While waiting for the light to change a convoy

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