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FEBRUARY 9, 1945.—Committed to the Committee of the Whole House and

ordered to be printed

Mr.JENNINGS, from the Committee on Claims, submitted the following

REPORT

[To accompany H. R. 1561)

The Committee on Claims, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 1561) for the relief of the legal guardian of Louis Ciniglio, 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 and passed the House in the Seventy-eighth Congress, but no action taken by the Senate before final adjournment of Congress.

The facts will be found fully set forth in House Report No. 1810, Seventy-eighth Congress, which is appended hereto and made a part

of this report.

(H. Rept. No. 1810, 78th Cong., 1st Bess.) The purpose of the proposed legislation is to appropriate the sum of $3,500 to the legal guardian of Louis Ciniglio, a minor, of Palisades Park, N. J., in full settlement of all claims against the United States for injuries, medical, and hospital expenses sustained as the result of being struck by a United States Army vehicle on State Highway Route No. 6 in Palisades Park, N. J., on June 19, 1943.

STATEMENT OF FACTS

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It appears that on June 19, 1943, at about 2:45 p. m., an Army sedan operated by a War Department civilian employee on official business, with a commissioned officer as passenger, was proceeding north on Route 6 in Palisades Park, N. J., at a speed estimated by the driver and his passenger as between 40 and 50 miles per hour. The weather was clear and the pavement, consisting of six lanes, was dry. It appears that Louis Ciniglio, Jr., 11-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Louis Ciniglio, Sr., of Palisades Park, suddenly ran out from the right-hand side of the highway toward the middle thereof, about 150 feet ahead of the Army vehicle; that he then started to return to the curb, hesitated, and turned back into the highway; that the Government driver applied his brakes when at a distance of

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about 100 feet from the boy in an effort to avert the accident; and that the Army vehicle, notwithstanding such efforts on the part of the driver, struck the boy and threw him to the pavement, causing him to be seriously injured.

On June 19, 1943, the Government driver made the following sworn statement concerning the accident, which was concurred in by the commissioned officer who was riding with him:

"I was driving a Government car, traveling along Route 6 at Palisades Park, N. J., going in an easterly direction toward the George Washington Bridge. I was traveling at a reasonable rate of speed at approximately between 40 and 50 miles per hour.

A young boy, eating an orange, darted out in front of the car. He paused, started back in the same direction from whence he came, reversed his procedure, continued to cross the road, at which time I stepped on the brakes and hit him with a glancing blow. In doing so, the car I was driving skidded completely about.

“We got out of the car, and Second Lieutenant who was traveling with me immediately picked the child up, put him back in the Army car, intending to rush him to the hospital. We could not srart the car at this time. Just as that moment, a car coming from another direction stopped and its occupants inquired if they could be of assistance to us. We put the child in the civilian car, and proceeded to the Englewood Hospital, approximately 6 miles away.

“We all took the injured boy to the hospital in the civilian car.

“There was no traffic at all at this intersection at the time of the accident, and the weather was very clear with the sun shining.

“This is an arterial highway, and this young boy appeared very suddenly without any warning, ran out into the road apparently eating an orange. I did not see him until he was in the middle of the road, and I did everything that I could to avoid hitting him, but he ran out into the road so rapidly, ran back to the curb once, ran back into the middle of the road again, and it was impossible to avoid hitting him."

In an affidavit dated June 21, 1943, signed by Heinrich Muller, an eyewitness to the accident, he states:

"I hereby state that I was sitting on the front steps to my residence, located at 130 East Edsall Avenue, Palisades Park, N. J., at about 2:45 p. m., June 19, 1943, when an accident occurred between a Government car and young Louis Ciniglio. I saw the entire accident happen.

"The Government car started applying its brakes and screeching about 100 feet before striking the child. The driver of the Government car tried to avoid hitting the child and swung his car completely around to avoid running over the child. The accident occurred about the middle of the highway, a short distance from the curb, opposite the Plaza Service Station, Route No. 6.

The boy (Ciniglio) appeared to be chasing a ball which rolled into the highway. No other children were there at the time. The front part of the car struck the

The chief of police of Palisades Park states that the speed limit has been reduced at this section of Route No. 6 from 40 to 35 miles per hour upon the recommendations of the Federal Government to the State highway patrol enforcement agencies.

The War Department in its report of June 17, 1944, is opposed to the enactment of this bill. However, the Director of the Bureau of the Budget in a letter to the War Department dated June 16, 1944, concerning the report on this bill states:

It is noted from the report that the Government driver admits that he was driving 40 or 50 miles per hour in a 35-mile speed limit zone; that he failed to apply his brakes immediately when he saw the boy first run out upon the highway; and that the boy, who is somewhat mentally subnormal, was only 11 years of age at the time of the accident.

“Under the circumstances, I feel obliged to advise you that while there would be objection to the submission for the consideration of the committee of such report as you may deem appropriate, this office would interpose no objection to an assumption by the Federal Government of responsibility for this accident."

Therefore, your committee concur in the recommendation of the Bureau of the Budget and disagree with the report of the War Department, in view of the fact that the driver of the Army vehicle was driving between 40 and 50 miles per hour, which was in violation of the State laws, and that had he had his car

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under proper control he would not have struck this boy. Also, the statement of Mr. Muller in which he says that the driver started applying the brakes and the car was screeching about 100 feet before striking the child, shows that he did not have the car under proper control.

Therefore, your committee recommend that the proposed legislation be favorably considered.

Appended hereto is the report of the War Department, together with other pertinent information.

Washington, D. C., June 17, 1944. Hon. Dan R. McGEnEE,

Chairman, Committee on Claims, House of Representatives. DEAR MR. McGEHEE: The War Department is opposed to the enactment of H. R. 4248, Seventy-eighth Congress, which would authorize and direct the Secretary of the Treasury to pay to the legal guardian of Louis Ciniglio, a minor, of 227 East Ruby Avenue, Palisades Park, N. J., the sum of $3,500 in full settlement of all claims against the United States for injuries, medical and hospital expenses sustained as the result of being struck by a United States Army Ford sedan No. 115702 on June 19, 1943, on State Highway Route No. 6 in Palisades Park, N. J.

On June 19, 1943, at about 2:45 p. m., an Army sedan operated by a War Department civilian employee on official business, with a commissioned officer as passenger, was proceeding north on Route 6 in Palisades Park, N. J., at a speed estimated by the driver and his passenger as between 40 and 50 miles per hour. The weather was clear and the pavement, consisting of six lanes, was dry. It appears that Louis Ciniglio, Jr.. 11-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Louis Ciniglio, Sr., of 227 East Ruby Avenue, Palisades Park, suddenly ran out from the right-hand side of the highway toward the middle thereof, about 150 feet ahead of the Army vehicle; that he then started to return to the curb, hesitated, and turned back into the highway; that the Government driver applied his brakes when at a distance of about 100 feet from the boy in an effort to avert the accident; and that the Army vehicle, notwithstanding such efforts on the part of the driver, struck the boy and threw him to the pavement, causing him to be seriously injured.

On June 19, 1943, the Government driver made the following sworn statement concerning the accident, which was concurred in by the commissioned officer who was riding with him: "I was driving a Government car,

traveling along Route 6 at Palisades Park, N. J., going in an easterly direction toward the George Washington Bridge. I was traveling at a reasonable rate of speed at approximately between 40 and 50 miles per hour.

"A young boy, eating an orange, darted out in front of the car. He paused, started back in the same direction from whence he came, reversed his procedure, continued to cross the road at which time I stepped on the brakes and hit him with & glancing blow. In doing so, the car I was driving skidded completely about.

"We got out of the car, and Second Lieutenant who was traveling with me immediately picked the child up, put him back in the Army car, intending to rush him to the hospital. We could not start the car at this time. Just at that moment, a car coming from another direction stopped and its occupants inquired if they could be of assistance to us. We put the child in the civilian car, and proceeded to the Englewood Hospital, approximately 6 miles away. "We all took the injured boy to the hospital in the civilian car "There was no traffic at all at this intersection at the time of the accident, and the weather was very clear with the sun shining. "This is an arterial highway, and this young boy appeared very suddenly without any warning, ran out into the road apparently eating an orange. I did not see him until he was in the middle of the road, and I did everything that I could to avoid hitting him, but he ran out into the road so rapidly, ran back to the curb once, ran back into the middle of the road again, and it was impossible to avoid hitting him.

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“There were no persons injured except this young boy. Louis Cinqulio (Cinigliol. Jr., age approximately 11 years.

"When we arrived at the Englewood Hospital, Englewood, N. J., we got the boy admitted almost immediately, and he received every possible attention from the hospital physicians.

“The road was a four- (six-) lane highway.
“We were on official business for the Army Air Forces,

On July 12, 1943, the Government driver made the following supplementary
sworn statement, concurred in by the commissioned officer who was riding with
him at the time of the accident:
I was driving a Government car

at the approximate speed of between 40 and 50 miles per hour.

“A small boy darted from behind shrubbery bordering the right side of the highway approximately 150 feet ahead, and passed across the lane in which the car was proceeding. Í took my foot off the accelerator and applied the brakes gradually, at the same time steering the car to the right in order to pass well behind the boy.

“When the car was nearly at the spot where the boy had crossed, he suddenly stopped, turned, and dashed back in the direction from which he had come.

* Realizing that if I continued as I was, the boy would collide with the car near the edge of the highway, I immediately turned the wheel toward the center of the highway in an effort to again pass behind him.

"At the same time I applied the brakes forcibly thereby locking all four wheels. Under these conditions the car skidded ahead and to the left, turning as it did so.

"At the instant that I changed direction and locked the brakes, the boy again abruptly reversed his direction, and ran directly in front of the car.

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"This is an arterial highway, and this young boy appeared very suddenly without any warning, and ran out into the road. I did not see him until he was in the middle of the road, and I did everything that I could to avoid hitting him, but he ran out into the road so rapidly, ran back toward the curb once, ran back into the middle of the road again, and it was impossible to avoid hitting him.

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"The boy was knocked unconscious by the blow."

Heinrich Muller, an eyewitness to the accident, on June 21, 1943, made the following sworn statement:

"I hereby state that I was sitting on the front steps to my residence, located at 130 East Edsall Avenue, Palisades Park, N. J., at about 2:45 p. m., June 19, 1943, when an accident occurred between a Government car and young Louis Ciniglio. I saw the entire accident happen.

“The Government car started applying its brakes and screeching about 100 feet before striking the child. The driver of the Government car tried to avoid hitting the child and swung his car completely around to avoid running over the child. The accident occurred about the middle of the highway, a short distance from the curb, opposite the Plaza Service Station, route No. 6.

"The boy (Ciniglio) appeared to be chasing a ball which rolled into the highway. No other children were there at the time. The front part of the car struck the boy."

The chief of police of Palisades Park, N. J., states that,

"The speed limit has been reduced at this section of route No. 6 (from 40 miles per hour) to 35 miles per hour upon the recommendations of the Federal Government to the State highway patrol enforcement agencies. The reduction in the speed limit was brought about by war emergency measures."

The case report of the Community Hospital of the Northern Valley, Englewood, N. J., to which institution Louis Ciniglio, Jr., was taken for treatment after the accident, reads as follows:

“Louis CINIGLIO, AGE 11 YEARS, 227 East RUBY AVENUE, PALISADES PARK, N. J.

“Dates in hospital: June 19, 1943, 4 p. m., to August 18, 1943.

* Diagnosis: compound comminuted fracture of right humerus, shaft, lower third. Fracture of skull, base. Laceration of brain. Contusion and abrasion of frontal area of head and of left elbow region. Fracture of right scapula.

Course: Repeated lumbar punctures, symptomatic treatment for head injury. On July 14, 1943, insertion of a Lane plate to the right humerus.

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