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FIDELITY & CASUALTY CO. AND THE BAUGH
FEBRUARY 13, 1945.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House and
ordered to be printed
Mr. McGEHEE, from the Committee on Claims, submitted the
(To accompany H. R. 1536)
The Committee on Claims, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 1536) for the relief of the Fidelity & Casualty Co. and the Baugh Chemical Co., 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. 589 of the Seventy-eighth Congress, which is appended hereto and made a part of this report.
(H. Rept. No. 589, 78th Cong., 1st sess.)
(H. Rept. No. 2423, 77th Cong., 2d sess.) The purpose of the proposed legislation is to pay to the Fidelity & Casualty Co. of New York, the sum of $697.73, and to the Baugh Chemical Co., of which they were the insurers, the sum of $50, for damages sustained to an automobile owned by the Baugh Chemical Co., as the result of an accident on October 30, 1939, when the automobile was damaged by a United States mail truck.
STATEMENT OF FACTS
On October 30, 1939, a 1938 Packard sedan, owned by the Baugh Chemical Co. and operated by Harry W. Schulz, was proceeding southward on Fallsway, in Baltimore, Md., at a speed of between 15 and 20 miles per hour; that Schulz was following a Dodge sedan operated by Harry E. Grimes, at a distance of between 20 and 25 feet; as the automobile operated by Mr. Grimes entered the intersection of Monument Street on a green signal light, a United States mail truck, westbound on Monument Street, entered the intersection on a red light, striking the automobile operated by Mr. Grimes; that Mr. Schulz, in an attempt to avoid a collision with the car operated by Mr. Grimes which was immediately in front of him, applied brakes and swung to his right; that due to the condition of the street, caused by rain, the Packard sedan skidded into the mail truck, causing the damage complained of.
The Post Office Department recommends against the enactment of the legislation for the reason
“Since the mail truck had come to a complete stop near the southwest corner of the intersection without colliding with the Grimes car, at approximately the center of the intersection, the operator of the Baugh vehicle had ample notice and should have been able to avoid running into the standing truck if he had been alert and driving with reasonable care.
Your committee, after carefully considering the merits of this case, are of the opinion that Mr. Schulz, the operator of the Baugh vehicle, was not guilty of negligence for the reason that the Fallsway upon which he was proceeding is a cobblestone street and, when rained upon, its surface is as slippery as if it were covered with ice. Therefore, the street condition made it impossible for Mr. Schulz to stop his car from skidding after he applied brakes. Your committee also find that the negligence of the post-office chauffeur was found by the traffic court of the city of Baltimore when the operator was fined for his negligence.
OFFICE OF THE PostMASTER GENERAL,
Washington, D. C., November 29, 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 November 10, I transmit for consideration with H. R. 5980 all papers on file in this Department relating to the claim of the Fidelity & Casualty Co. of New York in the sum of $747.73, arising out of an accident which occurred in Baltimore, Md., on October 30, 1939, involving a United States mail truck and a vehicle belonging to Baugh & Sons Co.
The investigation of this accident disclosed that a west-bound mail truck reached the intersection of Monument and Fallsway Streets just as the signal light changed from green to amber; that the postal chauffeur attempted to pass through the intersection and while so doing collided with a south-bound automobile belonging to one Harry Grimes; that after this collision the mail truck and the Grimes car came to a stop near the southwest corner of the intersection and were occupying this position when the south-bound car of Baugh & Co. crashed into the rear of the standing mail truck.
Since the mail truck had come to a complete stop near the southwest corner of the intersection after colliding with the Grimes car in approximately the center of the intersection, the operator of the Baugh vehicle had ample notice and should have been able to avoid running into the standing truck if he had been alert and driving with reasonable care.
The Fidelity & Casualty Co. of New York which, as the insurer of the private vehicle, bore most of the loss, filed claim under the provisions of 31 U. S. C. 215, but upon the basis of the facts disclosed in the investigation its claim, as well as the claim filed by the Baugh Co., was disallowed on the ground that the evidence did not establish the responsibility of the Government. It is believed that this bill should not receive favorable consideration. Very truly yours,
Frank C. WALKER,
THE FIDELITY & CASUALTY Co. OF NEW YORK,
Baltimore, Md., February 28, 1941. In re the Baugh & Sons Co., and the Baugh Chemical Co.-United States Gov
ernment 6-AP-20102 (mas.)-Acc. 10/30/39. Mr. E. L. HADDINOTT, Post Office Inspector,
Post Office Building, Baltimore, Md. DEAR SIR: Relative to our conversation of February 19, 1941, relative to the above-captioned case in reference to the damage done to the Packard club sedan owned by the Baugh & Sons Co., Baugh & Sons Co. and the Baugh Chemical Co. and operated by Harry W. Schulz which was damaged on October 30, 1939, at the intersection of Fallsway and Monument Streets, Baltimore, Md., by a United States mail truck, Maryland license 15–185, operated by Albert Czerwinski, who was found guilty in traffic court for reckless driving, the repairs to the Packard club sedan amount to $747.43.
The Baugh & Sons Co., Baugh & Sons Co. and the Baugh Chemical Co, carry $50 deductible collision insurance on their car in the Fidelity & Casualty Co. of New York and they have subrogated their rights to the Fidelity & Casualty Co. of New York.
Attached is statement we obtained from Harry W. Schulz with affidavit attached; claim for damages that the Fidelity & Casualty Co. of New York is making against the United States Government in the amount of $747.73; receipted bill from the Zell Motor Car Co. who made the repairs to the Packard club sedan owned by the Baugh & Sons Co., Baugh & Sons Co. and the Baugh Chemical Co.; and copy of subrogation release we took from the Baugh & Sons Co., Baugh & Sons Co. and the Baugh Chemical Co., signed by Mr. B. H. Brewster, president of the Baugh & Sons Co., Baugh & Sons Co. and the Baugh Chemical Co. and also signed by Mr. John T. Loden, examiner of the Fidelity & Casualty Co. of New York who made affidavit that this is the true copy of the subrogation release the Fidelity & Casualty Co. of New York took from the Baugh & Sons Co., Baugh & Sons Co. and the Baugh Chemical Co.
Please give this matter your attention.
William Fink, Investigator.
Received of the Fidelity & Casualty Co., of New York, the sum of $697.73 being in full and for all claims and demands for loss and damage by collision and legal liability on the 30th day of October 1939, to property described in policy No. A792397, of the Fidelity & Casualty Co. of New York.
And in consideration of such payment, we, The Baugh & Sons Co., Baugh & Sons Co., and the Baugh Chemical Co. of Baltimore, Md., hereby assigns and transfers to the Fidelity & Casualty Co. of New York each and every claim and demand against any person, persons, property, corporation, or corporations, arising from or out of or connected with such loss or damage and the said the Fidelity & Casualty Co. of New York is hereby subrogated in the place of and to each and every claim and demand of the undersigned against said person, persons, property, corporation, or corporations in the premises to the extent of and in the amount above named.
Provided that the above agreement and every portion thereof is subject to the right of the Fidelity & Casualty Co. of New York and the assured and the subscriber below hereby agrees in consideration of the foregoing premises to prosecute in his name the action or actions referred to provided that the expenses to prosecute such claim, to prepare it for trial, and to engage an attorney or attorneys for such purpose shall be paid for by the Fidelity & Casualty Co. of New York together with any other expense or expenses resulting thereform without recourse from the assured. Witness our hand and seal this 6th day of December 1939.
The Baugh & Sons Co.,
B. H. BREWSTER, President. Sealj Witness:
FEBRUARY 28, 1941. The above is a true copy of subrogation release taken from The Baugh & Sons Co., Baugh & Sons Co., and the Baugh Chemical Co.
FIDELITY & CASUALTY Co. OF NEW YORK,
By John T. LODEN, Examiner. Personally appeared before me, John T. Loden, examiner, Fidelity & Casualty Co. of New York, and made affidavit that the above is true and correct.
William FINK, Notary Public.
BALTIMORE, MD., April 25, 1940. Statement of Harry W. Schulz, white, male, of Smith Avenue at Seven Mile Lane, Baltimore County, Md.
I am employed by The Baugh & Sons Co., as a chauffeur and operate their 1938 Packard club sedan which is used, exclusively, by Mr. B. H. Brewster, Jr., who is president of The Baugh & Sons Co.
On October 30, 1939, about 10:45 a. m. I was operating the above described Packard sedan, south on the west side of Fallsway. Mr. Brewster, Jr., was on the right front seat of the car with me. It was raining and the streets were wet. My speed was between 15 and 20 miles per hour. I was following the car in front of me, which/was a Dodge sedan, at a distance of between 20 and 25 feet. This Dodge was being operated by Mr. Harry E. Grimes. When Mr. Grimes was approaching the intersection of Monument Street the automatic signal light which had been red, changed to green for north and south bound traffic and, at this time the intersection was clear of all traffic. Mr. Grimes entered the intersection on a green light and was more than half-way across the intersection, when, for the first time, I saw, west bound on a red light, a United States mail truck and this truck was about to strike the rear left of the Grimes car. I immediately applied my brakes and turned my car to the left to avoid striking the mail truck and the Dodge, which had already collided, but before I could bring my car to a complete stop, the front of it had struck the rear of the mail truck, which after the impact occurred with the Dodge, had swung around in the street directly into the path of my Packard.
There was no one injured in this accident. The operator of the mail truck, I feel, is entirely to blame for this accident because he came into the intersection against a red signal light. The United States mail truck was operated by Albert Czeswinski. Mr. Czeswinski, Mr. Harry Grimes, the operator of the Dodge sedan, and myself were all charged by the police with reckless driving, and on the date that the case was tried before Judge Noeth, Grimes and myself were dismissed and the operator of the mail truck was found guilty and fined $5 and costs.
The above statement made by me and dated April 25, 1940, has been carefully read by me, and it is true and accurate in all details.
HARRY W. Schulz. Witness:
John A. COONEY, Jr. Personally appeared before me, Harry W. Schulz, read, signed, and made affidavit that the above statement is true and correct in all details.
WILLIAM FINK, Notary Public.
ZELL MOTOR CAR Co.,
Baltimore, Md., November 28, 1939. Name: Baugh & Son. Address: 25 South Calvert Street, Baltimore.
Packard 1607 club sedan
Remove and replace left front fender.
62 5. 00 2. 25
. 25 21. 00 5. 50 4. 00 15. 50
. 25 1. 50 4. 80 80.00 16. 60
2. 50 15. 00 3. 34 7. 00
Packard 1607 club sedan-Continued Reset caster camber and toe in...
$12.50 Renew right rear and left rear motor supports..
16. 68 Renew front motor support complete..
6. 86 Renew radiator core.
62. 40 Renew radiator drain cock and tube.
1. 10 Renew radiator core frame..
4. 10 Renew radiator shell.
90.00 Renew radiator shutter..
90. 00 Renew radiator shutter thermostat.
5. 50 Renew radiator shutter brace.. Renew two upper radiator hose..
2. 40 Renew lower radiator hose--
2. 10 Remove radiator side, straighten and replace..
1. 60 Straighten radiator lower side pan.
1. 60 Recondition fuel pump
6. 75 Renew water pump assembly
31. 03 Renew fan assembly (pulley).
18. 61 Renew short water-pump hose.
1. 20 Renew fan belts.
4. 50 Renew fan blades..
6. 40 Renew 2 ignition coils.
15. 00 Renew right front well fender.
76. 00 Renew right front fender front bracket.
4. 80 Renew right front fender side pan.
7. 60 Straighten road-light bracket
.80 Straighten and chrome front bumper.
11. 00 Refit hood..
4. 60 Crane in car
4. 00 Remove clutch and install new clutch plate, same being damaged when motor was driven back..
40. 20 Renew clutch pressure plate----
757. 43 ZELL MOTOR CAR Co., By F. W. WALKEMEYER, "Auditor.
STATE OF MARYLAND,
City of Baltimore: Personally appeared Albert P. Czerwinski, who being duly sworn, deposes and says:
I am employed as a substitute carrier in the post office at Baltimore, Md. On October 30, 1939, about 10:45 a. m., I was operating motor vehicle No. 15185, and was involved in an accident at the intersection of Monument Street and Fallsway with a Dodge automobile owned and operated by Harry Grimes, 732 East Twentieth Street, Baltimore, and a Packard automobile owned by Baugh Chemical Co., and operated by Harry Schulz, Smith Avenue, Mount Washington, Md.
I was proceeding west on Monument Street at a speed of from 15 to 20 miles an hour. As I approached the intersection at Fallsway, the automatic traffic signal was showing green for east and west traffic on Monument Street, until the mail truck reached within about 5 feet of the traffic signal, when it changed to amber. I entered the intersection as I had time to clear it before the signal changed to green for north and south traffic on Fallsway. When the mail truck reached about the center of the intersection, I saw the automobile operated by Grimes coming south on Fallsway which attempted to pass in front of the mail truck. I applied the brakes in an effort to avoid a collision and Grimes also applied his brakes, but skidded to the right and the mail truck struck his automobile on the rear left side. The Packard car, also traveling south on Fallsway close to the rear of the automobile operated by Grimes, skidded and struck the rear of the mail truck and stopped:
At the time of the accident it was raining, the streets were wet and slippery, and all vehicles involved skidded when applying brakes.