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ZIEGLER v. MARINE TRANSP. LINES

November 20, 1947

ZIEGLER
v.
MARINE TRANSPORT LINES, Inc. et al.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: WELSH

1. On June 30, 1946, and for a brief period thereafter, the Libellant was a seaman in the United States Merchant Marine.

2. Respondent, United States of America, is a sovereign which has by law consented to be sued, and Respondent, United States Maritime Commission, is a Governmental Agency of the United States and successor to the War Shipping Administration.

 3. The United States of America, through the War Shipping Administration, was on June 30, 1946, and thereafter, the owner of the S.S. 'Warren Delano'.

 4. On June 30, 1946, and thereafter, the Respondent, Marine Transport Lines, Inc., managed, operated and conducted the business of the S.S. 'Warren Delano' as general agent of the United States of America, in foreign commerce.

 5. On or about May 1, 1946, at Philadelphia, Pa., Libellant signed shipping articles as Third Assistant Engineer for a twelve-month foreign voyage on the S.S. 'Warren Delano'.

 6. Libellant's rate of pay was $ 247.00 per month of $ 8.23 per day.

 7. On or about June 30, 1946, in the course of his employment and while the vessel was in navigable waters, libellant became suddenly ill and experienced severe abdominal pains.

 8. On the morning of June 30, 1946, the vessel was at Galveston, Texas, where there is a United States Public Health Service Station and Marine Hospital, where competent medical and surgical treatment were available.

 9. At breakfast on the morning of June 30, 1946, the Libellant told the Purser/Pharmacist's Mate, Paul R. Dodds, that he had abdominal pains.

 10. The Purser believed that the Libellant had cramps and told him he would prescribe some medicine after breakfast.

 11. Later in the morning of June 30, 1946, the Purser saw Libellant on watch and observed that he was unable to work, having testified as follows:

 'About half past eleven on that morning when I was called down at the engine room, and he was at -- he was working in the engine room, and he looked like he was, well, unable to work'.

 Despite this fact, the Purser did nothing although he knew that he, the Purser, had the duty to care for the health of all seamen aboard the S.S. 'Warren Delano' and also knew that a physician, the Quarantine Doctor, was on board said ship on the morning of June 30, 1946.

 12. On the afternoon of June 30, 1946, Libellant's pain persisted, and he saw the Purser. The Purser gave the Libellant some paregoria, a mixture which is administered to persons suffering from firemen's cramps. Firemen's cramps result when overheated persons drink cold water.

 13. On the evening of June 30, 1946, the Purser examined the Libellant. The extent of the examination was relatively thorough. However, a thermometer, which is an essential part of a ship's medical equipment, was not available on the vessel on the evening of June 30, 1946. The thermometer, at the time of the examination, was locked up in the Chief Mate's room.

 14. On July 1, 1946, the Libellant again contacted the Purser. At this time, the Purser supplied Libellant with a sufficient quantity of pareyoric and sulfathiazole as a ...


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