The opinion of the court was delivered by: BARD
This is a libel instituted by a merchant seaman to recover damages and maintenance and cure.
The libel alleges that the libellant was injured while on authorized shore leave in a foreign port, and that the respondent failed to care properly for the libellant subsequent to the injury, with the result that the injury was thereby aggravated.
On the basis of the pleadings and the testimony, I make the following special
1. The libellant is James Elliott Grovell.
2. The respondent is the Stockard Steamship Company, which is all material times operated and controlled the Steamship 'Florence Martus'.
3. Libellant, at all times material herein, was employed by the respondent as a wiper in the engine room of the 'Florence Martus' at a wage of $ 175 per month plus found.
4. On January 11, 1947 the 'Florence Martus' was moored at a dock at Catania, Sicily, discharging cargo.
5. On Jan. 11, 1947, at 4 o'clock p.m., libellant went ashore on authorized shore leave.
6. At approximately 7 p.m. on January 11, 1947, libellant, in company with two fellow crew members and two girls, left a bar-room, in the town of Catania, and were proceeding to a local dance hall, when they were accosted by a native hack driver who solicited their business.
7. After an exchange of angry words between libellant and the hack driver, the hack driver flicked his whip at libellant, striking libellant on the right eye.
8. At the time he sustained his injury libellant was intoxicated; however, it has not been established that the libellant's intoxicated condition was the cause of his sustaining the injury.
9. Libellant received first-aid treatment at a local drug store, and also at the local Red Cross Station.
10. Libellant returned to the 'Florence Martus' at 3 a.m. on the morning of January 12, 1947, and ...