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STEINBERG v. AMERICAN EXPORT LINES

December 3, 1948

STEINBERG
v.
AMERICAN EXPORT LINES, Inc.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: MCGRANERY

Findings of Fact

1. On September 7, 1946, libellant was 37 years of age, a citizen of the United States and a member of the American Merchant Marine.

 2. Libellant, at all times material herein, was employed by the respondent as a member of the crew, in the capacity of Messman, on the S.S. 'Netherlands Victory' at a wage of $ 150.00 per month, plus overtime and found.

 3. On August 9, 1946, the libellant signed shipping articles as a member of the crew of the S.S. 'Netherlands Victory' for a foreign voyage not to exceed twelve calendar months.

 4. Respondent possessed, owned, operated and controlled the S.S. 'Netherlands Victory' at all times material herein.

 5. On September 7, 1946, while the vessel was approaching Naples, Italy, a finger on libellant's left hand was cut in the performance of his duties and while in the service of the vessel.

 6. During the time a passenger on board the vessel was suturing libellant's finger, libellant was give an overdose of ammonia by the Purser.

 7. Libellant suffered agonizing pain immediately after being given the ammonia by the Purser and, after emergency first-aid treatment, was removed the same day to an American military hospital in Naples, Italy. There he was given treatment for his finger and, to counteract the effect of the ammonia, was instructed to take lemon juice, milk and raw eggs. Libellant received the same treatment and advice each day for the next week.

 9. Libellant's stomach condition did not improve after his return to his home in Philadelphia on October 10, 1946, and, on October 28, 1946, he was admitted to the United States Marine Hospital at Baltimore, Maryland, where he remained under treatment and observation until November 4, 1946.

 10. The United States Marine Hospital at Baltimore, Maryland, found that libellant's stomach was normal in size but appeared to be irritable; that a gastroscopy revealed a slightly more prominent than normal rugae and that the findings strongly suggested gastritis. Libellant had responded favorably to hospital treatment, medication and diet and was discharged. Subsequently, however, libellant continued to suffer stomach trouble and disability, which prevented him from working.

 11. As a result of x-ray and other physical test and internal examinations made in Philadelphia during April and May, 1948, it was determined that libellant has a chronic enteritis and gastritis and that, in addition to medication and medical care, he requires a special diet, frequent feedings of special foods and should abstain from any laborious pursuits which would render it impossible for him to follow this procedure and which would further aggravate his condition.

 12. Since becoming ill aboard the ship, libellant has been unable to eat normally, has lost weight and has been rendered physically unable to do ordinary work, except where necessity requires, and ...


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