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LIPSCOMB v. GROVES

March 11, 1949

LIPSCOMB
v.
GROVES et al.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: MCGRANERY

1. On June 26, 1947, plaintiff, a citizen of the United States, was a member of the American Merchant Marine.

2. When plaintiff was seven years old he underwent an operation for the removal of his spleen at the Methodist Hospital, Philadelphia. This operation resulted in a scar on the left side of his abdomen.

 3. In 1945, plaintiff underwent an operation for the relief of intestinal obstructions caused by adhesions resulting from the splenectomy. This operation resulted in a scar on the right side of his abdomen.

 4. On June 4, 1948, plaintiff signed shipping articles and reported aboard the Steamship Alexander S. Clay. On the same date plaintiff was subjected to a physical examination by Dr. J. W. Negrey on behalf of defendants.

 5. On June 26, 1947, the defendants operated and controlled the Steamship Alexander S. Clay in foreign commerce, and on that date, plaintiff was in the employ of the defendants as a member of the crew of the Steamship Alexander S. Clay in the capacity of wiper at the basic wage of $ 185.50 per month, plus overtime and maintenance.

 6. On June 26, 1947, while the vessel was under way in the River Seine, enroute to Rouen, France, plaintiff became very ill.

 7. As a result, he was removed from the vessel and taken to a hospital at Rouen, France, where an emergency operation for an intestinal obstruction was performed. This operation resulted in a scar in the middle of his abdomen.

 8. Plaintiff remained in the hospital at Rouen, France, for approximately one month and was then repatriated, at no expense to him, to the United States. He arrived in New York on or about August 11, 1947.

 9. Plaintiff promptly reported to the United States Public Health Service at Philadelphia, where he was examined and referred to Dr. Eugene C. Murphy for further examination and consultation.

 10. When Dr. Murphy examined plaintiff, he found that plaintiff had recovered from the abdominal operation, was not in need of further treatment, and was wearing a very good abdominal belt.

 11. Plaintiff, at the time of his arrival in the United States and at the time of his examination by Dr. Murphy, still felt weak from the operation and was not able to resume work.

 12. As a result of the third operation, a complication set in, i.e., a swelling to the right of the unbilicus, which was a partial diastasis of the right rectus abdominalis muscle and produced a slight forward protrusion.

 13. In the summer of 1948, plaintiff's weakened abdominal wall had become the site of a ventral hernia. This was a result of and complication from the third operation.

 14. Since June 26, 1947, up to the time of trial, plaintiff has been unable to resume his occupation as wiper and is capable of engaging in sedentary work only. During this period, improvement in plaintiff's condition from nursing, care, ...


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