The opinion of the court was delivered by: BARD
This is a seaman's action at law to recover damages and maintenance and cure for injuries allegedly sustained by plaintiff aboard defendant's vessel, the S. S. 'Purdue Victory'. Upon the call of the case, plaintiff withdrew his demand for a jury trial, and the parties agreed to submit the cause to the Court for determination.
On the basis of the pleadings and the testimony, I make the following special
1. The plaintiff is John A. Sturrup.
2. The defendant is North Atlantic & Gulf Steamship Company, Inc.
3. Plaintiff was employed as a utility messman aboard defendant's vessel, the S. S. 'Purdue Victory', from July 17, 1946 until November 17, 1946.
4. On or about September 19, 1946, while the vessel was at anchorage in the port of Tocopilla, Chile, plaintiff became ill, and was unable to perform his duties.
5. Plaintiff was examined by the purser of the vessel on September 19, 1946. At the time of the purser's examination, plaintiff complained of pain in his legs. Plaintiff was running a fever, and his legs were swollen.
6. The purser reported plaintiff's illness to the master, and summoned a local physician, who came aboard on September 19, 1946, examined plaintiff, and advised the purser as to necessary treatment.
7. The purser administered the recommended treatment until September 22, 1946, on which date the local physician reexamined plaintiff and advised his removal to the Tocopilla hospital. Plaintiff's removal to the hospital was accomplished within an hour thereafter.
8. Plaintiff underwent treatment at the Tocopilla hospital for a period of 16 days, with the exception of a period of several hours approximately six days after his admission, when he returned to the vessel without a discharge slip, and was returned to the hospital at the direction of the master.
9. While at the Tocopilla hospital, plaintiff underwent an operation for a varicose condition of the saphenous veins of both legs.
10. When plaintiff was discharged from the hospital, he returned to the vessel and rested for eleven days. Thereafter, he returned to his regular duties, which he performed until the termination of the voyage at New York, N. Y., on November 17, 1946.
11. When the voyage terminated, plaintiff was paid off in full for all wages, overtime, and bonus earned during his period ...