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SISKO v. CHAS. KURZ & CO.

May 25, 1951

SISKO
v.
CHAS. KURZ & CO. et al.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: CLARY

In this action tried to the Court without a jury, plaintiff claims damages of the defendant shipowners for bodily harm sustained by him as a result of alleged unseaworthiness of the S.S. Andrew A. Humphreys upon which he was employed as a Quartermaster and/or negligence of the officers and crew of said vessel. The evidence discloses that the plaintiff is presently suffering from active pulmonary tuberculosis which he claims was either caused by or aggravated and activated by the action of the defendants. Upon pleadings and proof I make the following

Findings of Fact.

 1. Commencing September 6, 1949, plaintiff voluntarily entered into five separate and consecutive contracts of employment aboard the Steamship Andrew A. Humphreys in the capacity of Quartermaster, the last employment terminating on December 2, 1949.

 2. During the above period of time plaintiff made five voyages as follows:

 September 6, 1949 to September 25, 1949, Galveston, Texas to Tampa, Florida to Boston, Massachusetts.

 September 26, 1949 to October 18, 1949, Boston, Massachusetts to Cuba to New York, N.Y.

 October 19, 1949 to November 7, 1949, New York, N.Y. to Houston, Texas.

 November 8, 1949 to November 19, 1949, Houston, Texas to Mobile, Alabama.

 November 20, 1949 to December 2, 1949, Mobile, Alabama to Norco, Louisiana to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

 3. At no time from September 6, 1949 to December 2, 1949 were there any long or protracted cold spells or periods of bad weather. The air temperatures during the voyages in question ranged in the main between the low 60s and low 80s and there were very few days when the outside temperatures were so low as to require more than moderate heating of quarters.

 4. The plaintiff was assigned to living quarters aboard the Andrew A. Humphreys which were habitable, dry and properly ventilated and heated. At no time during his periods of employment did plaintiff make any complaint to his superior officers of damp and cold living quarters.

 5. During the early part of November, at Houston, Texas, plaintiff contracted a cold which up to November 22, 1949 did not require either treatment or hospitalization.

 6. On or about November 22, 1949, plaintiff consulted a private physician in a small sea coast town near New Orleans, who after examination pronounced him fit for duty. Thereafter, on the same day, plaintiff first reported his cold to the Master and while the Andrew A. Humphreys was berthed at Norco, Louisiana, plaintiff was furnished with a Master's certificate to obtain medical care and attention at the United States Marine Hospital, New Orleans, Louisiana. Plaintiff was there advised he had pleurisy and was furnished with medicine for a cough and cold. However, plaintiff informed his superiors that he had been pronounced fit for duty and returned to the ship for duty.

 7. On November 26, 1949 at about 2:30 a.m., while off duty, plaintiff complained of pain in the stomach and was immediately examined by the Master of the vessel, who upon examination found normal temperature, pulse and respiration, and no visible evidence of illness. Thereupon, as a result of plaintiff's complaint, he was relieved from all duty, confined to bed, placed on a soft diet and his meals were served to him in his quarters. He was examined and observed at frequent ...


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