Whaley's testimony with respect to the site of the accident is vague, confusing and inherently contradictory. I find, in accordance with plaintiff's version of the accident, that the collision occurred in the southern or eastbound side of the highway and a little more than half way across 21st Street.
After the collision plaintiff became unconscious. He was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital where he quickly regained consciousness, remained for about six hours, and was treated for the injuries he sustained in the accident.
He had a puncture wound in his tongue which required four sutures. His chest was strapped for fractures of the second and fourth right ribs. He had minor cuts on the left leg below the knee, on the right wrist, and over the right eye and a slight bruise on the left forehead. Merthiolate was applied to the cuts and bruises.
For about six weeks Hudgins visited the hospital twice a week as an out-patient to have his strappings changed and to have two sutures removed from his tongue after four weeks and the remaining two removed ten days thereafter.
After the sutures were removed plaintiff was tongue-tied for about three or four months, at the end of which time he had completely recovered his normal speaking ability.
At the time of the accident plaintiff was on temporary furlough from his automobile assembly job at the Budd Company. He was recalled to work on December 1, 1948, but was unable to return because of his injuries. He attempted to resume work on January 11, 1949, but was able to do the heavy press shop work, to which he was then assigned, for only about 3 hours. He finally returned to work on February 2, 1949. Since that time he has been doing either assembly work or laborer's work depending on the employment situation. Whenever he has been laid off from assembly work because of a cutback in employment and his low seniority status, he has voluntarily by-passed press shop work, which is the classification between assembly work and laborer's work, claiming that press shop work is too heavy and strenuous for him. If press shop work is too heavy for him, his inability to handle it is not attributable to any disability resulting from the accident.
Plaintiff's only evidence in support of his claim for permanent injuries is a small lump on his chest which he exhibited to the Court. He called no doctors to the stand to testify in his behalf with reference to his alleged permanent injuries. His own testimony in regard to his inability to do press shop work is not convincing. I find that plaintiff has sustained no permanent disability as a result of the accident and that therefore he is not entitled to an award for future loss of earnings.
However, plaintiff is entitled to reimbursement for his loss of wages from December 1, 1948, to February 2, 1949, a period of nine weeks at $ 75 per week, or a total of $ 675.
For his pain and suffering and the inconvenience of being tongue-tied for several months plaintiff is entitled to an award of $ 2,000.
To recapitulate: defendant is liable to plaintiff for damages amounting to $ 3,600, consisting of $ 925 for damage to the automobile, $ 675 for past loss of earnings, and $ 2,000 for pain, suffering, and inconvenience.
As to defendant's counterclaim for damages to the mail truck I find in favor of the plaintiff.
The statements of fact and law contained in the foregoing opinion will constitute the Court's findings of fact and conclusions of law in the case.
Judgment may be entered in accordance with the foregoing opinion.