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SAAR v. SUN OIL CO.

October 12, 1954

Earl SAAR
v.
SUN OIL COMPANY



The opinion of the court was delivered by: CLARY

This is a libel in admiralty by a seaman for maintenance arising from a disability which manifested itself while he was serving on respondent's ship and which continued for a number of days after the end of the voyage thereof. Claims for wages and cure were made in the libel but the former was not pressed at the trial and the latter was dropped in that libellant received all necessary treatment from the United States Public Health Service at no cost to himself. There is no dispute over the amount due libellant if respondent is found liable. Upon pleadings and proof I make the following

Findings of Fact

 1. Libellant was at all times material a seaman in the United States Merchant Marine.

 2. Respondent is a corporation which at all times here material owned and operated the motorship 'Sun', which ship was engaged in coastwise and foreign service.

 3. Libellant entered upon employment by respondent as a member of the Crew of the M.S. 'Sun' from April 20, 1952 until the end of that voyage on May 4, 1952. Libellant has received all wages due to him for said period of employment.

 4. The voyage with which this libel is here concerned was from Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania, to Mereaux, Louisiana, and return.

 5. About three days before the return to Marcus Hook libellant experienced vomiting, weakness, a burning or itching sensation of the rectum and passed blood in his stools.

 6. The Master of the 'Sun' was informed of these continuing conditions by the libellant upon arrival at Marcus Hook and the issue of a 'hospital slip' was refused libellant.

 7. Respondent's personnel department did, however, issue a 'hospital slip' to libellant upon request on the following day and he reported to the United States Public Health Service in Philadelphia for treatment.

 8. Libellant was given outpatient treatment at the clinic on six visits from May 7, 1952 to May 26, 1952, and on the latter date was discharged and given a fit for duty slip. During this period libellant was certified as being unfit for duty by the clinic.

 9. The treatment administered at the clinic consisted of various laboratory tests, including examination of stool specimens, all of which were negative, sedation, vitamins, and prescribing a salve to allay the rectal itching. The diagnosis, which was made on the date of discharge by the clinic, was pruritas ani. Libellant was unfit for duty during this period and his ailment was of organic origin.

 10. Libellant had undergone a pre-employment physical examination on April 17, 1952 by two physicians employed by respondent and had been passed by them as suitable for employment.

 11. The physician conducting that part of the examination noted an abdominal scar on libellant and was truthfully informed by libellant that it was the result of an operation performed many years ago for a perforated gastric ulcer.

 12. In answer to the physician's question, libellant stated that he had had no past serious illnesses other than that ...


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