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GARDNER v. SINCLAIR REF. CO.

March 18, 1955

Joseph F. GARDNER
v.
SINCLAIR REFINING COMPANY



The opinion of the court was delivered by: CLARY

This is an action for maintenance and cure by libellant, a seaman. From pleadings and proof I make the following

Findings of Fact

 1. Libellant, Joseph F. Gardner, an American merchant seaman, was in the employ of the respondent as a wiper on board the S.S. 'Flagship Sinco', a merchant vessel owned, operated and controlled by the said respondent, from January 26 to May 27, 1953.

 2. Prior to joining the said vessel, libellant was examined by a physician in behalf of the respondent and found to be physically fit and free of any symptoms of a hernia.

 3. On the 12th day of February, 1953, while the vessel was at sea, libellant suffered a strain and sharp pain in the left side of his groin while engaged in removing a container of ice from the ice-making machine on board the said vessel.

 4. This strain induced an inguinal hernia on the left side which became evident as the extrusion gradually grew in size. The pain, however, was not disabling, and the libellant continued with his duties.

 5. On the 15th day of April, 1953, libellant purchased a truss and thereafter wore it to obtain relief and support while he continued to serve aboard the vessel.

 6. On the 27th day of May, 1953, libellant was discharged from the service of the vessel for reporting late to duty. He informed the Master of the vessel of his injury and the fact that he had been wearing a truss and would new seek hospital attention.

 7. On the 9th day of June, 1953, the libellant reported to the United States Public Health Service Outpatient Clinic in Philadelphia, from where he was referred to the United States Public Health Service Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, where he was admitted. A hernioplasty on the left side was performed on the 12th day of June, 1953. Thereafter the incision became infected. On the 3rd day of July, 1953, the libellant was discharged from the hospital with an estimated disability of five weeks. He was advised by the United States Public Health Service Hospital to return to the Hospital in Baltimore or the Clinic in Philadelphia on or about August 7, 1953 for a follow-up examination.

 8. Within a short time after his discharge from the hospital, infection again set in and the incision drained. Libellant had been instructed at the hospital to apply peroxide to the incision during his convalescence and he did so as prescribed by the physicians at the hospital. The infection persisted, however, and although libellant had been advised to report to one of the branches of the United States Public Health Service on or about August 7th, he failed to so report and did not again report to the United States Public Health Service Hospital in Philadelphia until October 9, 1953, whereupon he was referred back to the United States Public Health Service Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.

 9. Libellant re-entered the United States Public Health Service Hospital in Baltimore on the 10th day of October, 1953, and was discharged on the 12th day of November, 1953, having been treated for a draining sinus from the previous left inguinal hernioplasty. The discharge certificate provided that the libellant was not fit for duty for four weeks.

 10. The period of libellant's convalescence after his second admission lasted until December 10, 1953.

 12. The libellant is entitled to maintenance and cure from May 27 to June 9, 1953, at $ 6 per day, and from July 3 to October 10, 1953, and from November 12 to December 10, ...


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