was giving him any trouble. The injury sustained was of a type which, under normal circumstances, should have been cured within a relatively few months. The libellant was a victim of a wrong diagnosis by his own physician. His thinking with respect to the extent of his injury was influenced to a marked degree by the wrong diagnosis of his own examining physician. The testimony indicates that from the time of the accident down to the present time the libellant could have worked at any time if, as he stated, 'he had to'. There is no doubt that his leaving the vessel on May 23, 1952, was occasioned primarily because of the diagnosis made, as aforesaid, by his own examining physician on May 16, 1952. It should be noted at this time that the physician who examined libellant was selected by his own attorney and was for the purpose of examination, diagnosis, and testimony as to the extent of the injury and for the purpose of establishing the measure of damages in the case. That fact raises the problem as to whether or not there has been an intervening cause of any further disability, and whether or not the further hospitalization was the result of a cause independent of the accident and for which the respondent would not be liable. Finding as I have, however, that the libellant was injured as a result of the negligence of the respondent, it cannot be said that such examination and diagnosis was other than a reasonable foreseeable result of the negligence. The duty of the libellant and his attorney involved only reasonable care in the selection of a physician or surgeon to examine the libellant, diagnose his injury, and establish his real loss. That his injury psychically was aggravated by the wrong diagnosis is in the opinion of the Court, in view of the selection of a competent physician, a part of the immediate and direct damage naturally flowing from the original injury. 15 Am.Jur., Damages, Section 85, p. 495. See Wallace v. P.R.R., 1909, 222 Pa. 556, 71 A. 1086; Thompson v. Fox, 1937, 326 Pa. 209, 192 A. 107, 112 A.L.R. 550. As a result of his thinking, influenced by the wrong diagnosis, libellant submitted himself for further treatments at the Marine Hospital in Baltimore. Under the circumstances, I find that he was justified in seeking this treatment. Therefore, I hold that it was not unreasonable on the part of the libellant to submit himself for outpatient treatment at the hospital on the occasions above set forth and he is entitled to maintenance and cure on both occasions and until he was discharged as 'fit for duty'. I do not, however, find that at any time as a direct result of this injury the libellant suffered 'excruciating' pain so as to prevent him from attending to his ordinary duties. There is no doubt in my mind, as testified to by Doctors Martin and Ornsteen, that he did sustain a lumbo-sacral strain with resultant annoying but nondisabling low back pain. These results were aggravated in some degree by the neurotic tendencies evidenced in the record of the Baltimore Marine Hospital. The award in damages will reflect the value of the pain, suffering and inconvenience endured by him as a direct result of the injury sustained in the accident of November 13, 1951.
The evidence has established that libellant reached maximum medical improvement on September 19, 1952 and after that date he is not entitled to further maintenance and cure. The libellant, therefore, will be awarded maintenance and cure from December 5, 1951, to January 30, 1952, and from June 3, 1952, to September 19, 1952. The award of damages will include loss of wages up to September 19, 1952, occasioned by the accident, and compensation for pain and suffering, which he sustained as a direct result of the accident, past, present and future. The libellant will, therefore, be awarded in the action for maintenance and cure the sum of $ 1,312, and in the liability action the sum of $ 4,000.
The foregoing findings of fact and conclusions of law may be taken as the Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law of the Court. In the event of any minor variation in the requested findings and conclusions, the statements of the above opinion will govern.
The Court affirms Libellant's Requests for Findings of Fact Nos. 1 to 11, 12 (eliminating the word 'excruciating'), 13, 15, 17, 19, 20, 25, 27, 28, 30, 31, 40, 41, 42, 43 and 44.
The Court denies Libellant's Requests for Findings of Fact Nos. 14, 16, 18, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26, 29, 32 to 39 inclusive, and 45 to 50 inclusive.
The Court affirms Libellant's Requests for Conclusions of Law Nos. 1 to 7, inclusive, 9, 10 and 13.
The Court denies Libellant's Requests for Conclusions of Law Nos. 8, 11, 12, and 14 to 16 inclusive.
The Court affirms Respondent's Requests for Findings of Fact Nos. 1 to 7 inclusive, 8 (eliminating the words 'and he fully recovered therefrom prior to his departure from the vessel'), 9, 10 (eliminating the first sentence thereof), 11 to 20 inclusive, and 23.
The Court denies Respondent's Requests for Findings of Fact Nos. 21, 22, 24 and 25.
The Court denies Respondent's Requests for Conclusions of Law Nos. 1 to 6 inclusive.
An appropriate order will be entered.
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