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GOMEZ v. TEXAS CO.

November 10, 1960

Miguel GOMEZ
v.
TEXAS COMPANY



The opinion of the court was delivered by: WELSH

In the related civil action in which the trial was had before the Court and a jury, a verdict was returned in favor of the Texas Company. In this admiralty action, the Court having examined the record in that action and the briefs submitted by counsel herein and having heard the oral argument, now has the responsibility to determine the issue of maintenance and cure. Consequently, we find the facts, enter a discussion and draw conclusions of law as follows:

Findings of Fact

 1. On August 20, 1955, and at all times material to this suit, libellant, Miguel Gomez, was a seaman in the United States Merchant Marine.

 2. During the period, August 20, 1955 to September 29, 1955, respondent, the Texas Company, owned, operated and/or controlled the S. S. Maryland, a vessel engaged in coastwise, intercoastal and foreign commerce.

 3. During the same period, libellant was in respondent's employ as a member of the crew of respondent's vessel, the S.S. Maryland, in the capacity of wiper.

 4. Libellant was physically fit for duty when he joined respondent's vessel, the S. S. Maryland on August 20, 1955, having been so found 'fit for duty' upon examination by respondent's physician immediately before joining the vessel.

 5. On September 14, 1955 or September 15, 1955, one or two days out of Wilmington, California, on the vessel's return to Jacksonville, Florida, libellant sustained a fracture of the left great toe, while in the service of the respondent's vessel, the S. S. Maryland.

 6. Libellant immediately reported the accident and injury to his superior, the third assistant engineer. He was then referred to the captain and the steward, and he likewise informed them of the accident and injury.

 7. Libellant received treatment from the steward for the rest of the voyage, the treatment consisting of dressings, bandages and hot epsom salts solutions.

 8. By reason of the injury sustained in the service of respondent's vessel, libellant was obliged to leave the vessel at the termination of the voyage at Jacksonville, Florida, on September 29, 1955.

 9. Following his discharge from the vessel, libellant returned to his home in Philadelphia and underwent treatment at the outpatient clinic of the United States Public Health Service from October 3, 1955 to October 28, 1955 for fracture of the left great toe and from October 29, 1955 to November 5, 1955 for ulcerative lesions scattered over the surface of the right hand and lacerations and contusions to the face, at which time he was pronounced 'fit for duty' by that facility.

 10. From October 29, 1955 to November 25, 1955, when he registered to ship out, libellant continued to experience pain in the left great toe. During this period, the treatment consisted of rest and epsom salts solutions administered by libellant himself.

 11. By reason of the injury sustained in the service of respondent's vessel, libellant was disabled during the period September 30, 1955 to November 25, 1955, during which period he benefitted or could have benefitted from medical care and attention. Libellant did not work nor earn any money whatsoever during the aforesaid period of disability.

 12. Libellant's disability was in no was due to his own gross misconduct, insubordination or ...


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