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MANIGAULT v. UNITED STATES

August 26, 1970

Frank MANIGAULT
v.
UNITED STATES of America


Troutman, District Judge.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: TROUTMAN

TROUTMAN, District Judge.

 This action is brought under the Admiralty Law as modified by the Suits in Admiralty Act, 46 U.S.C. §§ 741-752 and the Public Vessels Act, 46 U.S.C. §§ 781-790 and pursuant to the Jones Act, 46 U.S.C. § 688 and the General Maritime Law.

 The plaintiff, Frank Manigault, suffered injuries on the afternoon of September 18, 1966, while discharging duties aboard the U.S.N.S. Coastal Crusader. Testimony has been taken and evidence offered and introduced by both the plaintiff and the defendant. After due consideration thereof we make the following

 I

 Findings of Fact

 1. Plaintiff, Frank Manigault, at age 26, became a crew member of the USNS COASTAL CRUSADER on May 9, 1966.

 2. Between 1963 and 1965 the plaintiff had served in the United States Navy. Upon joining the Merchant Marine his Union status was designated Group II. As a member of Group II, he could obtain only those jobs which had not been filled by the more senior Union members in Group I.

 4. On the afternoon of September 18, 1966, at about 3:45 o'clock P.M., plaintiff was engaged in his normal and usual duties of washing and cleaning cups and saucers and other kitchen and dining ware and utensils in the saloon pantry.

 5. At that time, plaintiff was performing his duties in the usual and customary manner when, while reaching into a sink of soapy water, he was caused to suffer lacerations on and about the left hand as a result of the presence of a broken glass in the bottom of the sink which had not been visible to him prior to that time.

 6. Gilbert Shaw, the other saloon messman aboard the vessel, saw plaintiff pull his left hand out of the sink immediately following this occurrence and saw that the hand was bleeding.

 7. The broken glass on which plaintiff cut his hand on September 18, 1966, was a piece of glass from one of the fragile glasses aboard the USNS COASTAL CRUSADER, which the steward aboard the vessel had been aware of for some time prior to the date on which plaintiff suffered his accident and injury and had indicated he would change or replace due to their fragility.

 8. Between the time that the steward aboard the USNS COASTAL CRUSADER became aware of the presence of these fragile glasses aboard the vessel and the date on which plaintiff suffered his injury, the steward, an officer aboard the USNS COASTAL CRUSADER, did not take any action with regard to replacing, changing or removing the fragile glasses, a broken piece of which cut plaintiff's left hand on September 18, 1966.

 9. Plaintiff immediately went to the Chief Mate in order to secure first-aid for the lacerations of the left hand.

 10. Between September 18 and September 26, 1966, plaintiff received medical treatment from the Chief Mate aboard the USNS COASTAL CRUSADER and did not return to work as a result of the injury to his left hand which ...


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