the Captain and commenting on the general calibre of people who work on such vessels. (Tr. 150, 160-167)
7. Plaintiff never thereafter returned to work for Campbell, and did not subsequently communicate with anyone from the Defendant Company. (Tr. 11)
8. Some time later, however, the Plaintiff entered the employ of M & G Transport Services, Incorporated (Tr. 60, Deft.Exh. 2), another towing company, but remained only for a period of five or six days. Thereafter, the Plaintiff worked periodically on his father's tobacco farm, and for two days at the Scott & Dillon Tobacco Company. (Tr. 62-67)
9. Since his accident the Plaintiff has received treatment from Dr. Samuel Sherman in Pittsburgh, and Doctors Coronel, Burner and Thaler of the Holzer Medical Center in Gallipolis, Ohio. (Pltf.Exhs. 2 through 2(d))
10. Dr. Sherman, a specialist in rehabilitative medicine, diagnosed Coughenour's condition as lumbosacral strain, post-traumatic anxiety reaction, and possible discogenic patholog, lumbar. Doctor Sherman considered the Plaintiff's foot problems to be the result of a "dropped foot" condition, and corroborative support thereof was given by Dr. Thaler's prescription of a foot brace. (Pltf.Exh. 2) Both of these physicians recommended that an electromyographic test be performed. However, it is clear that the Plaintiff's condition had considerably improved since he was last examined by Dr. Sherman in June of 1974. The deposition of Doctor Lowell B. Lubic, a specialist in neurology, as introduced by Defendant discloses that Plaintiff has a moderate weakness in his left leg, but that this condition is the result of a lumbosacral strain without neurological involvement. According to the history taken by Dr. Lubic and supported by the Doctor's findings, Plaintiff's complaints of numbness and weakness developed approximately two months after his initial injury.
11. In the Plaintiff's signed statement provided to Campbell's investigator at a personal interview at the Plaintiff's home (Deft. Exh. 1) there were some inconsistencies with the Plaintiff's testimony at trial and with statements in his deposition, but viewed by the Court, as the finder of fact, these do not rise to such a level as to impeach the credibility of a nineteen year old seaman with a ninth grade education.
12. Maintenance, if due, has been stipulated to be in the amount of $8.00 per day. (Tr. 145)
Maintenance and Cure is for the benefit of seamen injured while in the service of their vessels, Siders v. Ohio River Company, 351 F. Supp. 987, 992 (W.D.Pa.1971), affirmed 469 F.2d 1093, (3d Cir.), and the seaman has the burden of proving that the injury occurred while in the service of the ship. Id. at 993; See also Prendis v. Central Gulf Steamship Company, 330 F.2d 893, 896 (4th Cir. 1963). The right to maintenance and cure is considered to be "among the most pervasive of all liabilities imposed on a shipowner", and ambiguities or doubts must be resolved in favor of the seaman. Vaughan v. Atkinson, 369 U.S. 527, 82 S. Ct. 997, 8 L. Ed. 2d 88 (1962); Aguilar v. Standard Oil Co., 318 U.S. 724, 63 S. Ct. 930, 87 L. Ed. 1107 (1943); Oswalt v. Williamson Towing Company, Inc., 488 F.2d 51, 54 (5th Cir. 1974). The duty to provide maintenance and cure is not one of compensation, but rather, is in the nature of supportive and curative care. Calmar Steamship Corp. v. Taylor, 303 U.S. 525, 58 S. Ct. 651, 82 L. Ed. 993 (1938); Lipari v. Maritime Overseas Corporation, 493 F.2d 207 (3d Cir. 1974); Sobosle v. United States Steel Corporation, 359 F.2d 7 (3d Cir. 1966). Once the seaman has shown that his injuries occurred while in the service of his vessel, the defendant must prove that the seaman was guilty of gross misconduct to defeat his claim for maintenance and cure. Gulledge v. United States, 337 F. Supp. 1108 (E.D.Pa.1972), affirmed 474 F.2d 1340 (3d Cir.)
The evidence in this case is clear that Plaintiff is a seaman who was employed as a deckhand for Campbell. As an injured deckhand, he would be entitled to maintenance and cure to the time when maximum cure has been achieved. Andrews v. Dravo Corporation, 406 F.2d 785 (3d Cir. 1969). The employer's duty is a continuing one, and the duty is not extinguished when the seaman's employment is terminated. Id. at 788. While corroborative evidence was almost exclusively circumstantial, we have found that on September 5, 1973, Plaintiff fell and in so doing injured his back. Defendant's Pilot, Peter Alouise, substantiated Plaintiff's testimony that he notified Defendant's personnel of the incident early in the morning. Alouise immediately contacted the Marine Superintendent by radio and received instructions to put Coughenour ashore for medical attention. The emergency room records of the Divine Providence Hospital (Pltf.Exh. 1) disclosed X-rays of Plaintiff's spinal region were taken and found to be negative; however, a preliminary diagnosis of "lumbar sprain" was noted on the hospital record. No other Divine Providence medical records were offered, and we must assume none exist.
It is Campbell's contention that the Plaintiff has not proven any injury occurring while in its employment. Defendant attempted to show through cross-examination of the Plaintiff that after he quit his job with the Defendant, he then applied for and accepted employment with the M & G Transport Services, Inc., and the Scott & Dillon Tobacco Company. Defendant argues that this testimony was adequate to show that at least as of the time these applications were made for the jobs, the Plaintiff had no back and/or leg impairments, as alleged. Further, Campbell asserts that the testimony of Peter Alouise concerning Plaintiff's statement when he quit that "I am getting off these boats. Only idiots and dummies work out here" (Tr. 150), was sufficient to show Plaintiff's real reason for leaving the Defendant's employ.
Plaintiff, on the other hand, testified that while he may have made the remark referred to above, the real reason he made the statement was because of the pain and difficulty he was experiencing because of his injuries of September 5, 1973.
"Q He [Alouise] stated that he had a conversation with you on the day you came back to work and that you made the statement as follows: "The hell with this shit. Only idiots and dumbheads work on this boat."
Did you make any such statement?