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JUNE 10 (legislative day, May 28), 1940.—Ordered to be printed
Mr. BURKE, from the Committee on Claims, submitted the following
[To accompany H. R 5592)
The Committee on Claims, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 5592) for the relief of Vernon Atkison, having considered the same, report favorably thereon with the recommendation that the bill do pass without amendment.
The facts are fully set forth in House Report No. 1867, Seventysixth Congress, third session, which is appended hereto and made a part of this report.
(H. Rept. No. 1867, 76th Cong., 3d sess.)
The Committee on Claims, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 5592) for the relief of Vernon Atkison, having considered the same, report favorably thereon with amendments and recommend that the bill as amended to pass.
The amendments are as follows:
Line 6, strike out the sign and figures "$5,092.50” and insert in lieu thereof “$2,000”.
Line 8, strike out the word "him” and insert in lieu thereof "the said Vernon Atkison".
The purpose of the proposed legislation is to pay to the legal guardian of Vernon Atkison, a minor, of Greenville, S. C., the sum of $2,000, in full settlement of all claims against the United States for personal injuries received by the said Vernon Atkison and property damage to his bicycle when such bicycle was struck on Paris Mountain Road near Greenville, S. C., on the morning of December 30, 1937, by
truck in the service of the Civilian Conservation Corps.
STATEMENT OF FACTS
At approximately 8 a. m. on the morning of December 30, 1937, Vernon Atkison, who was then 14 years of age, was riding his bicycle on his right-hand side of the Paris Mountain Road, near the intersection of that road with United States Route No. 25. He was at the time engaged in the delivery of newspapers. At the same time a Civilian Conservation Corps enrollee, Henry Smith, accompanied by enrollee Henry Puckett, was driving a Government dump truck on this same road, traveling in the same direction as the boy.
According to the records, the driver of the Government truck first saw Vernon Atkison when the boy was approximately 300 feet ahead of him on the hard surface of the roadway, within approximately 18 inches of the dirt shoulder. The Government driver states that he sounded his horn when about 50 feet from the boy and steered the truck slightly to the left. However, it will be noted in the evidence later appended that one E. W. Davis, who was following the truck at a distance of approximately 100 yards, states that the truck did not pull over to the left in order to make sure of clearing the boy. In passing Vernon the truck struck the bicycle, the right rear wheel passing over the rear wheel of the bicycle and dragging the rider an estimated distance of 24 feet. As a result of being so struck Vernon sustained a double compound fracture of the right femur.
The boy was confined to the Greenville General Hospital from December 30, 1937, to January 27, 1938, and found it necessary to use crutches after returning home until approximately the middle of May 1938. The boy's family was put to considerable expense, and there will be found hereafter appended bills for hospital and medical attention and ambulance service amounting to $446.
In addition to this, his clothing was damaged and his bicycle was destroyed. A claim in the amount of $35 covering these losses was submitted to the War Department and approved, although payment has not been made.
It should be further stated that at the time of the accident, Vernon was delivering papers for the Greenville News, the newspaper company estimating his average earnings to be $5.40 per week. He was off the paper route from December 31, 1937, until August 15, 1938, losing 3242 weeks' work or estimated earnings in the amount of $175.50.
At the time of the accident the boy was a student in Parker High School at Greenville, 8. C., and in view of the time lost as a result of the accident it was necessary for him to take the entire year's work over. This will, of course, put him back a year from the normal time he would begin to be self-supporting.
In addition to these various expenses and monetary losses, the boy underwent severe pain and suffering.
The Department of Agriculture recommends that the proposed legislation be enacted, admitting that Vernon Atkison's injuries and damages resulted from the negligence of a Government employee_under the supervision of their Department while engaged in official duty. "The Department suggests the amount of $1,150 in settlement of the claim, comprising the following items: Greenville General Hospital..
$158. 50 Dr. L. W. Boggs -
250. 00 Dr. J. M. Fewell.
20.00 Ambulance service
15. 00 Drugs, etc.
2. 50 Loss of earnings
175. 50 Cost of schooling, clothing, subsistence, etc., for additional year before becoming self-supporting
328. 50 Pain and suffering--
1, 150. 00 It is the view of your committee, however, after having gone very thoroughly into all the circumstances surrounding this case, that the boy should be compensated in the amount of $2,000, which amount it is felt is more commensurate with the expenses, loss of time, and severe pain and suffering involved in this particular case.
Appended hereto is the report of the Department of Agriculture, together with other pertinent evidence, as follows:
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE,
Washington, July 6, 1939. Hon. AMBROSE J. KENNEDY,
Chairman, Committee on Claims, House of Representatives. DEAR MR. KENNEDY: Reference is made to Department letter of May 29 acknowledging receipt of your request for report on H. R. 5592, a bill in the sum of $5,092.50 for the relief of Vernon Atkison for personal injuries and damage to the bicycle he was riding when struck December 30, 1937, by a Civilian Conservation Corps truck under supervision of the Forest Service on a roadway near Greenville, S. C.
The circumstances of the accident are briefly as follows: Civilian Conservation Corps Enrollee Henry Smith, accompanied by Enrollee Henry Puckett, driving a Government truck on the Paris Mountain Road near the intersection with United States Route 25, observed a young boy 14 years of age riding a bicycle approximately 300 feet ahead, traveling in the same direction as the Government truck, both vehicles being operated well on the right-hand side of the road. When first observed by the Government driver the bicycle was on the hard surface of roadway within approximately 18 inches of the dirt shoulder. The Government driver sounded his horn when about 50 feet from the boy and steered the truck slightly to the left, but in passing the truck struck the bicycle, the rear right wheel passing over the rear wheel of bicycle and dragging the rider an estimated distance of 24 feet. As a result Vernon Atkison, claimant, sustained a double compound fracture of the right femur.
At the time of the unfortunate happening young Atkison was student in the Parker High School at Greenville, S. C. In view of the time lost because of the accident and since less than half the school year had been completed it was necessary for him to take the entire year's work over.
Vernon Atkison was confined to the Greenville General Hospital from December 30, 1937, to January 27, 1938, and found it necessary to use crutches after returning home until approximately the middle of May 1938.
At the time of the accident Vernon was delivering papers for the Greenville News, the newspaper company estimating his average earnings to be $5.40 per week. He was off the paper route from December 31, 1937, until August 15, 1938, losing 32%2 weeks' work.
A claim for $5,035 was filed under the act of December 28, 1922 (42 Stat. 1066), by P. W. Atkison, the youth's father, representing $5,000 for personal injuries and $35 for property damage to the boy's clothing and bicycle. There being no authority for allowance of personal injury claims under the act cited, that part of the claim was necessarily disallowed for lack of jurisdiction. The sum of $35 was approved for property damage and the claimant so advised by Department letter dated February 17, 1939.
Since Vernon Atkison's injuries resulted from negligence of a Government employee under the supervision of this Department while engaged in official duty, it is recommended that your committee report favorably on H. R. 5592 in the sum of $1,150, which amount is comprised of the following items: 1. Greenville General Hospital.
$158. 50 2. Dr. L. W. Boggs
250. 00 3. Dr. J. M. Fewell.
20.00 4. Ambulance service.
15. 00 5. Drugs, etc.-
2. 50 6. Loss of earnings-
175. 50 7. Cost of schooling, clothing, subsistence, etc., for additional year before becoming self-supporting.
328. 50 8. Pain and suffering
200. 00 Total.-
-1, 150. 00 Copies of the following papers pertaining to the circumstances of the accident and the expenses resulting therefrom are enclosed: (1) bill of Greenville General Hospital, $158.50; (2) bill of Thomas McAfee for ambulance service, $15; (3) bill of Dr. L. W. Boggs, $250; (4) bill of Dr. J. M. Fewell, $20; (5) bill of Carpenter Bros., $2.50; (6) statement of Civilian Conservation Corps enrollee Henry Puckett; (7) statement of Civilian Conservation Corps enrollee Henry Smith, driver of Government truck; (8) affidavit of P. W. Atkison; (9) affidavit of E. W. Davis; (10) report of Project Superintendent C. H. Muckenfuss, dated June 9, 1939; (11) letter, dated June 9, 1939, from Dr. L.;W. Boggs to Project Superintendent C. H. Muckenfuss; (12) 'statement of Dr. John E. Brown, first lieutenant; (13) statement of P. W. Atkison, dated June 8, 1939. Sincerely,
HARRY L. BROWN, Acting Secretary.
AFFIDAVIT STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA,
County of Greenville, ss: Personally appeared before me P. W. Atkison, who first being duly sworn, says: That he is the father of Vernon Atkison, and that on the morning of December 30, 1937, that he was at work at the Acme Loom Reed Harness Co., and about 8:15 Mrs. R. T. Osteen telephoned him and told him that his son Vernon had been injured in an accident on the Paris Mountain Road, and that he immediately went to the General Hospital where he found his boy in the emergency room, suffering from a broken leg, the break being above the knee; that the boy was partly con
scious at the time and was trying to tell him what happened; shortly after he regained full consciousness and told me that a man ran over him with a truck; he didn't know who, nor what kind of truck it was; that he remained at the hospital until the boy's leg was treated, and he was removed from the operating room to a ward; that he then went home and got Mrs. Atkison and went to the scene of the wreck; the wheel had been moved from the road and was over by a Negro's house; that he carefully examined the road for signs of the wreck, and he observed that where the wreck was said to have occurred there was a dug-out place in the pavement about 18 inches from the shoulder; there were also signs that some object had been dragged along the edge of the road, and about 28 steps from the dug-out place in the pavement there was a pool of blood where his boy's body was found, indicating that the boy had been dragged about 28 steps from the place where he was struck; that he then went to Greenville and brought Deputies Daniel and Kellett out to the place to investigate the wreck; then he also went to the scene of the accident with Henry Smith and the officer of the Civilian Conservation Corps camp, and checked the marks on the road again. (SEAL)
P. W. ATKISON. Sworn to before me this the 5th day of January 1938. (SEAL)
D. R. Cain, Notary Public.
AFFIDAVIT STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA,
County of Greenville, 88: Personally appeared before me E. W. Davis, who, first being duly sworn, says: That on the morning of December 30, 1937, a little after 8 o'clock, while he was on his way to the city of Greenville to work, he stopped along the Paris Mountain Road to talk with two men; that while he was talking with the men, about four or five Civilian Conservation Corps trucks passed him on the road to Greenville; that when the last truck passed him he started up and followed them at about 100 yards to the rear; the trucks were all driving at about 35 or 40 miles an hour, keeping to the right of the road; that he saw the trucks pull to the right of the road and stop; that he drove up past two or three of the trucks and saw a boy lying beside the road with his right leg crushed above the knee; that the boy was lying off the pavement on the right of the road with his feet just on the pavement; that deponent did not see the actual accident, but that the trucks in front of him did not turn to the left side of the road at any time in order to pass anyone in front of them; had they done so, he would have been able to see the boy on the wheel; that from all appearances no effort was made on the part of the truck to pull to the left of the road to pass the boy; that when he arrived at the scene of the accident he asked if anyone had called an ambulance, and when told
that no one had, he proceeded to do so and also notified the boy's parents. From what he saw of the accident it appeared to him that the truck driver of the truck which hit the boy, Vernon Atkison, did not see the boy on the wheel and failed to pull over to the left to pass him, for he is positive that not one of the trucks pulled over to the left of the road to pass anybody.
E. W. DAVIS. Sworn to before me this the 5th day of January 1938. (SEAL)
C. A. TUCKER, Notary Public.
CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS CAMP S90,
Greenville, S. C. STATEMENT OF ENROLLEE HENRY POCKETT On the morning of December 30, 1937, I was riding in the cab of truck No. 320, which Enrollee Henry Smith was driving. The truck was en route from Civilian Conservation Corps Camp S-90 to the quarry ot Travelers Rest, S. C.
While on the Paris Mountain Road near the intersection with U.S. Route No. 25, I noticed a boy on a bicycle riding about 4 feet from the edge of the pavement. Smith blew the horn when about 50 feet from the bicycle and cut the truck to the left. I do not believe the front of the truck struck the bicycle, and I am not certain just how the accident happened.
I estimate the speed of the truck when it struck the bicycle at about 15 to 20 miles per hour.