For the respondent-prosecutor, John W. Taylor.
For the petitioner-respondent, Hein & Smith (Seymour A. Smith, of counsel).
Before Justices Bodine and Wachenfeld.
The opinion of the court was delivered by
WACHENFELD, J. This case presents a claim for compensation benefits within the provisions of R.S. 34:15-12 (x) for what is commonly known as a five-point hernia as distinguished from a traumatic hernia. The Bureau granted an award to the respondent after a finding of an inguinal hernia and the same was approved by the Bergen County Court of Common Pleas.
On November 16th, 1944, at about eleven-fifteen A.M., while going about his duties with the prosecutor as an engine inspector, respondent slipped on some oil on the floor, lost his balance, and in doing so, doubled up and just saved himself from falling to the ground, twisting in the motion of the fall. Just after this occurred he felt a terrific pain in the left groin which he described "as if my guts opened up." He could not continue working and had to sit down. At about eleven-forty-five his foreman came in, found him at that time as white as a sheet and ordered the man to go to the company
hospital immediately. There a company physician applied a heat lamp to his groin and advised further hot applications. That physician did not testify but the company hospital record showed he found tenderness in the left inguinal region which he diagnosed as possible myositis.
When respondent reported back to the foreman about onehalf hour later, he was unable to continue doing his former work; hence, the foreman transferred him to the "crib," which simply meant checking little nuts and bolts and packing them in envelopes. At that time respondent did not notice any lump but did feel a slight swelling in the area of the groin where the pain centered. He returned to the company hospital periodically, receiving lamp treatment, and finally another doctor of the company on December 11th, 1944, diagnosed the ailment as a rupture or hernia and advised a water cushion truss. Upon being told of the hernia respondent walked over to the company physician who had been treating him since the accident and said, "Doctor, I got a hernia," but the doctor would not listen and walked away.
The respondent had been employed for several years and had enjoyed perfect health except for an injury to the center of the back a few years before the date of this accident, but had never had any trouble with his groin and had never had any hernia heretofore. Since the accident he has been unable to do any arduous or heavy work or any work requiring lifting or bending.
These facts were testified by the respondent and the circumstances following the accident verified by his foreman. Medical experts testifying for both sides agreed in diagnosing the respondent's disability as an indirect left inguinal hernia. A signed statement by respondent on December 11th, 1944, to the insurance company's investigator was introduced, in which he set forth the facts as above stated except as follows:
"It didn't feel like a pain at first but about an hour later I noticed a bad pain in my left groin. I told my leadman Mr. Frogtog and my foreman Mr. Hoigt about 12 P.M. about the pain in my left groin. I reported to the hospital when the ...