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Lagman v. Spencer

Decided: April 3, 1947.

ALBERT LAGMAN, PETITIONER-RESPONDENT,
v.
THE WM. SPENCER & SON CORPORATION, RESPONDENT-PROSECUTOR



On certiorari.

For the respondent-prosecutor, Hymen Siegendorf.

For the petitioner-respondent, Nathan Pearlman (Aaron Gordon, of counsel).

Before Justices Bodine and Wachenfeld.

Wachenfeld

The opinion of the court was delivered by

WACHENFELD, J. Respondent's petition was dismissed by the Bureau in this compensation case but on appeal the Court of Common Pleas reversed that judgment.

The employee on February 18th, 1945, was working on Pier D in Jersey City, New Jersey. A hand truck which he was pulling struck him in the chest, causing him to fall down upon a platform on his back against two small boxes, and the truck hit both his legs. He immediately went to Pier C, where iodine was applied to his legs and right hand. Two days after the accident he visited a private physician and shortly thereafter, two others. Ten days after the accident he went under the care of a company physician, who treated him over a period of a week for contusions of the back and

legs and applied short-wave static electric treatment to the back. The contusions were healed and he was advised to return to work but he did not do so and since the accident has only done occasional light housework.

At the time of the accident respondent was sixty-five years of age and had a generalized arthritic condition all over his body resulting in a degree of rigidity. He presently complains of sore back, sore chest, sore shin bones, swollen knees, swollen thumb and inability to bend or to lift objects.

None of the private physicians testified. Respondent's sole medical witness had made an examination eight and a half months after the accident and testified he found a mouth infection, crepitus due to arthritis (grating sensation caused by rubbing together of joint surfaces) in both knee joints, and varicosities of both legs. These disabilities, it was admitted, were not causally related to the accident but he testified the following were so related: myositis of the anterior chest region (inflammation of the muscles), scarring of the thumb with restriction in use, synovitis (inflammation of the lining membrane of the joints) of both knees, residual effects of a sprain and contusions of the lower back, and a residual inflammation of the fibral muscular tissue. He estimated a disability of approximately twelve and a half per cent. of total, allowing "about five per cent. or ten per cent." for the thumb and "slight" or "none" for the chest. He anticipated improvement in the back condition.

The company produced the physician who had examined the respondent ten days after the accident and treated him for about a week thereafter for contusions of the back and knees and laceration of the thumb. He also administered short-wave static treatment to the back. About five months after the accident he made a second examination, at which time the respondent said his back was stiff immediately following the accident but was "all right at this time," the only complaint being that "when he lifts anything heavy it is painful." The doctor found a scar on the ...


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