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Moses v. Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co.

Decided: September 8, 1948.

GEORGE MOSES, PROSECUTOR,
v.
FEDERAL SHIPBUILDING AND DRY DOCK COMPANY, DEFENDANT



On writ of certiorari.

For the prosecutor, Stryker, Tams & Horner and William L. Dill, Jr.

For the defendant, Louis Steisel and Elsie L. White.

Before Justices Donges, Colie and Eastwood.

Donges

The opinion of the court was delivered by

DONGES, J. Certiorari was allowed to review a judgment of the Hudson County Court of Common Pleas reversing a judgment of the Workmen's Compensation Bureau which dismissed the petition of petitioner-defendant and awarding petitioner compensation.

Petitioner testified that, on or about March 16th or 17th, 1943, he was using a wire brush machine which removes rust from metal by means of a revolving wheel; that he wore a shield which fitted over his head and rested on his chest; that, about two o'clock in the afternoon, he felt a sharp pain in the right eye while wire brushing some angle irons; that he went to respondent's first aid station, where a physician removed something from his right eye; that a patch was put over his right eye; that he was treated by the respondent's physician until the following October; that he is now unable to see out of his right eye. On cross-examination he admitted that in the early part of 1943 he was absent from his work for about three weeks, suffering from grippe, and that it was after that absence that he got the particles in his eye; that after he had been away from work for about eleven days,

because of grippe, he returned to the employer's plant for treatment of what he believed was cold in his eyes and was advised to stay from work for a longer time. He returned to work on April 6th, 1943.

Natale Failla and Arthur J. Moore, fellow-workmen of petitioner, testified that they worked with petitioner on March 16th, 1943, and remembered that he complained of his eye; that he went to first aid and came back with a patch over his right eye; that they did not remember the date but thought it was in March, 1943, that he went to first aid.

The time-keeper of the respondent in the department in which petitioner was employed testified that the petitioner worked from March 1st to March 9th, 1943, was absent on March 10th, was at work on March 11th, but went home ill at 11:00 A.M. and, due to illness, was absent from March 12th to April 5th, 1943, and returned to work on April 6th, 1943. The petitioner was employed as a laborer until April 14th, 1943, when he was transferred to another department as a wire brusher. The petitioner's foreman corroborated the statement that he commenced to work for him as a wire brusher on April 14th, 1943, and said that petitioner never complained of any injury to his eyes.

A clerk in the respondent's first aid station testified that Moses came to his station on March 22d, 1943, stating that he had been ill with grippe and that his right eye was blurry; that petitioner thought it resulted from something entering his eye while he was working.

Two physicians testified for petitioner. Dr. F. J. Pflug testified that he found a scar on the right cornea, covering the pupillary arc which made it impossible to see the interior of the eye, but which caused a total loss of useful vision, and that, in his opinion, the loss of vision was caused by foreign particles entering his right eye. He further testified, on cross-examination, that the scar resulted from inflammation or ulceration, and that ...


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