Civil action. On appeal from New Jersey Department of Labor and Industry, Division of Workmen's Compensation.
The following facts in this case are not in substantial dispute.
Eugene Reilly, a paid uniformed fireman employed by the City of Newark, was injured in an accident arising out of and in the course of his employment on April 12, 1946, when he suffered multiple fractures as a result of a fall. During fire department practice Reilly fell 35 feet to a concrete floor when a rope snapped while Reilly was attempting to swing off a parapet and hook on to a fellow employee.
On the date of the accident Reilly was admitted to Newark Presbyterian Hospital, where he was visited by Dr. John N. Pannullo on behalf of the respondent. Dr. Pannullo referred petitioner to Dr. John J. Flanagan for treatment.
Dr. Flanagan thereafter treated petitioner during his stay in the hospital until August 9, 1946 and thereafter petitioner remained under Dr. Flanagan's active treatment until February 7, 1947, when he was discharged by Dr. Flanagan and he returned to duty on February 17, 1947 and was assigned light work. On September 21, 1948 petitioner returned to Dr. Flanagan, was reexamined and the doctor prescribed a three-quarter inch lift on the heel of the left
shoe and advised Reilly to discard the cane. Reilly returned again to Dr. Flanagan on November 16, 1948, at which time the heel lift was found to be satisfactory; and returned again on February 22, 1949, at which time and until April 7, 1949 the doctor administered 13 physio therapy treatments.
It further appears, but the effect of these facts as they relate to the statute of limitations are vigorously contested by the city, that Reilly received each year two pairs of corrective shoes of the type prescribed by Dr. Flanagan. These are paid for annually by the Firemen's Relief Association, about which more will be said hereafter.
The petitioner claims, but the city denies, that he was further treated for his injury by Dr. John Pannullo, city fire surgeon, in the year 1950, and by Dr. Adolph Wegrocki, assistant fire surgeon, in 1951, 1952 and until February 25, 1953.
The statement of Dr. Wegrocki's treatments, the doctor having died prior the workmen's compensation hearing, was admitted into evidence without objection (R-1). Dr. Wegrocki treated Reilly 24 times for the injury suffered on April 12, 1946.
The method used by the City of Newark for the treatments rendered this and apparently other injured firemen, is quite unusual. Dr. Flanagan testified that his fees for services were paid in this case, and in others, by a corporation known as the Firemen's Relief Association (apparently of the City of Newark). Dr. Pannullo, the city fire surgeon, testified that when he treats an injured fireman he bills the Firemen's Relief Association. It appears affirmatively in this case that the association paid for the special shoes furnished twice yearly to the petitioner.
Emmett Matthews, Chief Clerk, Fire Division, Department of Public Safety, City of Newark, testified that the city paid no bills in this case to Dr. Flanagan, Dr. Pannullo, Dr. Wegrocki, or to the two X-ray specialists, Dr. Santoro and Dr. Corrigan, nor to Presbyterian ...