Vaughan v. Atkinson
369 U.S. 527 (1962)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Vaughan v. Atkinson, 369 U.S. 527 (1962)

Vaughan v. Atkinson

No. 323

Argued March 22, 1962

Decided May 14, 1962

369 U.S. 527

Syllabus

Petitioner, a seaman, was discharged from respondents' ship at the end of a voyage, and the master gave him a certificate to enter a Public Health Service Hospital, which admitted him as an inpatient, treated him for suspected tuberculosis for several weeks and then treated him as an outpatient for over two years before declaring him fit for duty. When he was admitted to outpatient status, petitioner sent the shipowner an abstract of his medical record and requested payment for maintenance and cure, but his request was not complied with, and he worked as a taxi driver to support himself while receiving outpatient treatment. Finally he employed counsel and brought this suit in admiralty to recover (a) maintenance and cure, and (b) damages for failure to pay for maintenance and cure. The District Court awarded him maintenance, minus the amount of his earnings as a taxi driver, but denied him damages.

Held:

1. On the record in this case, petitioner was entitled to reasonable counsel fees as damages for failure to pay for maintenance. Pp. 369 U. S. 530-531.

2. On the record in this case, petitioner was entitled to pay for maintenance without deduction of the amount of his earnings as a taxi driver. Pp. 369 U. S. 531-534.

291 F.2d 813 reversed.

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