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Cases of Hurt Workers I Liberals Restive The widow hired a lawyer and sued for $3,750. The court awarded her $1400. The lawyer got $466,67, but even so she had more than the Board award. Sixteen months after the accident, she still had not been able to get another job. At 43 she lives with her son, his wife, and their child in a three-room apartment, completely dependent on the son. This is only one of the many such cases cited by Dr. Sam Barton, professor of Economics at North Texas State College, in his study, “How Texas Cares for Her Injured Workers” \(see last week’s Again, Barton reports, a 34year-old Negro worker, married with five children from two to 17, slipped from a roof and fell into molten asphalt. Both arms were seriously injuredscarred and deformed. He lost three months’ work, for which he would have been paid $540. In addition, his arms were injured. For this the Industrial Accident Board awarded him a total sum of $497. The insurance lawyers, he said, “acted like they didn’t want to give … anything.” “They said to take this or nothing,” he said. During the period of unemployment the Negro’s family ran up a food bill of $135 and other bills of $250; they had to return their living room furniture to the store. When the husband came back from the hospital, the wife got work at $15 to $20 a week. Thirteen months after the accident, the back bills weren’t paid yet and the 12-year-old daughter was keeping the younger children. The Negro man went back to work with the roofing company but was fired after two days. Barton says it apparently was because “he represented a risk to their insurance rates.” He got another job three weeks later as a day laborer in another town. had never worked for the company. The advocate advised the employer of written proof of employment. The matter will be looked into, said the employer; and that was the last the claimant heard from him. On receiving the employer’s report, “No record of injury,” the Board denied compensation, giving as its grounds, “No proof of injury while working with this employer.” Suit for $10,025 resulted after a year of exhaustive maneuvering in settlement of $2,750. Unable to get accident compensation, the worker applied for unemployment and was awarded $20 per week. A master electrician, in the course of his duties, was struck by a falling timber and injured so badly he was diagnosed as totally and permanently disabled. Five months after the accident, although he was still* taking treatments from the company doctor, he had received no compensation. He had spent his savings of $600 and borrowed $35 a week from his relatives. His car was repossessed by the finance company. His family of three was living in a three-room apartment in a substandard district. BACK INJURIES are sometimes faked and are often underrated by company doctors because of this. For instance, says Barton: A young woman of 28 slipped on the wet floor in. a bottling plant and fell, injuring her back. Complaining to her supervisor of shock and great pain, she was sent home to bed without medical attention. Several days later she was sent to the company doctor “a pulled ligament,” he said. He gave her heat treatment for two weeks. She continued to worsen, so the doctor advised her to apply for compensation. The Board denied her application. Discharged by the company doctor, the woman went to her family doctor, who diagnosed the injury as a slipped vertebra and injured nerve. Treatments failed Ito bring relief, so she hired a lawyer. The lawyer’s doctor diagnosed the injury as a slipped vertebra. She sued for total disability for 52 weeks and permanent partial disability, a total award of $2,743.20. She got $500 in a compromise settlementthe lawyer and doctor taking all but $298.39 of it. One year after the accident, she testified, she still couldn’t work, and she was convinced the lawyer and the insurance cornpany conspired to give her “a dirty deal.” A worker in a grocery chain warehouse was injured when three 73-pound crates fell from the top of a stack, injuring his lower back and causing deep lace’rations to his left arm and shoulder. The company doctor foUnd broken ribs and a pulled ligament in the lower left side. After two spells in the hospital, paid for by the insurance company, the company discontinued his $25 a week compensation on grounds he was “able to work.” He hired a lawyer and sued, claiming total and permanent disability. In the meantime, his wife and five children \(aged three to His income cut from $57.69 to $25, they had been “living from one meal to the next.” The neighbors helped out with food. His pregnant wife went to work and suffered a miscarriage. This meant, not only the loss of a child, but more bills. With all compensation cut off, personal belongings were pawned, the family car was repossessed, rent piled up, and $200 was bor took a job doing light janitor work but couldn’t even hold this down. He got $4 -,000 from the insurance company by the settlement. When interviewed he had no sense of feeling in his left leg. “The court settlement money was nearly gone, but his disability was still with_him,” Barton said. AN IRON WORKER fell off the framework of a scaffold, fracturing two sections and rupturing two discs in his spine. Seven months later he still wore braces and thought himself totally and permanently disabled. His pergsonal doctors recommended an operation; the insurance company refused to pay either for the operation or a milogram test to determine the need for surgery. He sued. His lawyer, at the time of Barton’s interview, was advancing money for medical services. The suit ended his payments of $25 at thilt end of eight weeks. Before the injury he had made $150, supporting his wife and six kids, four to 16 years old. But his savings were eaten up, he went into debt of $3,700 to relatives, loan companies, and attorneys, and the parents for a time considered dividing the children among other members of the family. This is the human background for the sometimes dry and legal arguments about “workmen’s compensation.” ODuval County Judge Dan Tobin, while attending the state convention of county judges in San Antonio. predicted that by 1958 the reform elements of his county will have a clean sweep of all elective posts. ONelda Davis, a supervisor of social studies in Houston’s secondary schools, paid her own way to a National Council for Social Studies convention in Cleve land after the Houston School Board had refused to finance the _trip. trip Board member Mrs. Frank Dyer said two speakers on the convention agenda have “dubious records” of having worked in organizations cited for un-American activities but refused to name them. OThe State Department has asked the Mexican government for a full report on the wounding of Tom Wilson, 42, Brownsville shrimp fisherman who was shot in the back when a Mexican gunboat fired on him off the coast of Tampico. OA congressional investiga tion of “the methods used by the U. S. Department of Labor in fixing brace farm labor wages” was requested by delegates to the Texas Farm Bureau convention in Houston. OA 61 year old man, who identified himself as Rayford Peter Smith of Saint Louis, was arrested in Houston, and $19,500 in counterfeit bills and hot check writing supplies were found in his possession. When U. S. Commissioner Ralph Fowler set his bond on coritefeiting charges at $40,000, Smith’s question: “I wonder if the judge would take my check?” OThe Neches River Conser vation District filed a suit in federal district court in Dallas aimed at blocking the U. S. Corps of Engineers from building a large dam at the McGee Bend of the Angelina River in Jasper AUSTIN Senator Lyndon Johnson faces more static from his fellow senators about his “moderation” next Congress than he has had before, but a report f r o m Washington says he is assured of being majority leader again. The New Republic November 12 published a brief editorial entitled, “Back to Lyndon?” It reflects a growing feeling among some liberal Democratic senators that the middle of the road course is not the best one for the Democrats. It said: “Precinct-by precinct analysis of President Eisenhower’s reelection will doubtless show that he received heavy support from Negroes, trade unionists, and other usually Democratic groups as well as from traditional Republicans and independents. And Eisenhower’s brand of Modern Republicanism may continue to attract this kind of broad support if the Democrats fail to demonstrate how a truly modern party operates in. the next four years. This is what may happen if Lyndon Johnson is allowed to continue direhing the party in Congress as an appendage to Ike. The task of those in Congress who are unwilling to have the Democratic Party continue to run a poor second to Eisenhower Republicanism is to be aggressive but not irresponsiblewith or without Johnson in the lead.” 0 Clifton Braddock, 21, San Antonio, lost a mock duel with his brother, James, when he was fatally shot with a gun neither thought was loaded. OA Houston man sent to the state penitentiary on a burglary conviction is having the last laugh. He left his beatup 1946 Plymouth parked on a street where it daily jams up the curb lane of traffic during rush hours. It has collected a dozen tickets, but police can’t move it because there isn’t any ordinance which allows towing away of abandoned cars. OIshmel Herrera, 25, Fort , Worth, was found not guilty on a drunk driving count although he was arrested when his car hit a curb, bounced off, hit another curb, and then smashed into a house. Pleading his own case without an attorney, Herrera convinced the jury that he wasn’t drunk just because he had consumed ‘six 12-ounce cans of beer. He said it takes at least a dozen cans to make him drunk. OFloyd Hamilton, famed felon who ran with the Clyde Barrow-Bonnie Parker gang of the 1930s, is scheduled to be released from federal prison at Leavenworth, Kansas, on Dec. 29, but only to be returned to his home state of Texas to begin serving a 25-year term for robbery by assault. OState Public Welfare De partment workers are investigating the case of an El Paso day nursery operator who pleaded guilty to a charge of aggravated assault on a three-yearold child left in his care. OUnidentified segregationists protesting an integrated youth rally broke out large sanctuary windows in -St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Beaumont. No one was injured by the barrage of stones. OThe grand champion dressed turkey at the Cuero Turkey Trot, a 25-pound baby beef Shortly after this appeared, a short story in the Austin Statesman from Washington, unidentified by press service credit or byline, quoted a Johnson aide as stating that forty of his Democratic colleagues in the Senate had called “during the weekend” telling him they want him to be the majority leader again. Time last week reported that Johnson and G 0 P Majority Leader William Knowland met in Washington. “Both seemed pleased with the way the 1956 election turned out,” Time said. Time also reported: “Liberals in Congress … are already insisting that the party should offer its own ambitious legislative program, have been sharply critical of Johnson’s announced business-as-usual, middle-of-the-road strategy for the next session of Congress.” Newsweek reported Nov. 19: “Don’t be surprised .if a serious rift shows up in the Democratic leadership in the Senate next spring. Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson and liberal-bloc leader Sena Hubert Humphrey, fast political friends in the past, already are expressing differences on party strategy. Johnson believes the Democrats should present no program; Humphrey believes his party should take legislative leadership, especially in pushing civil-rights legislation. bronze, was purchased by the Lone Star Brewing Company of San Antonio and will be presented to President Eisenhower for his Thanksgiving dinner. OFour Baptist ministers in Austin, who had led “dry” forces in a prohibition election in which it was charged that “wets” had stolen a previous election. were called before a grand jury, apparently to explain the accusations. The “wets” won the election. again, and by a wide margin. OAttorney General John Ben Shepperd began taking depositions for the trial slated in Tyler on Dec. 3 on the National Association for the Advancement of Colored Peo -ple’s right to operate in Texas. The hearing on whether a permanent injunction should be issued follows a threeweek ,hearing in October ,which resulted in District Judge Otis T. Dunagan issuing a temporary injunction against the NAACP. OHugh E. Prather Jr., leader of the conservative Democrats of Dallas, called a meeting to band together what he termed the “unorganized majority” to fight the growing strength of the liberal Democrats. “We have no interest in the Republican organization. It will be an independent, conservative group.” he said. OInsurance Commission Chair man J. Byron Saunders reportedly is planning to resign effective Jan. 1 to accept a position with Republic National Life of Dallas. OTexas Supreme Court asso ciate justice W. St. John Garwood recommended abolition of the jury system for civil suits, but said since such a move would be strenuously opposed it might be more practical to use “blue ribbon” juries such as those empaneled by federal courts. THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 8 Nov. 21, 1956 A 22 YEAR OLD unmarried