A-3317, AUGUST 8, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 164

A-3317: Aug 8, 1924

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IS A MATTER BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT AND THE TRANSPORTATION COMPANY. DISALLOWING HIS CLAIM FOR $315 FOR PROFESSIONAL SERVICES RENDERED SEVERAL DESTITUTE AMERICAN SEAMEN WHO WERE RETURNED TO THE UNITED STATES ON SHIPS BELONGING TO THE ADMIRAL ORIENTAL LINE DURING FISCAL YEARS 1923 AND 1924. IT APPEARS THAT CLAIMANT WAS EMPLOYED BY THE STEAMSHIP COMPANY TO SERVE AS A PHYSICIAN ON ITS VESSELS FOR THE PURPOSE OF TREATING THE CREW AND CERTAIN OF THE PASSENGERS. THAT HE WAS AUTHORIZED TO CHARGE FEES IN SOME CASES FOR TREATMENT OF SPECIFIED DISEASES OVER AND ABOVE HIS REGULAR SALARY. HE IS CONTENDING THAT THERE IS DUE. THE RATE OF TRANSPORTATION OF DESTITUTE AMERICAN SEAMEN FROM FOREIGN PORTS TO THE UNITED STATES IS CONTROLLED BY SECTION 4578.

A-3317, AUGUST 8, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 164

SEAMEN, DESTITUTE AMERICAN - MEDICAL TREATMENT DURING TRANSPORTATION TO THE UNITED STATES SPECIAL MEDICAL TREATMENT FURNISHED DESTITUTE AMERICAN SEAMEN ON BOARD VESSELS, WHILE BEING TRANSPORTED BACK TO THE UNITED STATES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, IS A MATTER BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT AND THE TRANSPORTATION COMPANY, AND THERE EXISTS NO PRIVITY OF CONTRACT BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT AND A PHYSICIAN EMPLOYED BY THE TRANSPORTATION COMPANY ENTITLING THE PHYSICIAN TO PAYMENT FOR SPECIAL MEDICAL TREATMENT FURNISHED THE DESTITUTE SEAMEN DURING THE VOYAGE, UNDER AN ALLEGED ARRANGEMENT OR AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE TRANSPORTATION COMPANY AND THE PHYSICIAN THAT THE PHYSICIAN WOULD BE AUTHORIZED TO MAKE CERTAIN CHARGES FOR TREATMENT OF SPECIFIED DISEASES.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, AUGUST 8, 1924:

DR. J. EDWARD STUBBERT HAS REQUESTED REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT 030138 DATED MAY 13, 1924, DISALLOWING HIS CLAIM FOR $315 FOR PROFESSIONAL SERVICES RENDERED SEVERAL DESTITUTE AMERICAN SEAMEN WHO WERE RETURNED TO THE UNITED STATES ON SHIPS BELONGING TO THE ADMIRAL ORIENTAL LINE DURING FISCAL YEARS 1923 AND 1924.

IT APPEARS THAT CLAIMANT WAS EMPLOYED BY THE STEAMSHIP COMPANY TO SERVE AS A PHYSICIAN ON ITS VESSELS FOR THE PURPOSE OF TREATING THE CREW AND CERTAIN OF THE PASSENGERS, AND THAT HE WAS AUTHORIZED TO CHARGE FEES IN SOME CASES FOR TREATMENT OF SPECIFIED DISEASES OVER AND ABOVE HIS REGULAR SALARY. HE IS CONTENDING THAT THERE IS DUE, ON THE BASIS OF THIS ARRANGEMENT OR AGREEMENT, FROM THE GOVERNMENT THE AMOUNT CLAIMED REPRESENTING FEES CHARGED FOR THE TREATMENT OF THESE DESTITUTE SEAMEN.

THE RATE OF TRANSPORTATION OF DESTITUTE AMERICAN SEAMEN FROM FOREIGN PORTS TO THE UNITED STATES IS CONTROLLED BY SECTION 4578, REVISED STATUTES, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 9 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 26, 1884, 23 STAT. 55; SECTION 18 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 9, 1886, 24 STAT. 83; AND THE ACT OF JANUARY 3, 1923, 42 STAT. 1072. THE RATE THUS FIXED, WHEN THE TRANSPORTATION IS BY STEAMSHIP, IS SUCH RATE AS MAY BE AGREED UPON NOT IN EXCESS OF THE LOWEST PASSENGER RATE AND NOT IN EXCESS OF 2 CENTS PER MILE. 3 COMP. GEN. 742. SECTION 4578 AS AMENDED BY SECTION 9 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 26, 1884, SUPRA, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

* * * IF ANY SUCH DESTITUTE SEAMAN IS SO DISABLED OR ILL AS TO BE UNABLE TO PERFORM DUTY, THE CONSULAR OFFICER SHALL SO CERTIFY IN THE CERTIFICATE OF TRANSPORTATION, AND SUCH ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION SHALL BE PAID AS THE FIRST COMPTROLLER OF THE TREASURY SHALL DEEM PROPER * * *.

IN THE PRESENT RECORD THERE APPEAR COPIES OF THE CONSULAR OFFICERS' CERTIFICATES OF TRANSPORTATION OF ONLY TWO OF THE SEAMEN CLAIMED TO HAVE BEEN TREATED, NAMELY, PETER NELSON AND A. KOLASKI, WHO WERE CERTIFIED AS HAVING DEMENTIA AND SYNOVITIS OF THE KNEE, RESPECTIVELY. THERE IS NO EVIDENCE EXCEPT THE STATEMENT OF CLAIMANT THAT THE OTHER SEAMEN WERE DISABLED OR IN NEED OF SPECIAL TREATMENT DURING THE VOYAGE. THE TRANSPORTATION COMPANY IS MAKING NO CLAIM FOR SPECIAL TREATMENT OF ANY OF THE SEAMEN AND PRESUMABLY IT HAS BEEN PAID THE AMOUNT AGREED UPON FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF ALL OF THE DESTITUTE SEAMEN INVOLVED.

UNDER THE CITED STATUTES THE TRANSPORTATION AND SPECIAL CARE OF DISABLED DESTITUTE SEAMEN BACK TO THE UNITED STATES IS A MATTER BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT AND THE TRANSPORTATION COMPANY OWNING OR OPERATING VESSELS ON WHICH THE CONSULAR OFFICER PLACES SEAMEN, AND THERE IS NO PRIVITY BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT AND A PHYSICIAN EMPLOYED BY THE TRANSPORTATION COMPANY ON WHICH MAY BE BASED A CLAIM BY THE PHYSICIAN FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR SPECIAL MEDICAL TREATMENT GIVEN DESTITUTE SEAMEN DURING THE VOYAGE. WHATEVER ARRANGEMENT OR AGREEMENT MAY HAVE BEEN MADE BETWEEN THE PHYSICIAN AND HIS EMPLOYERS FOR TREATMENT OF PASSENGERS IS A MATTER WITH WHICH THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT CONCERNED AND DOES NOT OBLIGATE THE GOVERNMENT TO PAY THE PHYSICIAN ANY FEES ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN HIS RIGHT TO COLLECT FROM PASSENGERS UNDER SUCH AN ARRANGEMENT OR AGREEMENT WITH THE TRANSPORTATION COMPANY.