A-98624, NOVEMBER 5, 1938, 18 COMP. GEN. 421

A-98624: Nov 5, 1938

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PAYMENT FOR CARE AND TREATMENT BY A PRIVATE HOSPITAL IS AUTHORIZED. 1938: THERE IS FOR CONSIDERATION THE CLAIM OF ST. IT APPEARS THAT MAJOR BRAMMELL DURING THIS PERIOD WAS ASSIGNED FOR DUTY WITH THE ORGANIZED RESERVES. HE WAS GIVEN PERMISSION BY HIS SUPERIOR OFFICERS TO BE ABSENT FROM HIS STATION FOR THE PURPOSE OF ACCOMPANYING COL. IT IS STATED THIS OFFICER HAD BEEN RECENTLY APPOINTED COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE FOUR HUNDRED AND FIRST FIELD ARTILLERY. HE WAS REMOVED FROM THE SCENE OF THE ACCIDENT BY AMBULANCE TO ST. VINCENT'S HOSPITAL WAS DISALLOWED BY SETTLEMENT NO. 066488. FINDING THAT "AT THE TIME THE ACCIDENT OCCURRED MAJOR BRAMMELL WAS ON DULY AUTHORIZED LEAVE OF ABSENCE (ORAL PERMIT) EXTENDING FROM 1 P.M.

A-98624, NOVEMBER 5, 1938, 18 COMP. GEN. 421

MEDICAL TREATMENT - PRIVATE - ARMY OFFICERS - DUTY VERSUS LEAVE OF ABSENCE STATUS REGULAR ARMY OFFICER ASSIGNED FOR DUTY WITH THE ORGANIZED RESERVES AND GIVEN PERMISSION BY HIS SUPERIOR OFFICERS TO BE ABSENT FROM HIS STATION FOR THE PURPOSE OF ACCOMPANYING A RESERVE OFFICER TO THE HEADQUARTERS OF THE ORGANIZATION OF WHICH HE HAD BEEN RECENTLY APPOINTED AS COMMANDING OFFICER TO INTRODUCE HIM TO MEMBERS OF THE MILITARY DISTRICT INVOLVED AND TO ASSIST HIM WITH A UNIT CONFERENCE, MAY BE CONSIDERED AS ON A DUTY, AND NOT LEAVE OF ABSENCE STATUS, AND ENTITLED TO NECESSARY MEDICAL ATTENTION FOR INJURY SUSTAINED IN AN AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENT EN ROUTE, AND GOVERNMENT FACILITIES NOT BEING AVAILABLE, PAYMENT FOR CARE AND TREATMENT BY A PRIVATE HOSPITAL IS AUTHORIZED.

DECISION BY ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT, NOVEMBER 5, 1938:

THERE IS FOR CONSIDERATION THE CLAIM OF ST. VINCENT'S HOSPITAL, TOLEDO, OHIO, IN THE AMOUNT OF $17, COVERING HOSPITAL CARE AND TREATMENT RENDERED MAJOR CHARLES H. BRAMMELL, FIELD ARTILLERY, UNITED STATES ARMY, FOR THE PERIOD DECEMBER 18 TO 22, 1937, BY REASON OF AN INJURY SUSTAINED DECEMBER 18, 1937, IN AN AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENT.

IT APPEARS THAT MAJOR BRAMMELL DURING THIS PERIOD WAS ASSIGNED FOR DUTY WITH THE ORGANIZED RESERVES, HAVING HEADQUARTERS IN THE POST OFFICE BUILDING, AKRON, OHIO. HE WAS GIVEN PERMISSION BY HIS SUPERIOR OFFICERS TO BE ABSENT FROM HIS STATION FOR THE PURPOSE OF ACCOMPANYING COL. EDWARD P. FELKER, FIELD ARTILLERY RESERVES, UNITED STATES ARMY, TO TOLEDO, OHIO. IT IS STATED THIS OFFICER HAD BEEN RECENTLY APPOINTED COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE FOUR HUNDRED AND FIRST FIELD ARTILLERY, HAVING HEADQUARTERS AT TOLEDO, AND MAJOR BRAMMELL DESIRED TO INTRODUCE HIM TO MEMBERS OF THE TOLEDO MILITARY DISTRICT, AND ASSIST HIM WITH A UNIT CONFERENCE. THE TWO OFFICERS LEFT AKRON AT ABOUT 1 P.M. DECEMBER 18, 1937, IN COLONEL FELKER'S AUTOMOBILE. AT ABOUT 4 P.M., WHEN APPROXIMATELY 1 MILE FROM TOLEDO, HIS CAR COLLIDED WITH ANOTHER AUTOMOBILE CAUSING MAJOR BRAMMELL'S INJURY, DIAGNOSED AS FRACTURE OF BOTH PATELLAE. HE WAS REMOVED FROM THE SCENE OF THE ACCIDENT BY AMBULANCE TO ST. VINCENT'S HOSPITAL.

THE CLAIM OF ST. VINCENT'S HOSPITAL WAS DISALLOWED BY SETTLEMENT NO. 066488, DATED MAY 10, 1938, ON THE BASIS OF THE REPORT OF A BOARD OF OFFICERS CONVENED JANUARY 7, 1938, FINDING THAT "AT THE TIME THE ACCIDENT OCCURRED MAJOR BRAMMELL WAS ON DULY AUTHORIZED LEAVE OF ABSENCE (ORAL PERMIT) EXTENDING FROM 1 P.M. SATURDAY, DECEMBER 18, 1937, TO 1 P.M., SUNDAY, DECEMBER 19, 1937, FROM HIS IMMEDIATE COMMANDING OFFICER, MAJ. THOMAS W. DOYLE, INFANTRY, EXECUTIVE OFFICER, ORGANIZED RESERVES, AKRON, OHIO," THERE BEING NO AUTHORITY OF LAW FOR PAYMENT FROM PUBLIC FUNDS OF EXPENSES INCURRED FOR CIVILIAN HOSPITAL TREATMENT TO ARMY OFFICERS WHILE ON LEAVE OF ABSENCE.

MAJOR DOYLE CERTIFIED JANUARY 6, 1938, AS FOLLOWS:

I CERTIFY THAT ON THE MORNING OF DECEMBER 18, 1937, I GRANTED MAJOR CHARLES E. BRAMMELL, FIELD ARTILLERY, ON DUTY AT THIS HEADQUARTERS, ORAL PERMISSION TO BE ABSENT FROM HIS STATION FOR A PERIOD OF 24 HOURS, EFFECTIVE AT 1:00 P.M., SATURDAY, DECEMBER 18, 1937, FOR THE PURPOSE OF ATTENDING A UNIT CONFERENCE OF THE 401ST FIELD ARTILLERY WHICH WAS HELD IN TOLEDO, OHIO, ON THE EVENING OF SATURDAY, DECEMBER 18, 1937. THE ABOVE LEAVE OF ABSENCE WAS GRANTED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PAR. 20 B, A.R. 605- 115.

PARAGRAPH 20 B, ARMY REGULATIONS 605-115, PROVIDES:

AN OFFICER AUTHORIZED TO GRANT LEAVES OF ABSENCE MAY GRANT ORAL PERMISSION FOR ABSENCE OVER SUNDAYS, HOLIDAYS, AND OTHER SIMILAR PERIODS. SUCH OFFICERS MAY ALSO GRANT ORAL PERMISSION FOR ABSENCE DURING ANY PERIOD LESS THAN 24 HOURS AT OTHER TIMES.

ON JUNE 17, 1938, MAJOR BRAMMELL REQUESTED A RECONSIDERATION OF THE FACTS IN HIS CASE BY THE BOARD, AND BY FIRST INDORSEMENT ON SUCH REQUEST MAJOR DOYLE, UNDER DATE OF JUNE 22, 1938, STATED:

1. AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT, MAJOR BRAMMELL WAS TRAVELING ON DUTY IN CONNECTION WITH RESERVE ACTIVITIES OF THE 401ST FIELD ARTILLERY. THE OFFICER WITH HIM WAS COLONEL EDWARD P. FELKER, FIELD ARTILLERY RESERVE, COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE 401ST FIELD ARTILLERY, WITH HEADQUARTERS AT TOLEDO, OHIO. COLONEL FELKER IS A RESIDENT OF AKRON, OHIO. THIS TRIP WAS DUTY IN THE INTEREST OF RESERVE AFFAIRS, WHICH GAVE ME THE AUTHORITY TO SANCTION THE DUTY PERFORMED.

2. MY STATEMENT TO THE BOARD SUBSEQUENT TO THE ACCIDENT WAS GIVEN UNDER A MISAPPREHENSION AS TO THE USE TO BE MADE OF IT. MAJOR BRAMMELL AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT WAS ON A "DUTY" STATUS UNDER MY VERBAL AUTHORITY AS HIS IMMEDIATE COMMANDING OFFICER.

THE BOARD RECONVENED AUGUST 16, 1938, AND AMENDED THEIR ORIGINAL FINDINGS TO READ AS FOLLOWS:

THAT AT THE TIME THE ACCIDENT OCCURRED MAJOR BRAMMELL WAS ON A DUTY STATUS AS HE HAD VERBAL AUTHORITY FROM THE COMMANDING GENERAL, OHIO MILITARY AREA AND FROM THE EXECUTIVE OFFICER, AKRON MILITARY DISTRICT, HIS IMMEDIATE SUPERIOR, TO MAKE THE VISIT OF INSTRUCTION EXTENDING FROM 1 .M., SATURDAY, DECEMBER 18, 1937, TO 1 P.M., SUNDAY, DECEMBER 19, 1937. * * *

IT WAS NECESSARY FOR MAJOR BRAMMELL TO SECURE PERMISSION OF HIS SUPERIOR OFFICERS TO BE AWAY FROM HIS HEADQUARTERS ON THE AFFAIRS OF THE ORGANIZED RESERVES. THE EVIDENCE IN THIS CASE SUPPORTS THE AMENDED FINDINGS OF THE BOARD, THAT AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT THIS OFFICER WAS ON A DUTY STATUS IN CONNECTION WITH ORGANIZED RESERVE AFFAIRS, AND BEING ON DUTY HE IS ENTITLED TO NECESSARY MEDICAL ATTENTION. GOVERNMENT FACILITIES NOT BEING AVAILABLE, THE EXPENSE OF CIVILIAN HOSPITALIZATION IS AUTHORIZED. ACCORDINGLY, UPON REVIEW, THE CLAIM OF ST. VINCENT'S HOSPITAL IS ALLOWED IN THE AMOUNT OF $17. SETTLEMENT WILL ISSUE IN DUE COURSE FOR THIS AMOUNT.