B-207896-OM, FEB 23, 1983

B-207896-OM: Feb 23, 1983

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PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL: WE ARE FORWARDING THE CLAIM OF VALLEY GENERAL HOSPITAL FOR $233.99. THE CLAIMANT SEEKS REIMBURSEMENT FOR EMERGENCY MEDICAL TREATMENT PROVIDED TO AN ARMY RESERVE MEMBER WHO WAS INJURED AS HE ARRIVED AT THE PLACE OF INACTIVE DUTY TRAINING. WHEN HE RETURNED TO HIS CAR IT WAS ROLLING BACKWARDS. THE MEISTER CASE INVOLVED A RESERVIST WHO WAS INJURED AFTER ENTERING THE TRAINING CENTER BUT BEFORE REPORTING FOR DUTY. WE ARE FORWARDING THE MATTER FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION AND INSTRUCTIONS. IS ENTITLED TO THE SAME HOSPITAL BENEFITS PROVIDED BY LAW OR REGULATION FOR A MEMBER OF THE REGULAR ARMY OF CORRESPONDING GRADE AND LENGTH OF SERVICE WHENEVER HE IS ORDERED TO PERFORM INACTIVE-DUTY TRAINING.

B-207896-OM, FEB 23, 1983

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL:

WE ARE FORWARDING THE CLAIM OF VALLEY GENERAL HOSPITAL FOR $233.99. THE CLAIMANT SEEKS REIMBURSEMENT FOR EMERGENCY MEDICAL TREATMENT PROVIDED TO AN ARMY RESERVE MEMBER WHO WAS INJURED AS HE ARRIVED AT THE PLACE OF INACTIVE DUTY TRAINING. THIS CLAIM APPEARS TO FALL WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE MEISTER DECISION, 43 COMP.GEN. 412.

UPON ARRIVAL AT THE ENTRANCE TO THE RESERVE CENTER, THE MEMBER ATTEMPTED TO DRIVE THROUGH THE FRONT GATE WHEN IT BEGAN TO SWING CLOSED. THE MEMBER LEFT HIS CAR TO REOPEN THE GATE. WHEN HE RETURNED TO HIS CAR IT WAS ROLLING BACKWARDS. AS A RESULT OF BEING PINNED BY THE CAR DOOR IN HIS EFFORTS TO STOP IT, THE MEMBER SUSTAINED LEG INJURIES WHICH REQUIRED EMERGENCY MEDICAL TREATMENT.

THE MEISTER CASE INVOLVED A RESERVIST WHO WAS INJURED AFTER ENTERING THE TRAINING CENTER BUT BEFORE REPORTING FOR DUTY. INSTRUCTIONS IN 43 COMP.GEN. 412 STATE THAT ANY SIMILAR CLAIMS SHOULD BE FORWARDED TO YOUR OFFICE FOR DIRECT SETTLEMENT. THEREFORE, SINCE PAYMENT OF THE MEMBER'S HOSPITAL EXPENSES BY THE GOVERNMENT APPEARS TO DEPEND ON HIS MILITARY STATUS AT THE TIME OF INJURY, WE ARE FORWARDING THE MATTER FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION AND INSTRUCTIONS.

INDORSEMENT

ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, AFMD - CLAIMS GROUP (ROOM 5858)

RETURNED. A MEMBER OF THE ARMY, OTHER THAN OF THE REGULAR ARMY, IS ENTITLED TO THE SAME HOSPITAL BENEFITS PROVIDED BY LAW OR REGULATION FOR A MEMBER OF THE REGULAR ARMY OF CORRESPONDING GRADE AND LENGTH OF SERVICE WHENEVER HE IS ORDERED TO PERFORM INACTIVE-DUTY TRAINING, FOR ANY PERIOD OF TIME, AND IS DISABLED IN LINE OF DUTY FROM INJURY WHILE SO EMPLOYED. 10 U.S.C. SEC. 3721(2). THESE BENEFITS ARE LIMITED, INSOFAR AS PERSONNEL ON INACTIVE-DUTY TRAINING ARE CONCERNED, TO INJURIES INCURRED DURING PERIODS "WHILE SO EMPLOYED;" THAT IS, BEGINNING WITH MUSTER AND ENDING WITH DISMISSAL FROM THE PARTICULAR DRILL OR OTHER TRAINING DUTY INVOLVED. SEE 38 COMP.GEN. 841 (1959).

THE COURT IN MEISTER V. UNITED STATES, 162 CT.CL. 667 (1963), CONSIDERED A CASE INVOLVING A MEMBER OF THE NAVAL RESERVES WHO HAD BEEN ORDERED BY HIS EXECUTIVE OFFICER TO BE AT THE TRAINING CENTER NO LATER THAN 7:30 P.M., ON MARCH 8, 1961, AND WHO HAD ENTERED THE TRAINING CENTER COMPOUND WHEN HE SLIPPED AND FRACTURED HIS ANKLE WHILE PROCEEDING TOWARD THE DRILL HALL TO REPORT FOR INSPECTION AND DUTY. THE COURT HELD THAT THE MEMBER WAS "WITHIN THE SCOPE OF HIS ASSIGNED DUTIES WHEN HE SLIPPED" AND THEREFORE WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF 10 U.S.C. SEC. 6148(A), THE LAW APPLICABLE TO THE NAVAL RESERVES WHICH IS SIMILAR TO 10 U.S.C. SEC. 3721(2). THE COURT DID NOT ATTEMPT, HOWEVER, TO LAY DOWN A RULE FOR GENERAL APPLICATION IN SUCH CASES BUT LIMITED ITS DECISION TO THE PARTICULAR FACTS INVOLVED IN THAT CASE. THUS, THE MEISTER CASE DOES NOT CONSTITUTE A PRECEDENT FOR FAVORABLE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION IN SIMILAR CASES. 43 COMP.GEN. 412 (1963); B-189360, DECEMBER 30, 1977.

THE MEMBER IN THIS CASE WAS INJURED WHILE HE WAS OPENING THE GATE TO THE RESERVE CENTER PRIOR TO MUSTER. SINCE MUSTER HAD NOT BEEN HELD PRIOR TO THE TIME OF INJURY, THERE APPEARS TO BE NO BASIS FOR CONCLUDING THAT THE MEMBER'S INJURY OCCURRED WHILE HE WAS PERFORMING INACTIVE-DUTY TRAINING.

ACCORDINGLY, THE CLAIM OF VALLEY GENERAL HOSPITAL FOR THE MEDICAL TREATMENT PROVIDED TO THE MEMBER SHOULD BE DISALLOWED.