Prince William County Virginia Clerk’s Loose Papers

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Mr. Hall: I will ask Dr. Hooe whether the conclusion arrived at by him was arrived at by the

examination by him or the hands of the other doctors, and we object to his stating anything as the result of the examination of Dr. Williams, Dr. Davis, or any other doctor. We ask him to continue his diagnosis to his own examination.

Mr. Browning: We join in that objection.

Court: I sustain that objection. Whatever opinion the doctor arrived at will be upon his own

examination. Of course, Dr. Williams and other doctors will have to be here. Answer –

Any conclusion I arrived at -------

Court: Based upon what they told you? Answer – as the result of consultation I must not express?

Court: Any conclusion of yours, I think, would be right, but if based on hearsay, something that

they saw, that they thought about it, if you base your conclusion on their conclusion, I do not think it would be evidence.

Witness: May I ask this question: Suppose in this case my mind was not positively and absolutely

clear until after the tests and conferences, after having them, while based upon your examination, I suppose the tests were made at your request? Answer – They were made at my request.

Court: Were they made on your examination? Answer – On what the neurologist reported.

Court: I will have to sustain the objection. You merely know what they told you.

Witness: Yes, sir.

Mr. Mackey: I will ask you, subject to objection, of course, if these reports made to you by the

pathologists, and those who personally examined Mr. Sullivan at your request, along certain lines, if they helped to make up the opinion, with the aid of your personal examination and your personal investigation, ultimately came to a conclusion?

Mr. Hall: Now, your Honor, I want the record to show that we object to the effort on the part of

plaintiff’s counsel to inject into this case an opinion subsequently formed by Dr. Hooe based in any part whatsoever on what was told him by the other doctors, or what he learned of the results of their tests.

Court: I sustain the objection.

By Mr. Mackey:

Q. Dr. Hooe, after these examinations, did you continue to treat Mr. Sullivan, and investigate his condition yourself, personally? Answer – No, I never treated him after that.

Q. Did you form an opinion as to his condition, and what it was due to?

Mr. Hall: I object.

Court: If that opinion is based upon investigations made yourself from an examination, and not

based upon information which you derived from someone else.

Mr. Hall: He has stated that he had not made up his mind when he took this gentleman to the

other doctors, and that he has not treated him since that time.

Court: The doctor will answer, I know. You understand my ruling.

Witness: I understand the ruling. Suppose my conclusions were not absolute conclusions, but

strong suspicions, I would not be at liberty to answer?

Court: I don’t think you can give suspicions.

Answer: I was not positively determined as to my diagnosis I thought I realized the condition, but

I was not positively determined as to the diagnosis.

Mr. Mackey: Q. What, in your opinion as a medical man, from the date you had at hand, did you

conclude Mr. Sullivan’s condition to be?

Mr. Hall: We desire the record to show an objection to that question.

Court: If his conclusions are based upon investigations made by him, I sustain it; if made upon

investigations second-hand, those gentlemen should be here to testify. If the doctor has come to any conclusion ---

Answer: I was undecided between two conditions, not definitely determined in my mind which

of two conditions it was.

Mr. Mackey: State what they were? Answer – Shall I answer that?

Court: Yes, if based upon your own conclusion.

Answer : I was undecided at that time whether Mr. Sullivan was a malingerer, assuming to have

an injury that he did not have, because he claimed to have these signs or symptoms which I could not determine, and I had to take his word for it, - or whether or not Mr. Sullivan was suffering from some brain injury.

Mr. Mackey: Q. Doctor, if he was not a malingerer, was not feigning disability, what, in your

opinion as a medical man, was his trouble? Answer – If he was feigning, he undoubtedly had some brain lesion. Q. State what you mean by “brain lesion”? Answer – If you were struck on the head ---

Mr. Hall: Is he testifying whether he knows Mr. Sullivan was struck on the head?

Answer: No, but I describe what a brain lesion is. Brain lesion is a new growth in the brain. For

instance, if a man had a tumor in the brain, it would be a brain lesion. If you were struck on the head with a brick hard enough to cause concussion, or were thrown from a horse and struck the ground hard enough to cause brain concussion that is brain lesion. Any injury to the brain is a brain lesion. It may be a tear, it may be a gunshot wound, it may be a tumor that has grown in the brain; that is a brain lesion.

Mr. Mackey: Q. Did you see anything about Mr. Sullivan, in your examination of him and your

contact with him in your examination of his condition, to lead you to think that he was a malingerer, or feigning any disability? Answer – I could not answer that question except rather indirectly. I will say some malingerers are so clever that they are pretty hard to detect, and I proposed to give myself the benefit of the doubt before I said what it was. If he was a malingerer, I wanted to detect it, and if he was not a malingerer I wanted to know it Q. Did you, through any objective signs, conclude that he was a malingerer? Answer – I don’t know just how to answer that question and stay within the instruction of the court.

Court: I think he means if you found it out from anything that you know, not from hearsay. Answer: I found nothing to show me that he was a malingerer.

Mr. Mackey: Q. What was Mr. Sullivan’s condition with regard to nervousness when you called

on him? Answer – Mr. Sullivan seemed emotional and irritable. He had a marked rigidity, an apparent rigidity, and there was a rigidity of the muscles at the back of the neck, a very marked rigidity, and he complained of a great deal of pain in that region. The only objective thing that I could get there at all was the presence of a rigidity; that was marked. Q. Now, doctor, that rigidity is what you would call a stiffening of the muscles? Answer – Yes, sir. Q. Would that ordinarily be due to a nervous condition? Answer – In meningitis ----

Mr. Hall: That question is objectionable without a proper foundation. It is purely an abstract

question, and has no relation to the case.

Court: I overrule that.

Mr. Mackey: If your Honor please ---

Court: I will change my mind if you – Mr. Mackey – want.

Mr. Hall: I except.

Court: I suggest that each time I rule, I would like for the stenographer to note an exception

without stating it, if it is agreeable to both sides. It might be embarrassing, somewhat, afterwards. If it is agreeable to both sides, it is understood that there is an exception wherever the court rules, by one side of the other.

Answer: Meningitis, one of its most conspicuous signs is stiffening of the muscles in the back.

By Mr. Mackey:

Q. Meningitis is inflammation of the spinal cord? Answer – Not necessarily. Spinal meningitis is; meningitis is an inflammation of the brain proper.

Q. State whether the nervous system controls the muscular system? Answer – The nervous system controls absolutely every other system in the human body.

Q. The rigidity of those muscles would have a direct relation to the nervous system, would they not, doctor? Answer – Well, they might.

Q. Can you state what, in your opinion, caused the muscles to be rigid in that particular locality? Answer – The muscle rigidity in that locality in his special case?

Q. Yes. Answer – I am inclined to think it is the result of some brain lesion.

Q. Could he be feigning and make the muscles at the back of the neck rigid? Answer – Yes.

Q. How could it be done? Answer – The same way as if I hold my arm stiff.

Q. Did you see any evidence of that? Answer – Yes, I saw evidence of stiff muscles there.

Q. I mean of it being feigned? Answer – No, sir, I saw no evidence of it being feigned.

Q. Doctor, what effect would a blow in the abdomen, in the vicinity of the solar plexus, have upon the nervous system? Answer – I decline to give an expert answer to such an extremely technical question.

Q. doctor, will you tell the jury what the solar plexus is? Answer – Yes, sir.

Q. And where it is located. Answer – It is a nerve center located in the human body.

Q. Whereabouts is it located? Answer – within the abdominal cavity.

Q. What is the usual effect of a blow on the solar plexus? Answer – I decline to be examined as an expert in nervous diseases, your Honor.

Q. In epilepsy a nervous disease? Answer – Yes, sir.

Q. What are the ordinary manifestations of epilepsy, doctor? Answer – The ordinary manifestation of epilepsy is convulsion.

Q. How long do these convulsions ordinarily last? Answer – From the fractional part of a minute to many minutes.

Q. Would it be possible for a patient to have an epileptic convulsion, to fall down and sit up in a fraction of a minute? Answer – Epilepsy that lasts so short a time they rarely fall with it. I have never known a case to fall where the epilepsy lasted so short a time. That is not general. It may be only a portion of the body, one hand or one foot, or the face. He would probably keel over a minute, and pull himself together, and go the conversation, and you would hardly know that he had a convulsive seizure. Epilepsy is divided into two forms: Grand mal, of the large epilepsy; that is, where they become violent, or have some sign before, and let out a yell. A man may fall from his horse, and then become drowsy and sleepy for several minutes. That is the grand mal, and they have a tendency to get worse. When the seizures start in they are gradual, and gradually get worse. The little epilepsy you frequently find a person who has it in a mild form. I have known them at a dinner table to have a mild attack, and the people sitting there would hardly notice it. They become drowsy, and then pull themselves together and go on with the conversation.

Q. Is that form of epilepsy gradual the same as the grand. Answer – Yes, sir.

Q. Both are progressive? Answer – Yes, sir.

Q. Is epilepsy classified as a form of mania or form of insanity? Answer – It is hardly classified as a form of insanity. It comes under the head of nervous diseases, though most epileptics who are not fortunate enough to die early do become insane. It has degenerating effect upon the mentality.

Q. That is, doctor, that this epileptic condition which approaches convulsions has a degenerating effect upon the brain cells? Answer – yes, sir.

Q. And that increases with what? Answer – With time.

Q. Have you, in your personal experience, ever known an epileptic to be cured? Answer - Not a true epileptic, no.

Q. Did you ever know epilepsy to yield to medical treatment? Answer – I have known epilepsy to be improved temporarily, but I have never known it to be cured.

Q. Doctor, is there any such thing as mania of epilepsy? Answer – Yes, sir.

Q. State whether that is a violent form of mania or not? Answer – Usually very violent.

Q. Now, doctor, I will ask you this hypothetical question, assuming that Mr. Sullivan, the plaintiff in this case, enjoyed good health up to and including the 23rd day of February, 1915; that on that day he was on a train which came into collision with another train ----

Mr. Hall: Your Honor, we think ---

Mr. Mackey: We will prove this from other data.

Mr. Hall: I know, but ----

Court: I know that Dr. Hooe is a very busy man. The only proof so far is Dr. Wine’s testimony;

there is no proof of other injury.

Mr. Mackey: I will lay the foundation for it.

Court: I am sorry to bother you or Dr. Hooe.

Mr. Mackey: I will put Mr. Sullivan on just for this purpose.

Court: Then if he testifies, the hypothetical question need not be asked.

Mr. Hall: I want the record to show a motion to strike out all of Dr. Hooe’s testimony dealing

With epilepsy on the ground that he refuses to qualify as an expert in nervous diseases, and he stated it was a nervous disease, and he refused to be examined or to answer questions, all of which I move to strike out he same motion is made by the attorneys representing the C&O Railway Company, and the same ruling of the court; and exceptions by attorneys for Southern Railway Company and C&O Railway Company

W. J. Sullivan, the plaintiff, being duly sworn in his own behalf testified as follows:


By Mr. Mackey:

Q. Mr. Sullivan, how old are you? Answer – Twenty-five years old and six months today.

Court: What is your name? Answer – William J. Sullivan.

By Mr. Mackey:

Q. Where were you born? Answer – Shenandoah, Pennsylvania.

Q. And where have you lived most of your life? Answer – For the last eighteen years in Washington City, or near about that time; I am not positive. I was very young when I was brought to Washington by my parents.

Q. Are you married? Answer I am.

Q. When were you married? Answer – July 15, 1913

Q. You have one child, I believe? Answer – one child

Q. What has been your occupation the last three or four years? Answer – I have been working for the Singer Manufacturing Company as an agent for three years before the accident, and, of course, after the accident this spasm of epilepsy happened to come on me very frequently, and from there I went to work, I think, for the Washington Times and worked three days, and after that I had to quit, and after that about two weeks looking around for work, I went to the Southern Express Company and worked for four days for them, and had to quit on that account. I could not do day work because the epilepsy seemed to strike me right after eating or in the heat of the day. I took a position in the early part of May, a position with the Washington Steel & Ordnance Company. I worked at night work because it seemed the epilepsy was not subject to come at night as frequently as in the day time. I worked there until February 1st or 2nd, which I had to quit because they changed the new foreman, and I could not get by with the spells, and they would not take the chance, and up since the 1st of February, for five months, I haven’t done anything.

Q. For what reason? Answer – Due to the fact every time I would go to a man I would take a position and work a few days and have an epileptic spasm, and have to quit the same as at the three previous places I worked at.

Q. You were a passenger, I believe, on this Southern train on the 23rd of February? Answer – I was.

Q. 1915? Answer – I was.

Q. Previous to that time had you ever suffered any injury of any kind? Answer – I was in perfect health all my life up to the time of the wreck, and then my health was broken. I dropped from 192 and in two months after I weighed 130, and I have gained a little on account of not exerting myself in work, and now I weigh 168 or 170, I am not positive.

Q. Had you ever received any blow on the head, or any injury before that time? Answer – Not before.

Q. Had you had any serious illness? Answer – Not before the accident.

Q. What had been your health? I could pass 100 percent on a physical examination.

Q. Had you ever had a spasm or fit, or convulsion? Answer – If I had had them I could not pass an examination of 100 per cent. I never had anything like it before.

Q. What time did you take the train from Washington that night? Answer – It was either five minutes of five or five minutes after five; it was within the ten minutes.

Q. What train was it? Answer – It was known as the local, the Washington local No. 17

Q. Of what railroad? Answer – Southern Railroad.

Q. Where were you seated on that car? Answer – I was sitting the second person from the window. With myself my wife was on the left, and my baby in my left hand, and that is the second seat from the end. I mean it was a seat, if anybody sat on it their face would be to me instead of the back of their head.

Q. Now, your wife was on the seat with you next to the window? Answer – Yes, sir, on my left.

Q. And where was the baby? Answer In my left arm.

Q. Now, just tell the jury in your own way, what happened just before you got to Bristow. Answer – I can remember my wife had an injured leg and couldn’t walk, and I said, “you give me the baby, and I will help you off the best I can.

Q. Had the train slowed down any? Answer – It may have slowed very little. I don’t know whether it had or not; I wasn’t paying any attention. I knew the conductor or brakeman had called out “Bristow”.

Q. Had you bought a ticket for that train, and paid your fare? Answer – A round trip ticket.

Q. Had the conductor taken up your ticket? Answer – He had taken it up. I told my wife to give me the baby, and I would get off with it, and then there was a crash, and the baby went one way and I the other. I am not positive which way I went, but I went across the coach and struck my head and right shoulder, and then I can’t say whether it was a piece of glass, or door, or piece of pig iron, but something struck me very heavy over the back of my head here, and towards my right shoulder, and, of course, the pain was rather great, and the next thing I knew Dr. Wine had put three hypodermics in me, and he had gotten me out of the car.

Q. He was on the car? Answer – So he said, but I didn’t see him. I know that he gave me two or three hypodermics on the car.

Q. Where did the baby fall? Answer – Now, that is a question. The whole top of the car must have caved in; I was pretty near blinded myself, and I don’t know which way the baby went; it left my arms entirely.

Q. Now, when you gathered yourself together, where were you, Mr. Sullivan? Were you lying down or standing up? Answer – I can’t say whether I was unconscious, or whether I wasn’t, but really the next thing I can tell you about the accident was the next morning when I woke up. I can remember two men pulling on my arm somewhere; it was at the house somewhere, but personally, myself, I didn’t know it was going on until the next I knew I had a pain all over my body, and I had my right arm tied up, and the next morning I was at my father-in-law’s house then.

Q. How long did you remain at your father-in-law’s house? Answer – I don’t know, but nine or ten days, or something like that; I am not positive.

Q. Did you go to Washington on any trips? Answer – I think Mr. Patterson accompanied me to Washington to see that I got there all right. The idea in going to Washington was my pipes were all going to freeze up, and I went to cut the water off.

Q. Now, just tell the jury what your condition was, from your own knowledge, following this accident, the next day and the time after that you remained down in that neighborhood? Answer – The pain was so great in my arm. After awhile I could stand a little bit of pain, but it was so great I had in my mind that there was something wrong that the doctors didn’t get it exactly right, and I went to the Sibley Hospital, at Washington, D. C. and had a surgeon, Dr. Jacks, to look at my arm, and the arm pained me so that they had to put me under an anesthetic, or rather give me ether to work on it, and they couldn’t tell because whenever they would get me -----

Mr. Hall: I object.

Court: Don’t state what the doctors told you.

By Mr. Mackey:

Q. State whether you had any trouble with your bowels? Answer – Well the blood, I can say by the pint; every time I had occasion to go to the toilet it was nothing but blood; it simply run right out.

Q. How long did this condition of blood continue? Answer – Maybe three weeks or three & a half.

Q. Did you have any injury to your head at any time that you discovered? Answer – Not until after the accident. The first injury to the head was when I spoke to Dr. Wine, or rather I have to say that Dr. Wine treated me at my father-in-law’s house for stiff neck and pain in the back of the head. He rubbed me twice a day with grain alcohol. He stated that he did not, but he did.

Q. Did you discover, following this accident, that you had any wound on the head? Answer – Well, I knew that it was a rather large bump on the back of my head, which is still there. I don’t know what it is, or why it is there, or why it don’t go away, but especially after this epilepsy the dullness in my head pains all over.

Q. Where is that lump, put your hand on it? (witness indicates where the lump is)

Q. When did you first discover that lump, how long after the accident? Answer – It got bigger and bigger. The pain was so great you couldn’t help but discover it, because when the pain would strike me the first place I would run my hand would be up there.

Q. When did you have a fit or spasm after this accident? Answer – I can remember I was peeling an orange. I am telling you what I remember afterwards. I was peeling an orange at the time, had the baby in my arms, or rather I was peeling the orange for the baby. All of a sudden my whole body seemed to tighten up as if somebody had a rope, my eyes blinded, and the next thing I knew I had pretty near killed the baby, and they had me up stairs in the bed.

Q. How long was that after the accident? Answer – Fifteen days or three weeks.

Q. Have you had these spells since? Answer every third or fourth day, I am not positive.

Q. Who was your first doctor to treat you after you went back to Washington? Answer - Dr. Robert Bacon.

Q. Where is he now? Answer – He is at Saranac Lake, New York, the last I heard of him, there for treatment, being sick himself.

Q. Is that the Dr. Bacon whose deposition we have taken? Answer – The one that worked on me while I had a spasm, trying to bring me back to my right mind.

Q. How often did you have these spasms after the first attack, for the first few months? Answer – They came on about every fifth day, not so very hard but they got so severe, of course I can’t describe them at all; at least, nobody can tell the pain.

Q. How long has it been since they recurred every three or four days? Answer – about three months ago, as soon as the warm weather started.

Q. And during the past three months how often have you had them? Answer – Every three or fourth day.

Q. When did you have the last attack of epilepsy? Answer – Day before yesterday.

Q. Where? Answer – I started with my little daughter out in the field to Mr. Halterman, and I dropped about half way; at least, I didn’t drop, I felt it coming on and I let the baby to the ground and then I keeled over.

Q. Have you ever had any attacks in any other place? Answer – I had them in every place I have went. I happened to be fortunate enough to get off with my life. I had them on the car tracks, and at the theatres, and the best place for me to stay is at home.

Q. Have you ever had them while at work? Answer – At the Washington Steel & Ordnance Company, had two; it seemed I got heated up.

Q. Have you ever had an attack while on a bicycle? Answer – I was going to Dr. Bacon for electrical treatment, and one struck me, and through his orders I stopped riding the wheel.

Q. How long did Dr. Bacon treat you? Answer – He gave me electrical treatment for about three weeks, and he wasn’t taken suddenly ill and sent to Saranac Lake, and I was sent to Dr. Hooe.

Q. Then who else was treated you? Answer – Dr. Davis treated me, and said the optic nerve -----

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