Friday, January 16, 2015

Providing Care for Veterans, 1921

“Marines Did Get Something; Dr. Saliba Got Only About 75 Percent of Money Paid for Their Keep,” from the Messenger, Elizabeth City, N.C., January 14, 1921

That the U.S. government paid in round numbers $40,000 for the care of certain convalescent sailors and marines at the Elizabeth City Hospital from Nov. 1, 1918 to May 1, 1919, and that Dr. John Saliba, owner of the hospital property pulled down more than $30,000 in profits from the transaction, were rather interesting facts brought out in the suit of J.H. LeRoy against Dr. John Saliba in the Superior Court in this county. And by the decision of the court Dr. Saliba will have to divide about $20,000 of these profits equally with the plaintiff LeRoy.

The case went to trial Thursday morning, Jan. 6, and went to the jury late Saturday afternoon. The jury returned a verdict Saturday night after having been out over four hours.

Mr. LeRoy alleged that he entered into a verbal contract with Dr. Saliba when the hospital was opened for the care of the overflow of convalescents from the U.S. Marine Hospital at Norfolk. Saliba was to get $4 a day for the care of each man sent here. Saliba was to pocket $1 of this amount and LeRoy was to undertake to run the hospital on the remaining $3 per diem per man. If LeRoy showed a profit in the management of the hospital he and Saliba were to divide on a 50-50 basis. So Mr. LeRoy contended. But when the time came to settle, Dr. Saliba claimed that he had hired Mr. LeRoy and his wife on a flat salary of $125 a month for the two of them. And ‘nary’ a cent more would he pay. LeRoy had made about $20,000 for the hospital out of $30,000 allowed for operating expenses after Dr. Saliba had taken his $10,000.

The question for the jury in the case was: “Did the plaintiff and defendant enter into contract of partnership as alleged in the complaint.” The jury’s answer to the issue was Yes. It now remains for a referee appointed by the court to go over Hospital records and award Mr. LeRoy approximately one fourth of something like $40,000 paid Saliba by the government from Nov. 1 to May 1.

Attorneys for the plaintiff were Meekins & McMullan, Ehringhaus & Small, Thompson & Wilson.

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