Q. 'And how long have you been on those hours?'
A. 'I would say about a little over two and a half years, when our prior captain was there, Captain Silvea, he's the one that asked me, it was a request. He wanted experienced men to liaison between the 4 to 12 shift and the midnight shift, and I had to remain in the -- what we call the hot seat -- it's the No. 2 position that talks back and forth to the cars, I remained in that seat from 10 through midnight in order to carry over any important happening that may be of interest to the midnight crew. A holdup that may have started on the 4 to 12 that may still be in process, still may be being investigated, the car may still be out of service.'
Q. 'Have you been doing this work for -- about 13 years?'
A. 'Yes, sir, since '48.'
Q. 'Since that Bureau was set up?'
A. 'Yes, sir.'
Q. 'And -- but this condition apparently came -- the one where you needed medical attention -- about 15 months ago?'
A. 'Yes, sir.'
Q. 'What impelled you, or what caused you to go to the Clinic for this particular condition, or did it just develop in a routine physical?'
A. 'Well, I found myself taking any number of aspirin on occasions to do away with the headache. I figured something must be wrong. I couldn't have these headaches two and three times a week, it wouldn't be normal because I have no other bad habits that it would be attributed to, I don't drink or smoke, I haven't smoked for about three years and I haven't taken even a cocktail for about -- almost a year and a half, just before this situation. So I knew the headache had to come from something else, and that's when I became suspicious. And pressure -- you could feel it, you could feel it within you. That's when I started going up to the Clinic.'
Public policy requires the courts to construe the provisions of the character involved in this case liberally because they serve a beneficial purpose.
The word 'injury' is not limited to injuries caused by violence or physical force. It must be given a broader and more liberal meaning. It includes any injury, or disease, or illness arising out of and in the course of the employment, which causes incapacity. Such construction must be given in order that the humane purpose of the law may be realized. Courts must keep in mind the benefits intended to be conferred by the law.
Since the evidence before the Police and Firemen's Retirement and Relief Board supports only a conclusion attributing the disability to injury received in the performance of duty, plaintiff is entitled to be retired under Title 4, Sec. 527, District of Columbia Code (1961 Edition). The humane purpose of the retirement laws would fail of accomplishment were the evidence in this case held to be insufficient to support a retirement under Title 4, Sec. 527. See Crawford v. McLaughlin, 109 U.S.App.D.C. 264, 286 F.2d 821.
Counsel for the plaintiff will prepare the appropriate order not inconsistent with this opinion.
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