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EMPLOYERS' LIABILITY UNDER THE CIVIL LAW.

The articles of the Civil Code of Louisiana reproduced in the above compilation closely follow the Code Napoleon. As this law is applied in the jurisdictions unaffected by the English common law, it presents some differences therefrom, chiefly in favor of the employee. In dangerous employments the master is obligated to take “every precaution which can be taken to prevent accidents—“to protect his employees by the best possible means, and even, to some extent, against their own imprudence.” The defense of fellow-service is not accepted in such jurisdictions, and that of contributory negligence is modified so as to allow recovery in a proportionate amount unless the injured employee's negligence was the sole cause of his injury. Risks are held to be assumed as under the common law.

It can not be said, however, that these principles prevail in Louisiana, as its jurisprudence is affected by the general law of the country and especially by the decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States. The situation may be illustrated by a case (a) in which damages were allowed for an injury to an employee. The court cited these articles of the Civil Code, holding that under them the plaintiff was entitled to recovery, “ and likewise under the construction of the general law applicable to master and servant."

LAWS AFFECTING THE DEFENSES OF ASSUMPTION OF RISKS AND

CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE.

The notes following the reproduced laws of a number of the States, and certain laws which, in other cases, stand as the only statutory modification of the common-law liability of the employer, are generally to the effect that where enactments relating to specified industries or employments are not complied with, a different degree of liability attaches, or one or both the defenses above named are withdrawn.

General laws affecting the defense of assumption of risks under designated conditions have been enacted by the legislatures of Iowa (Acts of 1907, chapter 181), and of Ohio (Acts of 1901, act, page 5+7). In the absence of judicial decisions on these statutes, it will be sufficient to point out their similarity to the Texas statute which was held constitutional in the Foth case. (') The numerous provisions as to restrictive contracts are sufficiently discussed in the early paragraphs of this section. (C)

In concluding this discussion it may not be inappropriate to revert to the statement made in connection with the act of Colorado of 1901, that even the entire abrogation of the doctrine of fellow-service leaves

a James 1. Rapides Lumber Co. (1898), 23 So. 469.
See page 113, above,
c See pages 92 and 93, above.

the employee to bear all the consequences of inevitable accident, or the “trade risk," as it is frequently called ;() also that laws effecting a modification of the doctrine are of small avail as a ffording certainty of relief since so much is dependent on the details of circumstance surrounding eaclı case. Of this the case of Kane *. Erie R. Co., noted above, is an instance; while of the law of Texas, which abrogates entirely for certain classes of employees and restricts closely for others this same defense, it may be said that it is the basis of an amount of litigation that is probably not surpassed by any law of its kind.

Statistics of 46,000 industrial accidents collated by the German inperial insurance office for 1897 show that 29.89 per cent of the accidents were due to fault or negligence of the injured employee, 16.81 per cent to that of the employer, 4.66 per cent to the joint negligence of the employer and the injured employee, 5.28 per cent to that of coemployees and outside parties, 1.31 per cent to the "Act of God," etc., and 42.05 per cent to inevitable accidents comected with the employment. The impossibility of securing to the workman the needed protection by a mere grant of right of action for injuries for which the employer can rightly be charged is evident from a consideration of these statistics, as well as from the discussion of the principles of law set forth above. The employer, who is the agent of the public in the matter of production and transportation, should be charged with the duty of so administering industrial undertakings that the burden of the trade risk shall fall on the industry at large, and not be concentrated on the weakest point-on the individual workman, disabled for service through the mere fact of his employment at the time and place of the occurrence of an inevitable accident, or on the widow and children of such workman, if the accident results fatally.

An instruction to a jury is correct which states that if a plaintiff's injuries were the direct results of an accident incident to the business in which he was engaged, he can not recover. Mobile & 0. R. ('o, 1. George (1891), 94 Ala. 199, 10 So. 115.

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SUMMARY OF FOREIGN WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION ACTS.

By the term “ workmen's compensation laws” are meant enacti ments which embody the principle that the workman is entitled to compensation for injuries received in the course of his employment. Such laws have been enacted in twenty-two foreign States. »

Usually the injuries must cause disablement for a specified 'rumber of days or weeks before compensation becomes due. The employer may usually be relieved from the payment of compensation if he can prove that the injury was caused intentionally or by willful misconduct, or in some countries by the gross negligence of the injured person or during the performance of an illegal act.

The industries usually covered by the acts are manufacturing, min. ing and quarrying, transportation, building and engineering work, and other employments involving more or less hazard. In Belgium, France, and Great Britain the laws apply to practically all employments. In Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Spain, and Sweden only workmen engaged in actual manual work, and in some cases those exposed to the same risks, such as overseers and technical experts, come within the operations of the law. On the other hand, in France, Great Britain, the British colonies, and Ilungary the laws apply to salaried employees and workmen equally. Overseers and technical experts earning more than a prescribed amount are excluded in Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Luxemburg, and Russia. Employees of the state, provincial, and local administrations usually come within the provisions of the acts.

The entire burden rests upon the employer in all but four countries, Austria, Germany, Hungary, and Luxemburg, where the employees bear part of the expense. The laws in every case fix the compensation to be paid. Except in Sweden the compensation is based upon the wages of the injured person. It consists of medical and surgical treatment and periodical allowances for temporary disability, and annual pensions or lump-sum payments for permanent disability or death.

In most countries employers may contract with state or private insurance institutions for meeting the payments. In a number of countries such transfer is obligatory. Provision is usually made for the protection of beneficiaries in case of insolvency of employers.

The acts of nearly all of the countries are framed with the view of obviating the necessity for instituting legal proceedings. If disputes arise the acts specify the necessary procedure for settlement by special arbitration tribunals or by ordinary law courts.

The following summary gives the most important features of the workmen's compensation acts of all countries:

AUSTRIA

Date of enactment. December 28, 1887, in effect November 1, 1889. Amendatory acts, March 30, 1888, April 4 and July 28, 1889, January 17, 1890, December 30, 1891, September 17, 1892, July 20, 1894, and July 12, 1902.

Injuries compensated. All injuries causing death or disability for more than three days received in the course of employment, unless caused intentionally.

Industries corered. Mining, quarrying, stonecutting, manufacturing, building trades, railways, transportation on inland waters, storage, theaters, chimney sweeping, street cleaning, building eleaning, sewer cleaning, dredging, well digging, structural iron working, etc, ; agricultural and forestry establishments using machinery.

Persons compensated. All workmen and technical officials regularly employed, but in agriculture and forestry only employees exposed to machinery.

Government employees. Act applies to government employees unless an equal or more favorable compensation is provided by other laws.

Burden of payment. Medical and surgical treatment for twenty weeks and compensation for four weeks of disability paid by sick funds, to which employers contribute one-third and employees two-thirds. Compensation for disability after fourth week, and for death, paid by territorial insurance associations, to which employees contribute 10 per cent and employers 90 per cent. Compensation for death:

(a) Funeral expenses not to exceed 25 forins ($10.15).
(6) Pensions to members of family, not to exceed 50 per cent of earnings of

deceased, to-
Widow, 20 per cent util death or remarriage; in the latter case a lump

sum equal to three aunual payments; to dependent widower, 20 per cent

during disability. Each legitimate child, 15 years of age or under, 15 per cent when one

parent survives and 20 per cent when neither survives; to each illegitimate child, 15 years of age or under, 10 per cent; pensions of widow (or widower) and children reduced proportionately if they aggregate over

50 per cent. (c) When pensions to abore heirs do not reach 50 per cent, dependent heirs

in ascending line receive pensions, not to exceed 20 per cent of earnings

of deceased, parents taking precedence over grandparents, (d) In computing pensions, the excess of the annual earnings over 1,200

florins ($187.20) is not considered. Compensation for disability: (1) Medical and surgical attendance for 20 weeks, paid by sick benefit

fund. (6) For total temporary or permanent disability, 60 per cent of average

daily wages of insured workmen in the locality, paid by sick benefit funds, from first to twenty-eighth day; and 60 per cent of average annual earnings of injured person, after twenty-eighth day, paid by

territorial accident insurance institutions. (c) For partial temporary or permanent disability, benefits consist of a

portion of above allowance, but may not exceed 50 per cent of average

annual earnings. (d) In computing payments, the excess of annual earnings over 1,200

florius ($187.20) is not considered. Rerision of compensation. Reconsideration of the case may be undertaken by the insurance association of its own will, or upon petition.

Insurance. Payments are met by mutual insurance associations of employers in which all employees are required to be insured. The country is divided into districts, with a separate association for each district.

Security of payments. Operations of the insurance associations are conducted under the supervision of the minister of interior, who may increase the assessments.

Settlement of disputes. Disputes are settled by arbitration courts composed of a judicial officer appointed by the minister of justice, two experts appointed by the minister of the interior, and one representative each of the employers and the employees,

BELGIUM

Date of enactment. December 24, 1903, in effect July 1, 1905.

Injuries compensated. All injuries by accident to employees in the course of and by reason of the execution of the labor contract, causing death or disability for over one week, unless intentionally brought on by the person injured.

Industries covered. Practically all establishments in mining, quarrying, forestry work, manufacturing, building and engineering work, transportation, and telephone and telegraph services; establishments using mechanical motive power; industrial establishments employing five or more persons; agricultural and commercial establishments employing three or more persons; industries designated by royal decree as dangerous. Other industries at option of employer.

Persons compensated. Workmen and apprentices, and salaried employees exposed to the same risks as workmen whose annual salaries do not exceed 2,400 francs ($463.20).

Gorernment employees. Act covers employees of any public establishment engaged in industries enumerated above.

Burden of payment. Entire cost of compensation rests upon employer.
Compensation for death:

(a) Funeral benefit of 75 franes ($11.48).
(6) A sum representing value of an annuity of 30 per cent of annual earn-

ings of deceased, calculated upon basis of his age at death, to be dis

tributed toDependent widow or widower, whole amount if no other heirs, four

fifths if one child under 16 years of age or one or more dependent heirs,

three-fifths if two or more children. Children under 16 years of age, the residue. Dependent heirs in ascending line and descending line under 16 years of

age, in absence of widow or widower or children umder 16 years of age. Dependent brothers and sisters under 16 years of age in absence of heirs

above enumerated. (c) Allowances in case of annual wages of 2,400 francs ($163.20) or more,

or of 365 francs ($70.45) or less, are based upon those amounts,

respectively. (d) Payments to widow and heirs in ascending line are converted into life

pensions, those to other heirs into pensions expiring at age of 16 years. Heirs may require one-third of capital value of life pensions to be paid

in cash and pension reduced accordingly. Compensation for disability:

(a) Expense of medical and surgical treatment for not over six months.
(b) If totally disabled, an allowance of 50 per cent of daily wages, begin-

ning with day after accident. (c) If partially disabled, an allowance of 50 per cent of loss of earning

power, beginning with day after accident. (d) If, after three years, disability is permanent, temporary allowance is

replaced by life annuity. Victim may require one-third of capital

value of pension to be paid in cash and pension reduced accordingly. (e) Allowances in case of annual wages of 2,400 francs ($ 163.20) or more,

or of 365 francs ($70.45) or less, are based upon these amounts re

spectively. Rerision of compensation. Revision of compensation because of aggravation or diminution of disability, or death of victim, may be made within three years.

Insurance. Employers may transfer burden of payment of compensation to establishment funds or approved insurance companies or to general savings and retirement fund. They may also transfer burden of payment of temporary allowances to mutual aid societies.

Security of payments. Employers who have not relieved themselves of liability by insurance must make deposits of cash or securities or give real-estate mortgages to secure pension payments. To secure temporary disability payments of uninsured employers a state guaranty fund is maintained by a tax levied upon such employers.

Settlement of disputes. The local justice of the peace has sole jurisdiction as a court of first resort over disputes arising under the act, and his judgment is final in all cases involving 300 francs ($57.90) or less.

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