« PreviousContinue »
the workmen for injuries resulting from the negligence of the mine boss.” The court said: “There is nothing in the record which discloses his relation to the company to be other than what was derived from his statutory authority.” So we say in this case:
This ends the case.
There is positively no authority shown in this mine boss to bind the company for his order to McMillan or for the mine boss's failure to instruct McMillan as to the dynamite. Counsel would argue that the act for appointment of the mine bosses has only taken from the operator some duties, those specified in the act, but has left other duties on the operator, and that the duties of the mine boss specified in the statute have no relation to the act of the mine boss in this case, giving the order and failing to give warning to McMillan, and that this is a nonassignable duty; but the trouble is the company is not bound for the act of this mine boss or for his omission.
Furthermore, the authorities above cited hold the mine boss a fellow-servant with McMillan, and say that the company is not liable for his negligence or omission. What is it that is claimed to have caused the injury to McMillan? The act of the mine boss in ordering him to different work and particularly in failing to instruct him of the danger of dynamite. In other words, the negligence of the mine boss. How can you make the company liable for the negligence of a fellow-servant? If servant as to statutory duties, the court regards the mine boss a fellow-servant. This act was not a statutory duty, and his authority as to it is not shown, and, even then, he would be a fellow-servant.
From these views we must say that the circuit court should have struck out the evidence of the plaintiff and directed a verdict for the defendant, and therefore we reverse the judgment and render judgment for the defendant.
EMPLOYERS' LIABILITY-RAILROAD COMPANIES-FEDERAL STATUTE-APPLICATION TO SHOP EMPLOYEES— Malloy v. Northern Pacific Railway Company, Circuit Court of the United States, Western District of Washington, 151 Federal Reporter, page 1019.—This was an action by one Malloy to recover damages for an injury received by him while employed by the above-named company as a workman in its car shops. The accident causing the injury was charged to be due to the unguarded condition of a saw in the shops. The defendant com
a pany replied that the condition of the saw and the danger attending its operation were obvious, and that the risk was therefore assumed. To this the plaintiff, Malloy, demurred, holding that under the Federal law of June 11, 1906, he would not assume the risk.
This view was sustained by the court, as appears by the opinion delivered by Judge IIanford, given herewith:
Act Cong. June 11, 1906, 34 Stat. 232, c. 3073, commonly called “The employers' liability act," fixes a liability upon all common carriers engaged in interstate and foreign commerce, for damages to their employees who may suffer injuries resulting from negligence, or by reason of any defect or insufficiency due to negligence in cars,
engines, appliances, machinery, track, roadbed, ways or works, and the third section of the act provides: “That no contract of employment,
entered into by or on behalf of any employee,
shall constitute any bar or defense to any action brought to recover damages for. personal injuries to or death of such employee."
The intent and object of Congress in the enactment.of this statute is plain, viz, it is to make the liability of common carriers engaged in interstate commerce for injuries to their employees in consequence of negligence, or insufficiency or defects of the physical property used in the carrying business or pertaining thereto, more nearly absolute, and to deprive such employers of the benefit of defenses which were, previous to the enactment of the statute, legal. It is still lawful for men
. to engage in hazardous employments; but the class of employers to which the act refers can not by any contracts which they may make with their employees avoid liability for damages which may be suffered as a consequence of negligence. An express contract between the plaintiff and the defendant, exempting the latter from liability for damages in case of an injury caused by the operation of a saw in its car shop, negligently permitted to be unnecessarily dangerous by reason of being unboxed, would not constitute a bar to a recovery, of damages in this case, because the statute so declares, and if an express contract would be unavailing, this special defense, predicated upon an implied contract, must also fall.
HOURS OF LABOR OF WOMEN-NIGHT WORK—CONSTITUTIONALITY OF STATUTE-People v. Williams, Court of Appeals of New York, 81 Northeastern Reporter, page 778.-David L. Williams had been convicted of employing a woman at night in violation of the law forbidding the employment of females for more than sixty hours per week, or after 9 o'clock in the evening or before 6 in the morning. On his appeal this judgment had been reversed by the court of special sessions, the supreme court agreeing. The people then appealed, this appeal resulting in the affirmation of the judgment of the supreme court, and the discharge of Williams on the ground of the unconstitutionality of the statutory provision referred to. The opinion was prepared by Judge Gray, all concurring, and is in part as follows:
In my judgment, the determination below was correct. I think that the legislature, in preventing the employment of an adult woman in a factory, and in prohibiting her to work therein before 6 o'clock in the morning, or after 9 o'clock in the evening, has overstepped the limits set by the constitution of the State to the exercise of the power to interfere with the rights of citizens. The fundamental law of the State, as embodied in its constitution, provides that "no person shall
be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.” (Art. 1, sec. 6.) The provisions of the State and of the Federal constitutions protect every citizen in the right to pursue any lawful employment in a lawful manner. He enjoys the utmost freedom to follow his chosen pursuit, and any arbitrary distinction against, or deprivation of, that freedom by the legislature is an inva
following table summarizes the data obtained as to the deaths occurring during the three-year period 1900–1902:
ANNUAL DEATH RATE PER 1,000 MINERS AND MINE LABORERS IN REDRUTH DIS
TRICT, CORNWALL, 1900–1902.
For purposes of comparison the following table is added, showing the annual death rate per 1,000 male work people in England and Wales for the three-year period 1890–1892.
ANNUAL DEATH RATE PER 1,000 EMPLOYED MALES IN ENGLAND AND WALES, 1890
A comparison of the above tables shows the excessive death rate among the Cornish miners. The following table shows the number of deaths of miners in the Redruth district, 1900–1902; those miners who had at any time worked machine drills and those who had not being separately classified:
DEATHS OF MINERS WHO HAD WORKED MACHINE DRILLS, AND OT OTHER UNDER
GROUND MINERS, IN REDRUTH DISTRICT, CORNWALL, 1900-1902.
The number of men engaged in operating machine drills being comparatively small, it is evident from these figures that the mortality due to lung diseases among “miners who had worked machine drills" is enormously greater than among the "other miners.”
Phthisis, or "miners' disease," was the certified cause of death of 120 of the machine-drill men, other diseases of the respiratory organs being responsible for the death of 13. The average age of the 142 machine-drill men at death was 37.2 years. Besides the 171 miners other than rock drillers whose deaths are tabulated above, 7 are reported as dying at more advanced ages. Of the total of 178 deaths 68 were ascribed to phthisis and 48 to bronchitis and other diseases of the respiratory organs, the average age of all at death being 53 years.
The committee record their conviction that the dust developed in drilling by machinery, the use of which has much increased in recent years, is the predisposing cause of the excessive mortality among metalliferous miners, and that the use of a small water jet would easily prevent the production of dust. It also recommends the adoption of approved special rules for metalliferous mines and the prohibition of the use of percussion rock drills unless satisfactory precautions for preventing the inhalation of dust have been taken.
I Probiviri Industriali, 86 pp.; Basi Tecniche di una Cassa di Ma
ternità, 61 pp.; I Carusi nelle Solfare della Sicilia, 42 pp.; L'Ispezione del Lavoro, 64 pp. Ufficio del Lavoro, Ministero di Agricoltura, Industria e Commercio, 1904.
These four volumes are the first of a new series of publications issued by the bureau of labor of the Italian department of agriculture, industry, and commerce. They contain the results of inquiries conducted by that office upon the application of certain laws enacted by Parliament for the betterment of conditions among the working classes. The first volume of the series relates to the operation of the act of June 15, 1893, governing the creation of councils of prudhommes for the settlement of industrial disputes. This report consists of three parts, the first containing a discussion of the means provided by law for the organization of the boards, the second dealing with their functions, and the third with their jurisdiction and powers. Certain defects existing in the terms of the present law are pointed out and measures for their correction are suggested. The facts presented in the report are illustrated by means of several tabular statements.
The second volume, which is designed to assist in the application of article 6 of the law of June 19, 1902, governing the employment of women and children, consists of an inquiry into the essential requisites necessary to the support and maintenance of a maternity fund. The first portion of the report contains a brief account of the movement in Parliament for the creation of a fund of this character and of the investigations undertaken in connection therewith by the ministry of agriculture, industry, and commerce, and subsequently by the bureau of labor. The second half of the report is devoted entirely to tables.
In the third number of the series are published the results of an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the employment of young boys (carusi) as laborers in the sulphur mines of Sicily. The first part of the report is devoted to an examination of the principal literature bearing on the subject of child labor in the mines, together with a summary of the recommendations made by eminent writers with a view to alleviating the conditions under which the children are compelled to work. Other chapters contain a history of the investigation made by the labor office and a discussion of the probable effects upon the sulphur industry of the enforcement of the new law regulating the employment of women and children. The report concludes with a brief examination of the measures necessary to correct the limited scope and efficacy of the present law.
The fourth volume contains a study of the labor-inspection service in Italy as organized under the provisions of existing labor laws. The report consists of three parts, the first tracing the origin and development of the inspector's office, the second explaining its present organization and powers, and the third describing the investigations conducted by the labor bureau among the persons interested in its operation. The last chapter comprises a summary of the replies made by various employers' associations, labor exchanges, and other organizations to the inquiries sent out by the bureau concerning the efficacy and needs of the inspection service.