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2. What per cent. of married, also of single men received any compensation?
3. What is the average compensation which married men, also single men, killed in the due course of their employment, receive?
4. What is the average amount of court costs and attorney fees which married and single men injured and killed must pay out of their compensation received in and out of court on account of their injuries.
5. What the economic effect upon children and dependents of workmen injured and killed in the due course of their employment where the recoveries of compensation is based upon fault of the employer?
6. What does the present system of compensating injured workmen cost the employers and the state?
7. What are the economic effects upon society of the present method of compensating (or lack of compensation of) injured workmen growing out of their employment ?
8. What effect does the lack of compensation or inadequate compensation of workmen for their injuries or of the dependents in case the worker is killed or permanently injured upon increasing the insane, criminal and poverty classes of society?
Similar investigations have been made at great expense by the Employers' Liability Commissions of New York, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota, and the Russell Sage Foundation in Allegheny County, Pa.
The report of the experts, Emile E. Watson, William P. Harms and William Peacock, who were employed by the Commission on Fatal Accidents follows below and the general results substantiate the conclusion of the investigations of the foregoing commnissions set forth above on page xxxvi.
On October 20th, 1910, the Employers' Liability Commission realizing the necessity of making an expert investigation of the actual compensation paid those workmen who are injured in industrial occupations in Ohio, authorized the Chairman to select experts to investigate the amounts of compensation paid by employers on account of the partial and total disability of married men injured and the compensation paid dependents of married men killed in industrial accidents and their economic effect, during the years 1905-1910, inclusive, in Cuyahoga county and in other counties of Ohio.
On the 25th of October the Chairman succeeded in employing Mr. E. E. Watson of Chicago, Illinois. Mr. Watson had previously served as investigator on the Commission of Employers' Liability and workmen's compensation of Illinois and was acting as investigator of the Commission of Illinois on Occupational Diseases under the direction of Professor Charles R. Henderson who recommended him in the highest terms, for the work contemplated by the Ohio Commission.
Mr. William P. Harms had also been investigator on the Commission of Occupational Diseases and came to us with recommendation of Professor C. R. Henderson.
Aside from this special training Mr. Watson and Mr. Harms have a collegiate training, the former having the degree of M. A. Mr. William Peacock is a graduate of a university and a Law School and comes to us with the highest recommendation of Dean Hall of the University of Chicago Law School.
We give below the report on Fatal Accidents during the period 1905 to 1910, inclusive, as compiled and arranged by Mr. E. E. Watson. The investigators expect to finish their report on non-fatal accidents for the same period 1905-1910 in Cuvahoga County, Ohio, about the first of March.
THE MAIN FINDINGS OF OUR INVESTIGATION OF FATAL INDUS
FORM D. There was a settlement made for 370 fatal industrial accidents of $351,200. Approximately one-half (52%) of this amount was paid for 12% of these accidents, whereas the remaining half was distributed among 88% of the cases. Sixty per cent of the cases received amounts ranging somewhere between $50 and $500.
The results of the investigation may be summarily stated as follows:
1. FATAL CASES.
(a) A settlement was made with the dependents in thirty-six per cent of all the cases, and in forty-two per cent of those in which the decedent leit a widow. In practically all of these cases an amicable settlement was made with the representative of the deceased, afrointed by the probate court, either out of court in the first instance or after the institution of a suit.
(b) The amount received varied from funeral expenses to $5,000. The average amount for all the cases was $829.10, and $1,045,54 in those cases where the decedent was married. Twenty cases settled under the Norris Act raise these figures to $958 and $1.220.41 respectively, an increase in each of about sixteen per cent.
(c) Approximately one-fourth of the amount received was paid out as plaintiffs' attorney fees and court costs.
(d) The average time required in which to secure those settlements which were made in court was one year, one and one-half months.
(e) Fifty-six per cent of the widows visited and eighteen per cent of the children were forced to go to work to earn a livelihood as a result of the industrial accidents.
The aggregate numbers from which these percentages and averages were derived are given in the tables.
B. THE NON-FATAL CASES.
As stated elsewhere, the investigation of the non-fatal cases at this stage is cornflete only with regard to those cases in which the injured employe sought
+We reserve to deal with the question of trade hazards, wages, and occupations in our final report.
redress through the courts. Settlement was secured in seventy-eight per cent of the cases instituted and seventy-two per cent of these were amicably settled as the day set for trial approached. The amounts received vary all the way from $25 for a bruised finger to $12,000 for the loss of both arms. In view of this fact the determination of the average amount of settlement was deemed inexpedient; and lack of space precludes an individual compilation of the 200 cases in which both the nature of the injury and the corresponding amount of settlement were ascertained. The average time required in which to effect a settlement was one year and a half. The plaintiffs' attorney fees ranged from twenty-five per cent in case of settlement without going to trial, to thirty-three per cent for a court award. The average court costs in these cases (all finally disposed of in the local courts) was $20. The aggregate number of cases from which these percentages and averages are derived is given in the tables.
PER CENT RECEIVING SETTLEMENT IN FATAL CASES.
Table No. 1 represents the legal outcome of all the fatal industrial accidents occurring to residents of Cuyahoga county from November 1, 1905, to March 1, 1910, as shown by the Coroner's records. Being residents of Cuyahoga county their estates would be administered in the Cuyahoga county probate court, and since a settlement would be binding on the next of kin of the decedent only if made with his legal representative, no settlement could be made in legal form unless a record thereof appeared in the probate court. Of the 175 cases fifty-one were settled by order of the probate court; two were awarded recoveries by the court of common pleas; and in ten cases the employer assumed the nominal risk of further litigation by settling with the widow without having letters of administration taken out in the probate court. As the average delay in settlement through the probate court is eight months, and inasmuch as all these accidents occurred prior to March 1, 1910, the possibility that redress will be made in any more of them is very remote. Considered by themselves, forty-two per cent of the cases in which the decedent left a widow show a settlement.
'No awards were made in the US. Circuit Court in any of these. 175 cases AVERAGE AMOUNT RECEIVED IN SETTLEMENT.
An examination of 285 fatal cases proved that the average amount paid per case was $838.61. In 176 of these cases the decedent left a widow and the average settlement was $1,050. The exact figures are given in table No. 2. As this table is included in table No. 3, no further analysis will be made here.
EFFECT OF NORRIS ACT ON THE AMOUNT OF SETTLEMENT.
In table No. 3 are included all the fatal accident cases occurring since the Norris Act took effect on May 12, 1910, and which have been settled without the institution of a suit. In none of these is it possible, of course, to prove that the Norris Act created the liability. But it is submitted that the Norris Act has a tendency to increase the amount of settlement in practically every industrial accident case occurring since its taking effect. The reason is obvious. One effect of the Norris Act is to decrease the number of facts the plaintiff must prove. Consequently the jury will award a larger verdict in a doubtful case under the act; for it is well known that juries gauge the amount of a verdict according to the strength or weakness of the plaintiff's case, no matter how they may be instructed as to a fair preponderance of the evidence being necessary and sufficient to entitle him to recover for all the damages flowing naturally and probably from the wrongful act. And so the amount for which a case could be settled would be larger under the act than previously, because cases are settled with reference to what a jury would be likely to do.
What cases have been settled under the Norris Act seem to bear out this argument.
The twenty cases, as embodied in the table, show that the average increase per case under the Act is sixteen per cent.