Open main menu

Page:Harvard Law Review Volume 2.djvu/239

This page needs to be proofread.


broader rule prevails. In Wyoming the exceptions are limited to injuries occasioned by the rolling-stock, — a phrase which in time will be frequently before the courts for definition. In Montana the employee and the passenger are treated, in many respects, with the same consideration. In three of these jurisdictions — Iowa, Wisconsin, and Wyoming — any attempt to contravene the statute by contract or otherwise is expressly prohibited. In one — Kansas — such an attempt, although not expressly prohibited, is not sus- tained by the courts. Of these six jurisdictions, one only has repealed the statutory provisions. In the other five they remain in full force and operation. Whenever contracts in contraven- tion of the statute, however, are allowed, the will of the Legisla- ture is easily thwarted.

The next step in the history of legislation on this subject is an important one. The harshness of the rule of non-liability of em- ployers, increased rather than diminished by the constant flow of decisions, led to an extensive agitation of the question in England, in which the workingmen*s associations took a prominent part. In 1877 the attention of Parliament was called to the subject, but it was not till 1880 that "The Employers' Liability Act " ^ was finally passed. The provisions of this act are as follows : —

" Where, after the commencement of this act, personal injury is caused to a workman —

(i.) By reason of any defect in the condition of the ways, works, machinery, or plant, connected with or used in the business of the em- ployer; or

(2.) By reason of the neg:ligence of any person in the service of the employer who has any superintendence intrusted to him whilst in the exercise of such superintendence ; or

(3.) By reason of the negligence of any person in the service of the employer to whose orders or directions the workman at the time of the injury was bound to conform and did conform, where such injury resulted from his having so coof ormed ; or

(4.) By reason of the act or omission of any person in the service of the employer done or made in obedience to the rules or by-laws of the employer, or in obedience to particular instructions given by any person delegated with the authority of the employer in that behalf ; or

(5.) By reason of the negligence of any person in the service of the

employer who has the charge or control of any signal, points, locomotive

engine, or train upon a railway, —

the workman, or in case the injury results in death, the leg^ personal represen-

tatives of the workman, and any persons entitled in case of death, shall have the

1 43 and 44 Vict, c. 42.