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Inasmuch as the question of employers' liability for injury to workmen is in certain of its aspects a problem of preventive medicine, it is of interest to note the recent decision of a New York court declaring unconstitutional a law of that state providing for the compensation of workmen injured in the line of their duty.
The main feature of the act was that it required employers of labor in certain dangerous occupations, such as bridge-building, operation of elevators, work on scaffolds, work on electric wires, working with explosives, on railroads, tunnels, and work carried on under compressed air, to compensate their employees for any injury occurring during the course of the work, whether or not such injury occurred through the negligence of the workmen. The considerations which justify disregard of the employee's negligence are, first, the difficulty—the practical impossibility—of holding the employer to any responsibility if the employee must
THE FETISH OF PRECEDENT. JAMA. 1911;LVI(13):970-971. doi:10.1001/jama.1911.02560130034018