Board of Health. The fact was revealed that only 74.8 per cent of the children born in the city of New Orleans are ever registered. This disclosure led to the enactment of a city ordinance which eliminated the fee system and requires the physician to report the birth within twenty-four hours, and the parents to register it within ten days.
The importance of such an ordinance for the proper enforcement of the Child Labor Law is self evident. Only by means of carefully granted work permits and thorough inspection of places of employment, can the child be assured the full protection of the law. A work permit must show, first, that the child is of the required age, and this must be proved by documentary evidence,--a birth certificate or written proof, other than the affidavit of the parent or guardian. It seems strange to doubt the parent's word as to the child's age, but it has been proven on innumerable occasions that parents do not hesitate to swear falsely if it seems expedient.
WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION ACT.
On December 18, 1916, Judge Fred. D. King gave Mrs. Effie Boyer, $10,000 damages against the owners of the Crescent Box Factory, as compensation for her being scalped by the machinery of the company. As the inspector was called upon to testify for Mrs. Boyer in this suit, and as Judge King's decision in regard to the' Workmen's Compensation Act is an important one, it is herewith embodied in this report:
Times-Picayune, Dec. 19, 1916:
"Judge Fred D. King, Monday, gave Mrs. Effie Boyer $10,000 damages against John Rengel and Morris Levy, owners of the Crescent Box Factory, as compensation for her being scalped by the machinery of the company. In rendering the decision, Judge King said Mrs. Boyer had been employed by the factory two or three days when her hair was caught by a revolving belt and she was scalped, leaving her head entirely bare. The testimony of Dr. Danna, introduced by the defendant, concurred that the injury was serious. Dr. Danna had made a graft of skin on the scalped head in an endeavor to secure a growth of hair, and even from that operation she had suffered intense pain, in addition to the pain of scalping. The evidence was plain that the box factory was almost criminally negligent in the way the belt was run. It had provided a small room in which the women could dress and undress, in an establishment where one hundred and fifty women were employed, and the accident occurred two or three days after the employment of the plaintiff, and no notice was given her of the danger of her employment.
The defense was that the case came under the Workmen's Compensation Act, but Judge King held that the Legislature had no power to deprive a person, permanently injured, of the right to sue for damages sustained. If the act did this, the poor woman would get a mere pittance. After studying the act, it was clear to his mind that the measure was intended for the benefit of the working men and women, but if he put upon it the construction defendants contended for, it was an injury to both, because it deprived them of a legal right.
Besides that, under the compensation act itself, it was the duty of the defendant to inform this woman when she entered employment, of the compensation act, and to get her to say whether she accepted