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Contracts Exempting Employers from Liability for Negligence, 7 Yale Law Journal 352 (1898)


The negligence, real and imaginary, of employers of labor, gives rise to a large proportion of the lawsuits of every industrial community. Such actions are among the contingencies which are expected and in recent years commonly insured against. To avoid the expense of casualty insurance and the risks of not insuring, the wit of the employer has devised various schemes which have from time to time come before the courts. They are intended to furnish a sort of cheap insurance. It is the object of this article to bring in review some of the principal authorities and seek what answer the courts are giving to the question whether the insurance is as effective as it is economical. The simplest way to attain the result desired by the employer is to adopt the scheme of a contract between employer and employee, under which the latter for a consideration, substantial or nominal, expressly waives all right to recover for personal injury.

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