Two bills amending the Workmen's Compensation Law' were enacted during the survey year. The first placed a limit of $12,500 on compensation payable for any permanent partial injury, not limited to those set forth in the schedule. It also added the following self-explanatory sentence to the first paragraph of section 50-1027, Tennessee Code Annotated: To receive benefits from the Second Injury Fund, the injured employee must be the employee of an employer who has properly insured his workmen's compensation liability or has qualified to operate under the Tennessee Workmen's Compensation Law as a self-insurer. The second amendment changed the definition of "employee" and the exclusive remedy provision so as to eliminate the election of a legally or illegally employed minor to accept workmen's compensation or prosecute a tort action for work-connected injuries or death. Henceforth, minors will be limited to workmen's compensation benefits, a reversal of the prior rule giving the minor an election of remedies. Thus, minors will be treated as any other employee, which may or may not be of financial advantage to them. For example,the minor employee in Davis v. United States FideZity & Guaranty Co. had previously collected $15,000 in an action for the loss of 75% of his left hand. The instant case was for workmen's compensation for the same injury, which the Tennessee Supreme Court quite properly denied. However, because of the amendment, a similar case should not arise in the future.
J. Gilmer Bowman, Jr.,
Workmen's Compensation -- 1961 Tennessee Survey,
14 Vanderbilt Law Review
Available at: https://scholarship.law.vanderbilt.edu/vlr/vol14/iss4/25