Vanderbilt Law Review


Lawrence Joseph

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Cases under workers' compensation systems that concern mental disabilities present special problems in the determination of causation. In this Article Mr. Joseph argues that the complexities inherent in a decision whether a mental disability has arisen out of employment force administrative agencies and courts in these cases to engage in normative evaluative inquiries. These inquiries, according to Mr. Joseph, result in findings that potentially frustrate the underlying compromise policy of workers' compensation systems; these evaluative decisions create classes of claimants that may be under or over inclusive. Mr. Joseph describes several possible solutions to this problem and concludes by reviewing Professor Burton's proposal of a "Worker's Disease Protection Act." This Act would allow recovery for disabilities of unknown etiology regardless of causation and, Mr. Joseph argues, is a systemic solution that deserves serious consideration.

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