Judge Torrey’s Book, Dan Schuckers’ Interviews, 31st Annual Fall Section Meeting

This website now features Dan Schuckers’ interviews on the history (and future) of Pennsylvania workers’ compensation. Judge Torrey’s book (a pictorial and narrative history of more than 500 pages) has been published. And our final centennial event is the Fall Section Meeting in October 2015.

Thank you!

Special thanks to our donors and  to all members of the Pennsylvania workers’ compensation bench and bar for joining in our centennial celebrations.


Are you coming to the June 1 Gala?

See Events for more info & registration form. To be sure you can still register contact the Meetings Department at PBA. Phone: 1-800-932-0311 ext 2231. Email: janell.klein@pabar.org.

What should you wear? It will be a gala “gala,” but formal wear is not required. We recommend comfortable business attire.

Congratulations to our essay contest winners

We are pleased to announce the winners of our law student essay contest. Bradley R. Smith, J.D. Candidate Temple University Beasley School of Law 2015, has won the Grand Prize. Catherine M. Contino, J.D. Candidate Villanova University School of Law 2015, has earned the Award of Distinction. Please join us to honor these outstanding scholars at our gala reception and dinner on June 1.


Spring 2015 Regional Ethics CLEs with Receptions, PBI's Tough Problems Course–AND our June 1 Gala!

June 1 Gala Reception & Dinner!

Registration is now open. Buy one ticket or a whole table. Click here for more info and registration form.

April: Six Regional Ethics CLE and casino Receptions, plus PBI”s Tough Problems Course

Now open for registration. No registration required for the receptions. Click here.

IWP Becomes Our Keystone Sponsor!

Welcome to Our Keystone Sponsor!

Injured Workers’ Pharmacy has contributed $25,000 to become our Keystone Sponsor. Thank you, IWP. Have you and your firm signed on as sponsors yet? Click here for more info.

Special Thanks to Krasno Krasno & Onwudinjo!

We are delighted to report that Krasno Krasno & Onwudinjo has made a donation of $10,000, becoming our first sponsor at the “Major casino online Sponsor” level.

Thank you!

For info on our sponsor program, click here.

Before Pennsylvania, Before the U.S., Before England: The Germans as the Progenitors (1884) of No-Fault Liability for Work Accidents

View the article: The Progenitor German Model of Workers’ Compensation

The Pennsylvania Act, and the workers’ compensation system in general, were modeled on the British Workers’ Compensation Acts of 1897 and 1906.  Indeed, early Board and court decisions resolving issues arising under the 1915 Pennsylvania Act frequently invoked the authority of published decisions of English courts.  Those early Pennsylvania adjudicators did so with good reason, as much of the initial Pennsylvania Act was taken word-for-word from its English progenitor.  We learn from  Mr. John Kleeberg’s 2003 article, however, that Germany  –  or to be more precise, Prussia – preceded England in the enactment of social insurance laws.

Kleeberg’s  succinct account.  One will be able to tell  that the more ambitious German model, though influential throughout Europe,  ultimately did not win out in the U.S.

The Relation of Workers’ Compensation Enactments to the Growth of Occupational Medicine and Industrial Hygiene

View the article: The Relation of Workers’ Compensation Enactments to the Growth of Occupational Medicine and Industrial Hygiene

The enactment of workers’ compensation laws impacted the budding field of occupational medicine and also spawned the field of industrial hygiene.  An account of this phenomenon is found in Dr. Christopher Sellers’ book Hazards of the Job: From Industrial Disease to Environmental Health Science (UNC Press 1997).  Sellers, a history professor at SUNY-Stony Brook, explains how the dangerous work conditions attendant to the industrial revolution gave rise to an interest, in many quarters, in how worker health could be better protected. Read the full essay at the link above for an account of this remarkable history.

Before Workers’ Compensation: Work Injuries in Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle

View the article: Work Injuries in Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle

Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, published in 1906, is the classic novel depicting the difficult lives of workers in the meat-packing industry in Chicago during the first decade of the last century.  Work injuries, in this pre-workers’ compensation era, are depicted in the book as the proximate cause of many disasters to befall the struggling immigrant family which is the focus of the novel’s action.  Read Judge Torrey’s complete review of this literary classic to learn more about the work conditions that, in part, gave rise to the need and desire for workers’ compensation laws.

Professor Francis H. Bohlen: Father of Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation?

View the essay: Professor Francis H. Bohlen: Father of Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation?

Is there a father of Pennsylvania workers’ compensation?  If so, a leading candidate is surely University of Pennsylvania Professor Francis H. Bohlen (1868-1942).  Bohlen was one of the great tort experts of his time, but in the second decade of the 20th century he was also one of the champions of a workers’ compensation law in Pennsylvania.  Then, when the law was enacted, he became the first counsel to the Workmen’s Compensation Board.  This note details further Bohlen’s involvement in the early days of the system.