By Michael D. Peabody
Tuesday, June 25, 2019| 83| 1| min read
When the California Legislature established a workers' compensation system in 1913, it was designed to mandate insurance to rapidly provide desperately needed medical treatment and wage loss mitigation to injured workers.
In return, injured workers would not be able to sue in civil court and receive massive verdicts that could bankrupt businesses, or receive punitive damages or "pain and suffering" beyond the scope of the medical findings.
There were three prongs of the Safety Act of 1913, also known as the Boynton Act. First, it provided compensation to injured workers. Second, it required employers to purchase insurance and established a state insurance company, known as the State Compensation Insurance Fund, in case employers could not acquire other insurance coverage. Third, it gave the state power to make and enforce safety rules and regulations, to prescribe safety devices to be used by employees, and to require accidents to be reported.
In other words, the original workers' compensation program provided an "alternative dispute resolution" program to address the particular needs of workplace injuries. The Boynton Act included specific provisions for total temporary disability, ...