Last July Rose Florian, then less than 16-years-old, was injured while working in the St. Paul factory of the can company. Her hair caught in the machinery. The injuries that resulted extended to her nerves and neck as well as to her head.
Suing to recover $1,900 damages, plaintiff did not assert that the company was guilty of negligence, but that it violated the state law which prohibits the employment of children between 14 and 16 years of age in any occupation dangerous to life, limb, health or morals.
For the defendant it was argued that the statute prohibition was not absolute; but that, when a child less than 16 has secured from the school authorities, as Rose did, a certificate permitting her to stay away from school for the purpose of working, the school authorities are presumed to have certified that the child is sufficiently competent to engage in ordinary occupations open to persons more than 16-years-old.
Judge Orr accepted the defendant’s view of the matter as in accordance with a late decision of the state supreme court.
St. Paul Globe; “Child Loses Case; Court Holds Permit Removes Employer’s Responsibility”; Jan. 19, 1905; p. 2.