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case of death; if the death is not due to the original accident, the remaining amount of the compensation is paid to the legal heirs according to the civil law.
These complex provisions are evidently necessary because of the lump-sum basis for measuring compensation. The actual amount of the annuity is dependent upon the age, the value of the annuity purchasable with a definite amount increasing with age. Another peculiarity due to the system of lump-sum payments is that in the case of death of the beneficiary within two years from the day of the accident, if the death was in no way connected with the original accident, the legal heirs inherit the bulk of the compensation, for the annuity is not purchasable until the end of the two years.
COMPENSATION FOR DEATH.—Compensation for death is equal to five times the annual earnings of the victim, except that in deep-sea navigation the amount is smaller, equal to three times the annual earnings only. This definite sum must be distributed among the dependent members of the family as provided for in the following complicated rules:
The dependent relatives are the consort, children or other descendants under 18 years or disabled; parents or other ascendants; and dependent brothers and sisters under 18 years or disabled.
The surviving consort (of either sex) receives
Two-fifths of the compensation, is there are children or other dependent descendants under 18 years of age or disabled because of some physical or mental defect; these descendants receiving the other three-fifths.
One-half of the compensation, if there are no children or other descendants of the classes described but dependent relatives in an ascending line survive; these relatives receiving the other half.
Three-fifths of the compensation, if there are no dependent relatives either in an ascending or descending line, but dependent brothers or sisters under 18 years of age or disabled because of some physical or mental defect; these brothers or sisters receiving the remaining two-fifths.
The entire amount of compensation if no dependent relatives of the classes described survive.
If the surviving consort had been divorced from the deceased through some fault of the consort, he or she is not entitled to any compensation at all.
The surviving children (legal or natural) under 18 years of age and other dependent relatives in a descending line receive three-fifths of the compensation if the other parent survives and the entire amount if no parent survives.
The compensation due to all the children together is to be distributed among them in such a way that each child receives an amount sufficient to purchase a limited annuity of equal value for those under 12 years of age; after reaching the age of 12 the annuity is reduced one-half until the age of 18 is reached, when the payments cease.
If among the descendant heirs there are any who are incapacitated from earning a livelihood because of any physical or mental defect, the share of the indemnity to be given to him is determined by the pretor (justice of the peace) and against his decision there is no appeal. The remainder is distributed among the other children according to the rules explained above.
The relatives in an ascending line are entitled to compensation only when no dependent children survive. They receive one-half of the compensation when the consort survives, or the entire amount of compensation when neither children nor consort survive. The amount due to all relatives in an ascending line is distributed among them in such a way as to provide them with equal life annuities.
Dependent brothers or sisters under 18 years of age, or incapacitated from earning a living because of some physical or mental defect, are entitled to compensation only when no dependent children and no relatives in the ascending line survive. They receive two-fifths of the compensation if the deceased is survived by the consort, and the entire amount of compensation if they are the only surviving relatives recognized under the law. The distribution of the total amount of compensation among these brothers and sisters is to be made according to the same rules which govern the distribution of the compensation among the descendants.
The distribution of the indemnities prescribed by these complicated rules must be effected according to special computation tables prepared by the minister.(a)
These tables of coefficients were published by the royal decree of December 13, 1903, and are given below. They are based upon the probability of life, and in the case of the first table for minor dependents, also upon the length of time the annuity has to run.
The method of using these tables of coefficients is simple. The coefficients of individual dependents belonging to the same group (i. e., either descendants, or brothers and sisters, or ascendants) are added together and the total amount due to that group is divided by this sum of coefficients; the quotient is then multiplied by the coefficient of each dependent to ascertain his or her share.
a In the analysis of the law, whenever the minister is mentioned the minister of agriculture, industry, and commerce is meant unless otherwise stated.
TABLE OF COEFFICIENTS FOR USE IN COMPUTING THE SHARES OF THE SEVERAL
DEPENDENT RELATIVES ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION UNDER THE LAW.
MINOR DEPENDENTS (DESCENDANTS AND BROTHERS AND SISTERS).
22 to 221 years.. 224 to 23 years.. 23 to 234 years. 23; to 24 years. 24 to 24+ years.. 241 to 25 years. 25 to 255 years.. 251 to 26 years. 26 to 26) years.. 264 to 27 years.. 27 to 274 years. 271 to 28 years.. 28 to 284 years. 281 to 29 years.. 29 to 29 years.. 294 to 30 years. 30 to 30 years.. 304 to 31 years. 31 to 311 years. 31 to 32 years. 32 to 32 years. 32. to 33 years. 33 to 33 years. 331 to 34 years.. 34 to 34) years.. 34) to 35 years. 35 to 351 years.. 35 to 36 years.. 36 to 364 years. 361 to 37 years. 37 to 374 years. 371 to 38 years. 38 to 381 years. 38 to 39 years.. 39 to 39) years.. 394 to 40 years.. 40 to 40 years.. 40 to 41 years. 41 to 411 years.
40 38 37 36 35 34 33 32 31 30 30 29 28 27
203 202 201 200 200 199 198 197 196 195 195 194 193 192 191 190 189 188 187 186 185 184 183 182 181 179 178 177 176 175 174 173 172 170 169 168 167 165 164
41} to 42 years.
162 161 159 158 156 155 154 153 151 150 148 147 145 144 142 140 138 137 135 134 132 130 128 126 124 123 121 120 118 116 114 112 110 109 107 105 103 102 100
61 to 614 years..
98 96 94 92 90 88 87 85 84 82 80 78 77 75 74 73 72 70 69 67 66 64 63 61
801 to 81 years.
26 26 25 25 24 24 23
58 57 55 54 53 52 51 50 49 49 48 47 46 45
22 22 21 21 20 19 18 18 17 16 14 12 10
604 to 61
In the absence of any relatives of the classes described, the compensation due is paid into a special fund for payment of indemnities to employees of insolvent employers and for other purposes, which are described in detail in a subsequent section.
The method of distribution of the compensation as outlined above presents many peculiarities which deserve to be emphasized. The designation of the specific classes of relatives entitled to compensa
tion and the specific rules for distribution of compensation, when compared with the earlier drafts of the law designating only the legal heirs, shows progress and a transition from the legal point of view of liability (so much for a death) to the point of view of need. But the transition has not been as complete as in some other laws. hand the compensation is not as great as the maximum allowed under the German, Austrian, or Russian laws, under which the pensions amount to two-thirds of the annual wages. On the other hand, the Italian law presents many cases of possibly excessive compensation, as, for instance, when one minor child or one minor brother, if left the only dependent relative, would receive an enormous annuity or its equivalent up to 18 years, or when only very aged parents survive the annuity that could be purchased for them in view of their high age might be higher than the wages of the deceased. A childless widow may receive the considerable sum of five times the deceased husband's wages, and remarry very soon after that, while almost all similar laws of other European countries provide for the discontinuance of the pension to the widow at her remarriage. A surviving widower may receive part or the whole of the compensation, even if not dependent upon the earnings of the deceased at all. In other words, there is comparatively little correspondence between amount of compensation and need, instead of which there is a fixed relationship between accident and the amount of compensation.
DETERMINATION OF WAGES.
Since all forms of compensation are based upon the annual earnings or daily wages of the injured, the methods of determining these earnings become important. They are strictly defined in the law and regulations. If the annual salary is mentioned in the labor contract, that sum is taken; otherwise the actual annual earnings of the preceding 12 months are taken. If the person injured had been employed less than 12 months, the annual earnings are taken to be equal to 300 times the daily wages. To determine these, the earnings of the employee during all the time of employment up to one year is divided by the number of full days of work rendered, a full day's work being measured by the number of hours of work, usual for the establishment in question. The maximum limit allowed in the computation is 2,000 lire ($386) per annum; for cases of permanent disability as explained above a minimum limit of 500 lire ($96.50) is established. If the injured employee is an apprentice, then the lowest wages of a regular workman in the same industry and occupation, or the one nearest to it, must be taken as a basis.
In case of common day laborers, their actual daily wages are taken, but they must not vary more than 10 per cent from the customary wages for a day laborer in the same locality.
The computations are simpler in case of temporary disability. If the injured person receives time wages, the wages of the day of accident are taken; if piece wages are paid, the daily wages are computed by dividing the earnings within the last 15 days by the number of full days of work, but the result must not be less than the customary minimum wage.
In all computations of wages not only all money payments, but also the value of the payment in kind, according to the average local values must be included.
BURDEN OF PAYMENT.
The cost of compensation falls entirely upon the employer, the owner, or operator of the establishment or undertaking, though indirectly by means of payment of insurance premiums as explained presently. The shifting of the cost upon the employees by direct or indirect deductions from the wages is punishable by fines up to 4,000 lire ($772). When any work is done by contract for the state government, Province, commune, or any public institution, the contractor must meet the cost of insurance. If any workers are employed in the establishment or undertaking who are hired and paid by other employees, the burden of insurance falls upon the proprietor of the enterprise. Whenever the requirements concerning insurance have not been complied with, then in addition to various fines established the liability for the amount of compensation due reverts back to the individual employer.
Compliance with the requirements of the law concerning insurance relieves the employers of all civil responsibility for accident, except when the criminal responsibility for the accident has been placed by a penal sentence of a court upon the employer or manager, or any other person entrusted with supervisory work. In such cases not only the person criminally responsible, but also the employer is civilly liable under the common law for the damages sustained by the injured person.
When a judgment is obtained under this rule against the person civilly liable, only the excess of this judgment over the amount of the insurance is payable to the injured worker or to his heirs. No such judgment must be granted, when in the opinion of the court it would not exceed the amount due under the insurance contract.
The establishment of the civil cases does not relieve the insurer of his obligation to pay the indemnity, but the insurer may sue the person liable for the amount of indemnity paid out. As explained before, the insurer may proceed in the same way against the injured employee, if he has been found criminally responsible for the accident causing