Workers’ compensation and employers’ liability law research leads Dan Murdock (’12) to Vienna, Austria

Photo of Dan Murdock in Vienna

Dan Murdock in Vienna November 2010

Thanks to his research on workers’ compensation and employers’ liability law, Daniel Murdock (’12) recently had the chance to represent Wake Forest University School of Law in Vienna, Austria.

Murdock, who is a JD/MBA, began working on a book chapter on American workers’ compensation and employers’ liability law with Professor Michael Green in May 2010. The chapter is for a book on different nations’ workers’ compensation and employers’ liability law coordinated by the European Centre of Tort and Insurance Law and the Institute for European Tort Law. The book is part of a broader series by the two institutes on insurance and tort law.

Over the summer and early fall Professor Green and Murdock researched and drafted the American report, and on Nov. 5, Murdock attended a working meeting in Vienna.

“I, along with the national reporters from France, Italy, the Netherlands, Romania and Austria, discussed general issues in workers’ compensation and employers’ liability and each of us made 10-15 minute presentations on our national reports,” Murdock explained.

The European national reporters were professors and graduate law students whose research interests are focused on comparative law. “The all-day meeting gave valuable insights into what other national compensation systems look like and what issues in each report should be emphasized,” Murdock said.

In the United States, workers’ compensation occupies the field of employers’ liability and employees are generally prohibited from suing employers when they are physically injured at work. This is not the case in many nations, such as the Netherlands, where the workers’ compensation system was abolished in 1967, or in France where a complex system of social security provides benefits to injured workers, in a system unlike any other in Europe or the United States, Murdock said.

“The opportunity to work on a book chapter on workers’ compensation and travel to Vienna has been a great learning experience,” he added. “Hearing about different national workers’ compensation and employers’ liability systems from reporters from those countries was enlightening and fun. I am grateful to Professor Green and Wake Forest for the opportunity to have had such an amazing experience.”