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Colonial Cases

Barzilai v. Schwartz, 1932

[worker's compensation]

Barzilai v. Schwartz

District Court, Jerusalem
Source: The Palestine Post, 15 December 1932




Before His Honour the President in Chambers

Dispute about meaning of Undertaker under the Workmen's Compensation Ordinance.


In the Matter of an Arbitration between

Mr. Joseph Barzilai and Mr. Zvi Schwartz.

   In this case which was referred to Judge de Freitas in chambers, according to Section 3 of the third Schedule of the Workmen's Compensation Ordinance 1927, His Honour had to decide whether the owner of a house became an undertaker within the meaning of Section 2 (b) of the ordinance.  Mr. Schwartz, the person for whom the house was being built had contracted with certain people who undertook to put up the house for him.  Schwartz stipulated in the agreement that he was to engage the architect who wads to direct how the work was to be carried out and also that the contractors were to insure the workers employed in the construction of the house.  An accident occurred and the injured workman claimed compensation from Schwartz.  Counsel for the claimant contended, (1) that Schwartz should be considered as the undertaker because the architect who was to see to everything was his nominee and agent (2) because of the provision which Schwartz had made in the agreement with contractors who were to insure his workmen which they, however, had failed to do.

   His Honour held that in the circumstances Schwartz could not be considered an undertaker according to the meaning given to the weird by the Ordinance and therefore was not liable.

   His Honour added that the Government would be well advised to consider very earnestly whether legislation should not be introduced to compel undertakers to insure their workman against injury or at any rate to ensure that workmen will be able to gather the fruits of an award in their favour for injury suffered.

   Mr. Bat-Shira appeared for the Claimant; Mr. Olshan for the Respondent.

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School