C.V. of Judge Torrey (324.3KB)
This document includes a list of all of Judge Torrey's publications.
Undocumented Workers and Workers' Compensation: A 50-State Review (Torrey & Beck) (742.6KB)
And now, current to 2017: A discussion of the law and policy of undocumented workers and workers' compensation. At the end you will find a 50-state table. I presented this paper at ABA Phoenix 2017. It is co-authored by the talented Pitt Law student Justin D. Beck.
Kyle Black on the PA Reasons Personal/"Personal Animus" Defense (Section 301(c)(1), 77 P.S. sec. 411(1)): The Definitive Brief (778.6KB)
The talented Post & Schell attorney Kyle Black has published the definitive brief on how the Pennsylvania "reasons personal," or "personal animus" defense is properly interpreted. This valuable item was previously published in PBA Workers' Compensation Newsletter No. 128 (Dec. 2016).
Teaching Workers' Comp in Law School (ABA 2012) (1.1MB)
Just before Professor Mike Duff published his top-notch new law school text on WC (2013), Terry Coriden, Tom Domer, and I collaborated (with others!) on a presentation to the ABA work comp lawyers on teaching the field. Here is our seminar paper.
A Response to Neuhauser (August 2016) (311.7KB)
The distinguished Cal-Berkeley researcher Frank Neuhauser calls for the elimination of workers' compensation for most workers. Here is my response.
Book Review, "A Body, Undone" (105.1KB)
Read Dave Torrey's book review of Professor Christina Crosby's memoir, "A Body, Undone" (NYU Press 2016), in which she gives an account of living with post-accident quadriplegia.
"A Prelude to the Welfare State" (Summary) (75.2KB)
Here is my comprehensive summary of Fishback & Kantor's book, A Prelude to the Welfare State (2000).
"The Accidental Republic" (Summary) (619.3KB)
Here is my comprehensive summary of John Fabian Witt's book, The Accidental Republic (2004).
The Opt-out of Workers' Compensation Legislation in the Southern States (468.7KB)
Some large corporations desire to opt-out of workers' compensation. A law passed in Oklahoma allows them to do the same, if they set up an ERISA-governed accident benefit plan. When an employer does so, it retains tort immunity. The employee has no say in the matter. These corporations seek to have such laws passed in other states. In this paper, I argue, among other things, that these proposals reflect overreaching that (1) will take away benefits from the working class and the working poor; (2) reject the social justice foundation of workers' compensation; (3) deprive injured workers of any impartial forum in case of dispute; and (4) exacerbate cost-shifting to other systems, including the cash-strapped SSD and Medicare programs. Opt-out, notably, is not a "movement," nor is it an "innovation." Both of these concepts usually connote progress. Opt-out is, instead, an unconscionable retraction. A state that adopts it has rejected First World values -- to wit, that all those injured at work deserve fair compensation, that due process should exist in case of disputes, and that industrial injury costs should be borne by industry. Employers should value workers' compensation out of a duty to good civics, for the tort immunity it brings (particularly in Pennsylvania), and as a benefit that engenders labor peace.
National Association of Workers' Compensation Judiciary
At the NAWCJ website you will find more studies where I have compared aspects of state workers' compensation systems.
Professional Employer Organizations and Workers' Compensation (478.5KB)
PEO's (also known as employee leasing firms), are often misunderstood by lawyers and other workers' compensation professionals. Here is a judge's stab, from a couple years ago, at figuring the issue out! As I write (May 2014), we comp judges in Pennsylvania see less litigation over employee leasing. Why that is I do not quite know. We also now have a PEO law in our state, though it is largely "toothless." This is so because we still have no licensure or registration requirement. The state does not know whether PEO's are in fact insuring for workers' compensation.
Pennsylvania Law on Extraterritorial/Intraterritorial Coverage (747.0KB)
Workers' compensation coverage generally follows the employee when he or she travels out of state for work. However, the law is a bit more complicated than that. Pennsylvania, on this issue, is one of a handful of states that adopted the Council of State Governments' model law on extraterritoriality. It did so to bring consistency to the law. Here is an account of the Pennsylvania experience. I also address the law of intraterritoriality.
A Short Summary of Other States Coverage (230.3KB)
For extraterritorial coverage to apply, the employer must have secured the correct insurance. Here is a brief summary of the issue.
Finality of WCJ Fact-Finding Among States (334.9KB)
When workers' compensation was introduced a century ago, adjudication within state systems usually featured the first-level judge as a master or referee. A Board or Commission with broad powers was the final fact-finder. In the modern day, however, the judge in nearly half the states is the final fact-finder. This note and the two tables that follow explain, and show, respectively, the approaches taken in the various states.
Attempts at Federalization and Federal Standards for Workers' Compensation: A Short History (308.3KB)
In this essay, for ABA Coral Gables 2013, I took a stab at a brief history of this sensitive topic. I conclude that, despite the "New Federalism," room still exists for imposition of federal standards on state programs. Whether such imposition would be wise is a different story.
Telecommuting and Workers' Compensation (224.4KB)
Here you will find my up-to-date discussion of telecommuting employees and the applicability of workers' compensation.