Dubai Aluminium Company Ltd v Salaam and Others: QBD 17 Jul 1998

A partner is vicariously liable for the acts of his partner in equity as well as in tort. Where a partner acted as accessory to a breach of trust he acted as a constructive trustee. A settlement of and action on this basis was enforceable in a later claim.

Judges:

Rix J

Citations:

Times 04-Sep-1998, [1998] EWHC 1204 (Comm), [1999] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 415

Links:

Bailii

Statutes:

Partnership Act 1890 10

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

Appeal fromDubai Aluminium Company Limited v Salaam and others CA 7-Apr-2000
The liability of a firm for the wrongful acts of one partner is not limited to tortious acts creating liability in common law, but includes all wrongful acts or omissions, including a knowing assistance in a fraudulent scheme. A solicitor who . .
At First InstanceDubai Aluminium Company Limited v Salaam and Others HL 5-Dec-2002
Partners Liable for Dishonest Act of Solicitor
A solicitor had been alleged to have acted dishonestly, having assisted in a fraudulent breach of trust by drafting certain documents. Contributions to the damages were sought from his partners.
Held: The acts complained of were so close to . .
See AlsoDubai Aluminium Co Ltd v Al Alawi and Others ComC 3-Dec-1998
The claimants had brought proceedings against their former sales manager for accepting bribes and secret commission from outsiders. In support of their claim the claimants had obtained a search and seizure order and a worldwide freezing injunction, . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Company, Legal Professions, Torts – Other

Updated: 19 May 2022; Ref: scu.80148

Broom v Morgan: CA 1953

The plaintiff and her husband were employed by the defendant to manage and work in a beer and wine house. The Plaintiff was injured through the negligence of her husband in the course of his employment. In an action by her against the defendant in respect of the injury . .
Held: Where a servant while acting in the scope of his employment negligently harms another the fact that his relationship to the injured person is such that suit cannot be brought against him does not relieve the master from liability. An employer was liable to a person injured by the negligence of his servants, notwithstanding the legal immunity of the servants from action at the suit of the injured party, and, therefore the defendant was liable to the plaintiff, despite the inability of the plaintiff to sue her husband in respect of the injury.
Denning LJ said that the master’s liability for the negligence of his servant is not a vicarious liability but a liability of the master himself going to his failure to see that his work is properly and carefully done. The master’s liability is his own liability and remains on him notwithstanding the immunity of the servants, but even if the master’s liability is a vicarious liability, the husband’s immunity is a mere rule of procedure, and not a rule of substantive law. It is an immunity from suit and not and immunity from duty or liability and so, on that view of the law also, the master would be liable for the negligence of the servant.

Judges:

Denning LJ

Citations:

[1953] 1 QB 597

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedCox v Ministry of Justice SC 2-Mar-2016
The claimant was working in a prison supervising working prisoners. One of them dropped a bag of rice on her causing injury. At the County Curt, the prisoner was found negligence in the prisoner, but not the appellant for vicarious liability. The . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Negligence

Updated: 18 May 2022; Ref: scu.606510

MacMillan v Wimpey Offshore Engineers and Constructors Ltd: 1991

Citations:

1991 SLT 515

Statutes:

Offshore Installations (Operational Safety, Health and Welfare) Regulations 1976

Jurisdiction:

Scotland

Cited by:

CitedMajrowski v Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust HL 12-Jul-2006
Employer can be liable for Managers Harassment
The claimant employee sought damages, saying that he had been bullied by his manager and that bullying amounting to harassment under the 1997 Act. The employer now appealed a finding that it was responsible for a tort committed by a manager, saying . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Health and Safety

Updated: 17 May 2022; Ref: scu.243289

Ross Hillman v Bond: 1974

An employer can be found to be causing or permitting an employee to overload a vehicle when he was acting in the course of his employment even though the employer is unaware of the employee’s exact activities.

Citations:

[1974] QB 435

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedCambridgeshire County Council v Associated Lead Mills Ltd ChD 22-Jul-2005
The prosecutor appealed dismissal of the charge of driving a heavy commercial vehicle on a road which was subject to a maximum weight restriction in breach of the 1984 Act. The company denied that it had any knowledge of the actual route taken by . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Road Traffic, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 17 May 2022; Ref: scu.229018

Turberville v Stampe: 1698

A master is responsible for all acts done by his servant in the course of his employment, even though he may have given no particular directions.

Judges:

Holt CJ

Citations:

(1698) 1 Ld Raym 264, [1697] Carth 425

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedCox v Ministry of Justice SC 2-Mar-2016
The claimant was working in a prison supervising working prisoners. One of them dropped a bag of rice on her causing injury. At the County Curt, the prisoner was found negligence in the prisoner, but not the appellant for vicarious liability. The . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability

Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.606463

Boson v Sandford and Others: 1629

A shipper of goods sued the ship owner for damage caused by the negligence of the master. Eyre J held that there was no difference between a land carrier and a water carrier, and therefore the owners were under a special liability as carriers for the acts of their servants; but Holt CJ rested his judgment on the broad principle that ‘whoever employs another is answerable for him, and undertakes for his care to all that make use of him’.
Both master and part owners of a ship are liable; but part-owners must be joined. Trespass on the case on a special verdict, the case was, A. loaded goods in good plight on board a ship, which commonly carried goods in safety from Topsham to London, and from London to Topsham, for reasonable freight (the danger of the seas only excepted) ; and ’tis found that these goods were damnify’d otherwise than by the sea ; that the goods were delivered to the master of the ship, that the plaintiff did not know the part-owners ; that the owners had the money agreed for the freight;
and farther, that there were more owners than the now
defendant.
Upon this case three points do arise.
1. Whether the action lay against the owners or against the master.
2. Whether the action be well brought against some of the part-owners only.
3. Admitting it is not, whether it be good nom, it being waved, arid not pleaded in abatement’?

Judges:

Eyre J, Holt CJ

Citations:

(1691) 2 Salk 440

Links:

Commonlii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedMohamud v WM Morrison Supermarkets plc SC 2-Mar-2016
The claimant had been assaulted and racially abused as he left a kiosk at the respondent’s petrol station by a member of staff. A manager had tried to dissuade the assailant, and the claim for damages against the supermarket had failed at first . .
See AlsoBoson v Sandford and others 1724
. .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Transport

Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.606512

Holliday v National Telephone Company: CA 1899

A passer-by on the highway was injured through the negligence of an independent contractor.
Held: The employer was liable.
A L Smith LJ said: ‘The defence is that the defendants are not liable in respect of the injury sustained by the plaintiff, because it was occasioned by the negligence of an independent contractor for whom they are not responsible. In my opinion, since the decision of the House of Lords in Hughes v. Percival (1883) 8 App. Cas. 443, and that of the Privy Council in Black v. Christchurch Finance Co. [1894] A C 48, it is very difficult for a person who is engaged in the execution of dangerous works near a highway to avoid liability by saying that he has employed an independent contractor, because it is the duty of a person who is causing such works to be executed to see that they are properly carried out so as not to occasion any damage to persons passing by on the highway.’

Judges:

A L Smith LJ

Citations:

[1899] 2 QB 392

Cited by:

CitedWoodland v Essex County Council SC 23-Oct-2013
The claimant had been seriously injured in an accident during a swimming lesson. She sought to claim against the local authority, and now appealed against a finding that it was not responsible, having contracted out the provision of swimming . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 15 May 2022; Ref: scu.516944

Boson v Sandford and others: 1724

Citations:

[1724] EngR 60, (1724) Comb 116, (1724) 90 ER 377 (B)

Links:

Commonlii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

See AlsoBoson v Sandford and Others 1629
A shipper of goods sued the ship owner for damage caused by the negligence of the master. Eyre J held that there was no difference between a land carrier and a water carrier, and therefore the owners were under a special liability as carriers for . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability

Updated: 15 May 2022; Ref: scu.389164

Sir Robert Wayland’s Case: 1795

Holt CJ said: ‘the master at his peril ought to take care what servant he employs; and it is more reasonable that he should suffer for the cheats of his servant than strangers and tradesmen’.

Judges:

Holt CJ

Citations:

[1795] EngR 3131, (1795) 3 Salk 234, (1795) 91 ER 797 (A)

Links:

Commonlii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedMohamud v WM Morrison Supermarkets plc SC 2-Mar-2016
The claimant had been assaulted and racially abused as he left a kiosk at the respondent’s petrol station by a member of staff. A manager had tried to dissuade the assailant, and the claim for damages against the supermarket had failed at first . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Employment

Updated: 15 May 2022; Ref: scu.355476

Middleton v Fowler and Others: 1795

For the master to be liable the servant’s act had to be within the area of the authority given to him.

Judges:

Holt CJ

Citations:

[1795] EngR 2573, (1795) 1 Salk 282, (1795) 91 ER 247 (C)

Links:

Commonlii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedMohamud v WM Morrison Supermarkets plc SC 2-Mar-2016
The claimant had been assaulted and racially abused as he left a kiosk at the respondent’s petrol station by a member of staff. A manager had tried to dissuade the assailant, and the claim for damages against the supermarket had failed at first . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability

Updated: 15 May 2022; Ref: scu.354918

Thomas Duncan, Treasurer To The Trustees Of The Perth And Dundee Turnpike Road v James Findlater: HL 23 Aug 1839

Trustees appointed under a Public Road Act are not responsible for an injury occasioned by the negligence of the men employed in making or repairing the road.
The funds raised by such Act cannot be charged with compensation for such an injury; the persons employed on the road not being in the situation of servants to the trustees.

Citations:

[1839] EngR 1005, (1839) 6 Cl and Fin 894, (1839) 7 ER 934

Links:

Commonlii

Jurisdiction:

Scotland

Cited by:

CitedCox v Ministry of Justice SC 2-Mar-2016
The claimant was working in a prison supervising working prisoners. One of them dropped a bag of rice on her causing injury. At the County Curt, the prisoner was found negligence in the prisoner, but not the appellant for vicarious liability. The . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability

Updated: 15 May 2022; Ref: scu.311537

Hern v Nichols: 1700

The plaintiff brought an action on the case for deceit, alleging that he bought several parcels of silk under a fraudulent representation by the defendant’s factor that it was another kind of silk. The factor was operating overseas and there was no evidence of deceit on the part of the defendant personally.
Held: Tthe defendant was nevertheless liable. Sir John Holt discussed the liability of an employer for the acts of his employee: ‘seeing somebody must be a loser by this deceit, it is more reasonable that he that employs and puts a trust and confidence in the deceiver should be a loser, than a stranger.’

Judges:

Sir John Holt CJ

Citations:

[1700] 1 Salkeld 289

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedRose v Plenty CA 7-Jul-1975
Contrary to his employers orders, a milkman allowed children to assist him in his milkround. One was injured, and sued the milkman’s employer.
Held: The milkman had not gone so far outside the activities for which he was employed for the . .
CitedBarwick v English Joint Stock Bank 1867
When considering the vicarious liability of a master for the acts of his servant, no sensible distinction could be drawn between the case of fraud and any other wrong. The general rule was that: ‘the master is answerable for every such wrong of the . .
CitedMohamud v WM Morrison Supermarkets plc SC 2-Mar-2016
The claimant had been assaulted and racially abused as he left a kiosk at the respondent’s petrol station by a member of staff. A manager had tried to dissuade the assailant, and the claim for damages against the supermarket had failed at first . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Torts – Other

Updated: 15 May 2022; Ref: scu.278321

Radley v London Council: 1909

Citations:

(1909) 109 LT 162

Cited by:

CitedBrown v Robinson and Sentry PC 14-Dec-2004
(Jamaica) The deceased claimant had been shot by a sentry employed by the respondent company. His estate appealed a finding that the sentry was not acting in the course of his employment.
Held: Older authorities had now been replaced by recent . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability

Updated: 13 May 2022; Ref: scu.220486

Poland v Parr (John) and Sons: CA 1926

A carter, who had handed over his wagon and was going home to his dinner, struck a boy whom he suspected, wrongly but on reasonable grounds, of stealing his master’s property.
Held: The master was responsible. A servant has implied authority, at least in an emergency, to protect his master’s property.
To fix a master with liability for an unauthorised mode of performing an authorised act, the act must be sufficiently connected with the authorised act as to be a mode of doing it.
Scrutton LJ said: ‘Maybe his action was mistaken and maybe the force he used was excessive; he might have pushed the boy instead of striking him. But that was merely acting in excess of what was necessary in doing an act which he was authorized to do. The excess was not sufficient to take the act out of the class of authorized acts.’
Atkin LJ said: ‘I am of the same opinion. With great respect to the learned judge I think his judgment goes wrong where he says ‘The blot, the failure in this case is that he [Hall] was not then in fact acting in the course of his employment . . nor was he in fact doing an act incidental to it.’ The learned judge took the view that the servant was not doing an authorized act, because he was not doing an act of the class which was expressly authorized, and therefore his act could not be authorized. Bank of New South Wales v. Owston shows that to be an erroneous view. The learned judge has not given enough weight to the consideration that a servant may be impliedly authorized in an emergency to do an act different in kind from the class of acts which he is expressly authorized or employed to do. Any servant is as a general rule authorized to do acts which are for the protection of his master’s property. I say ‘authorized,’ for though there are acts which he is bound to do, and for which therefore his master is responsible, it does not follow that the servant must be bound to do an act in order to make his master responsible for it.’

Judges:

Scrutton, Atkin LJJ

Citations:

[1927] 1 KB 236, [1926] All ER 177

Cited by:

CitedBrown v Robinson and Sentry PC 14-Dec-2004
(Jamaica) The deceased claimant had been shot by a sentry employed by the respondent company. His estate appealed a finding that the sentry was not acting in the course of his employment.
Held: Older authorities had now been replaced by recent . .
CitedKeppel Bus Co v Ahmad PC 20-May-1974
Singapore – The respondent, the plaintiff was a passenger in a bus belonging to the appellants. They employed as conductor of the bus the second defendant. The conductor treated an elderly lady passenger in a high-handed and rude fashion. The . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability

Updated: 13 May 2022; Ref: scu.220484

Warren v Henlys Ltd: 1948

A garage attendant, as an act of personal vengeance, assaulted a customer of the garage. A customer at a petrol station was abused by the attendant as he drove off without paying. The customer then paid. He complained to the police officer he found about the attendant’s conduct and persuaded the officer to return with him to the petrol station. The officer listened to both men and indicated that he did not think that it was a police matter, whereupon the customer said that he would report the attendant to his employer. The officer was on the point of leaving, when the attendant punched the customer in the face, knocking him to the ground. The customer, who now sued the employer.
Held: The employers were not liable. The act of assault was one of personal revenge, and was outside the scope of his employment. By the time that the assault happened the customer’s business with the petrol station had ended, the petrol had been paid for and the customer had left the premises. When he returned with the police officer it was for the purpose of making a personal complaint about the attendant. The attendant reacted violently to being told that the customer was going to report him to his employer, but there was no basis for holding the employer vicariously liable for that behaviour.

Judges:

Hilbery J

Citations:

[1948] 2 All ER 935

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedLister and Others v Hesley Hall Ltd HL 3-May-2001
A school board employed staff to manage a residential school for vulnerable children. The staff committed sexual abuse of the children. The school denied vicarious liability for the acts of the teachers.
Held: ‘Vicarious liability is legal . .
CitedMattis v Pollock (T/A Flamingo’s Nightclub) QBD 24-Oct-2002
The claimant sought damages after being assaulted by a doorman employed by the defendant.
Held: The responsibility of the nightclub owner for the actions of his aggressive doorman was not extinguished by the separation in time and place from . .
CitedMohamud v WM Morrison Supermarkets plc SC 2-Mar-2016
The claimant had been assaulted and racially abused as he left a kiosk at the respondent’s petrol station by a member of staff. A manager had tried to dissuade the assailant, and the claim for damages against the supermarket had failed at first . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability

Updated: 13 May 2022; Ref: scu.214875

Ilkiw v Samuels: CA 1963

The plaintiff was injured by the careless manouvering of a lorry by the defendant’s employee.
Held: When considering the vicarious liability of an employer, the proper approach to the nature of the servant’s employment is a broad one. Referring to nouns such as ‘sphere’ and ‘scope’: ‘As each of these nouns implies the matter must be looked at broadly, not dissecting the servant’s task into its component activities – such as driving, loading, sheeting and the like – by asking: what was the job on which he was engaged for his employer? and answering that question as a jury would.’
As to distinctions between restrictions on the sphere of employment and restrictions on conduct within that sphere of employment: ‘the decision into which of these two classes the prohibition falls seems to me to involve first determining what would have been the sphere, scope, course (all these nouns are used) of the servant’s employment if the prohibition had not been imposed. As each of these nouns implies, the matter must be looked at broadly, not dissecting the servant’s task into its component activities – such as driving, loading, sheeting and the like – by asking: what was the job on which he was engaged for his employer? and answering that question as a jury would.’

Judges:

Diplock LJ

Citations:

[1963] 1 WLR 991

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedLister and Others v Hesley Hall Ltd HL 3-May-2001
A school board employed staff to manage a residential school for vulnerable children. The staff committed sexual abuse of the children. The school denied vicarious liability for the acts of the teachers.
Held: ‘Vicarious liability is legal . .
CitedMajrowski v Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust CA 16-Mar-2005
The claimant had sought damages against his employer, saying that they had failed in their duty to him under the 1997 Act in failing to prevent harassment by a manager. He appealed a strike out of his claim.
Held: The appeal succeeded. The . .
CitedRose v Plenty CA 7-Jul-1975
Contrary to his employers orders, a milkman allowed children to assist him in his milkround. One was injured, and sued the milkman’s employer.
Held: The milkman had not gone so far outside the activities for which he was employed for the . .
CitedReynolds v Strutt and Parker LLP ChD 15-Jul-2011
The defendant had organised a team bonding day, including a cycling event. The claimant employee was severely injured falling from his cycle. He said that the defendant had been engligent in not providing cycling helmets. The circuit hosting company . .
CitedReynolds v Strutt and Parker LLP ChD 15-Jul-2011
The defendant had organised a team bonding day, including a cycling event. The claimant employee was severely injured falling from his cycle. He said that the defendant had been engligent in not providing cycling helmets. The circuit hosting company . .
CitedCox v Ministry of Justice SC 2-Mar-2016
The claimant was working in a prison supervising working prisoners. One of them dropped a bag of rice on her causing injury. At the County Curt, the prisoner was found negligence in the prisoner, but not the appellant for vicarious liability. The . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability

Updated: 13 May 2022; Ref: scu.214668

Irving and Irving v Post Office: CA 1987

The defendant’s employee disliked his neighbours – the plaintiffs. Whilst working in the sorting office, he wrote racially abusive materials on letters addressed to them. The plaintiffs appealed a finding that the defendant was not liable because the acts were not carried out as part of the employee’s work.
Held: The test was whether the act was merely unauthorised, or whether it was entirely outside the scope of the employment. The employee had not merely done something as a prohibited mode of carrying out his work. The employment merely gave him the opportunity to carry them out.

Citations:

[1987] IRLR 289

Statutes:

Race Relations Act 1976 1(1)(a) 32(1)

Cited by:

CitedLister and Others v Hesley Hall Ltd HL 3-May-2001
A school board employed staff to manage a residential school for vulnerable children. The staff committed sexual abuse of the children. The school denied vicarious liability for the acts of the teachers.
Held: ‘Vicarious liability is legal . .
CitedGravil v Carroll and Another CA 18-Jun-2008
The claimant was injured by an unlawful punch thrown by the first defendant when they played rugby. He sought damages also against the defendant’s club, and now appealed from a finding that they were not vicariously liable. The defendant player’s . .
AppliedAB v CD EAT 13-Nov-1997
The claimant had been a cook. A poster was put up at work redrawn to show her in a sexually suggestive pose. The court now considered an appeal agreed by consent by the parties.
Held: Since the case had been heard, the Court of Appeal in Tower . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Discrimination, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 13 May 2022; Ref: scu.214708

Kirby v National Coal Board: OHCS 1958

The court considered the degree of connection necessary between the act of an employee and his employer’s business to establish liability under the rule respondeat superior: ‘four different types of situation have been envisaged as guides to the solution of this problem. In the first place, if the master actually authorised the particular act, he is clearly liable for it. Secondly, where the workman does some work which he is appointed to do, but does it in a way which his master has not authorised and would not have authorised had he known of it, the master is nevertheless still responsible, for the servant’s act is still within the scope of his employment. On the other hand, in the third place, if the servant is employed only to do a particular work or a particular class of work, and he does something outside the scope of that work, the master is not responsible for any mischief the servant may do to a third party. Lastly, if the servant uses his master’s time or his master’s place or his master’s tools for his own purposes, the master is not responsible. . .’ and ‘It is probably not possible and it is certainly inadvisable to endeavour to lay down an exhaustive definition of what falls within the scope of the employment. Each case must depend to a considerable extent on its particular facts.’

Judges:

Lord President Clyde

Citations:

1958 SC 514

Jurisdiction:

Scotland

Cited by:

CitedLister and Others v Hesley Hall Ltd HL 3-May-2001
A school board employed staff to manage a residential school for vulnerable children. The staff committed sexual abuse of the children. The school denied vicarious liability for the acts of the teachers.
Held: ‘Vicarious liability is legal . .
CitedWilliams v A and W Hemphill Ltd HL 1966
Against his employers’s instructions a driver of a lorry deviated substantially from his route. On the detour an accident occurred owing to the fault of the driver. The question arose whether the employers of the lorry driver were vicariously . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability

Updated: 13 May 2022; Ref: scu.214674

Deatons Pty Ltd v Flew: 12 Dec 1949

(High Court of Australia). A barmaid employed by the appellant threw first the beer from a glass, and then the glass in a customer’s face causing injury. The company appealed a find of vicarious liability.
Held: The act of the barmaid was not expressly authorized, it was not so connected with any authorized act as to be a mode of doing it, but was an independent personal act which was not connected with or incidental in any manner to the work which the barmaid was employed to perform. It was an act of passion and resentment and: ‘an act of passion and resentment done neither in furtherance of the master’s interests nor under his express or implied authority nor as an incident to or in consequence of anything the barmaid was employed to do. It was a spontaneous act of retributive justice. The occasion for administering it and the form it took may have arisen from the fact that she was a barmaid but retribution was not within the course of her employment as a barmaid’

Judges:

Latham CJ Dixon, McTiernan, Williams and Webb JJ

Citations:

(1949) 79 CLR 370, [1949] HCA 60

Links:

Austlii

Jurisdiction:

Australia

Cited by:

CitedLister and Others v Hesley Hall Ltd HL 3-May-2001
A school board employed staff to manage a residential school for vulnerable children. The staff committed sexual abuse of the children. The school denied vicarious liability for the acts of the teachers.
Held: ‘Vicarious liability is legal . .
CitedMattis v Pollock (T/A Flamingo’s Nightclub) QBD 24-Oct-2002
The claimant sought damages after being assaulted by a doorman employed by the defendant.
Held: The responsibility of the nightclub owner for the actions of his aggressive doorman was not extinguished by the separation in time and place from . .
CitedGravil v Carroll and Another CA 18-Jun-2008
The claimant was injured by an unlawful punch thrown by the first defendant when they played rugby. He sought damages also against the defendant’s club, and now appealed from a finding that they were not vicariously liable. The defendant player’s . .
CitedMohamud v WM Morrison Supermarkets plc SC 2-Mar-2016
The claimant had been assaulted and racially abused as he left a kiosk at the respondent’s petrol station by a member of staff. A manager had tried to dissuade the assailant, and the claim for damages against the supermarket had failed at first . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability

Updated: 13 May 2022; Ref: scu.214707

Balfron Trustees Ltd v Peterson: CA 2001

The court analysed in detail the decision in Lister v Hesley Hall and continued: ‘All of these passages emphasise the necessity of identifying the duty or responsibility of the employer to the victim. If such a duty or responsibility exists, the employer cannot avoid liability because it was delegated to an employee who failed to comply with his employer’s instructions. Even though the employee’s acts are so heinous that they could not reasonably be said to form part of his obligations vis a vis his employer, they are treated as within the scope of his employment vis a vis the victim, since he was employed to discharge the employer’s duty to the victim. If this analysis is right, then the first issue to be determined is whether or not the employer owed a duty to the victim/claimant. This is, no doubt, an area in which there is room for development (cf White v. Jones [1995] 2 AC 207 in relation to negligence). Whether or not a duty of care of the employer to the victim is involved, there must be some form of responsibility towards the victim. Once there is, the employer cannot escape his obligations by delegating to an employee.’

Judges:

Laddie J, Dyson LJ

Citations:

[2001] IRLR 758

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

ConsideredLister and Others v Hesley Hall Ltd HL 3-May-2001
A school board employed staff to manage a residential school for vulnerable children. The staff committed sexual abuse of the children. The school denied vicarious liability for the acts of the teachers.
Held: ‘Vicarious liability is legal . .

Cited by:

CitedMattis v Pollock (T/A Flamingo’s Nightclub) QBD 24-Oct-2002
The claimant sought damages after being assaulted by a doorman employed by the defendant.
Held: The responsibility of the nightclub owner for the actions of his aggressive doorman was not extinguished by the separation in time and place from . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Employment, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 13 May 2022; Ref: scu.214874

Meux v Great Eastern Railway Co: 1895

The plaintiff sought damages from the railway company for carelessly damaging his goods even though he did not himself have a contract with the company.
Held: A duty was owed by the railway company towards the goods owner, applying cases which had held that a railway company owed a duty of care towards passengers injured by the carelessness of that company’s employee even though the passenger had bought his ticket from another company. No distinction was drawn between an employee injuring the plaintiff and damaging or losing his property.

Citations:

[1895] 2 QB 387

Cited by:

CitedLister and Others v Hesley Hall Ltd HL 3-May-2001
A school board employed staff to manage a residential school for vulnerable children. The staff committed sexual abuse of the children. The school denied vicarious liability for the acts of the teachers.
Held: ‘Vicarious liability is legal . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 13 May 2022; Ref: scu.214711

Central Motors (Glasgow) Ltd v Cessnock Garage and Motor Co: 1925

A night watchman at a garage drove off in a car left there for his own purposes and damaged it.
Held: The garage had delegated to their employee the duty of keeping the car safely secured in the garage and they were liable to the owners of the car for his failure in performance. The Court noted the difficulty which can occur in deciding whether a particular act falls within the ‘purely personal and independent sphere of life and action’ which an employee may enjoy or within the sphere of service: ‘The question is not to be answered merely by applying the test whether the act in itself is one which the servant was employed or ordered or forbidden to do. The employer has to shoulder responsibility on a wider basis; and he may, and often does, become responsible to third parties for acts which he has expressly or impliedly forbidden the servant to do. A servant is not a mere machine continuously directed by his master’s hand, but is a person of independent volition and action, and the employer, when he delegates to him some duty which he himself is under obligation to discharge, must take the risk of the servant’s action being misdirected, when he is, for the time, allowed to be beyond his master’s control. It remains necessary to the master’s responsibility that the servant’s act be one done within the sphere of his service or the scope of his employment, but it may have this character although it consists in doing something which is the very opposite of what the servant has been intended or ordered to do, and which he does for his own private ends. An honest master does not employ or authorise his servant to commit crimes of dishonesty towards third parties; but nevertheless he may incur liability for a crime of dishonesty committed by the servant if it was committed by him within the field of activities which the employment assigned to him, and that although the crime was committed by the servant solely in pursuance of his own private advantage. The servant is a bad servant who has not faithfully served but has betrayed his master; still, quoad the third party injured, his dishonest act may fall to be regarded as an ill way of executing the work which has been assigned to him, and which he has been left with power to do well or ill.’

Judges:

Lord Cullen, Lord President (Clyde)

Citations:

1925 SC 796

Jurisdiction:

Scotland

Cited by:

CitedLister and Others v Hesley Hall Ltd HL 3-May-2001
A school board employed staff to manage a residential school for vulnerable children. The staff committed sexual abuse of the children. The school denied vicarious liability for the acts of the teachers.
Held: ‘Vicarious liability is legal . .
CitedCox v Ministry of Justice SC 2-Mar-2016
The claimant was working in a prison supervising working prisoners. One of them dropped a bag of rice on her causing injury. At the County Curt, the prisoner was found negligence in the prisoner, but not the appellant for vicarious liability. The . .
CitedMohamud v WM Morrison Supermarkets plc SC 2-Mar-2016
The claimant had been assaulted and racially abused as he left a kiosk at the respondent’s petrol station by a member of staff. A manager had tried to dissuade the assailant, and the claim for damages against the supermarket had failed at first . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability

Updated: 13 May 2022; Ref: scu.214710

Cheshire v Bailey: CA 1905

A silversmith hired a coach and coachman from the defendants in order to show his wares to customers around London. But the coachman entered into a conspiracy with others to steal the silver. Held The Court dismissed the claim for damages against the defendant who grounded himself on the basis that the coachman’s activities had constituted a crime which is clearly outside the scope of his employment. The judgment said: ‘It is a crime committed by a person who in committing it severed his connection with his master, and became a stranger; and, as the circumstances under which it was committed are known, it raises no presumption of negligence in the defendant.’

Citations:

[1905] 1 KB 237

Cited by:

No longer good lawMorris v C W Martin and Sons Ltd CA 1965
The plaintiff took her mink stole to the defendants for cleaning. An employee received and stole the fur. The judge had held that the defendants were not liable because the theft was not committed in the course of employment.
Held: The . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability

Updated: 13 May 2022; Ref: scu.214872

Heasmans v Clarity Cleaning Co: CA 1987

A contractor was taken on to clean offices and was given keys. A cleaner made expensive international telephone calls.
Held: The appeal succeeded. The contractor was not vicariously liable for his employee’s acts. There had to be shown some connection beyond opportunity between the servant’s tortious or criminal act and the circumstances of his employment so that it was committed in the course of the servant’s employment; that the mere fact that the servant’s employment had given him access to the plaintiffs’ premises was not enough. To establish vicarious liability there had to be a nexus other than mere opportunity between the circumstances of employment and the wrongful act.

Citations:

[1987] ICR 949

Cited by:

CitedFrans Maas (Uk) Ltd v Samsung Electronics (Uk) Ltd ComC 30-Jun-2004
A large volume of mobile phones were stolen from a warehouse. The owner claimed damages from the bailee. The defendant said that standard terms applied limiting their responsibility to value calculated by weight.
Held: There was a bailment . .
CitedMattis v Pollock (T/A Flamingo’s Nightclub) QBD 24-Oct-2002
The claimant sought damages after being assaulted by a doorman employed by the defendant.
Held: The responsibility of the nightclub owner for the actions of his aggressive doorman was not extinguished by the separation in time and place from . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Employment, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 13 May 2022; Ref: scu.198910

Bugge v Brown: 1919

When an employee acts ‘so as to be in effect a stranger in relation to his employer with respect to the act he has committed’, his employer does not have vicarious liability for his acts.

Judges:

Isaacs J

Citations:

(1919) 26 CLR 110

Cited by:

CitedDubai Aluminium Company Limited v Salaam and Others HL 5-Dec-2002
Partners Liable for Dishonest Act of Solicitor
A solicitor had been alleged to have acted dishonestly, having assisted in a fraudulent breach of trust by drafting certain documents. Contributions to the damages were sought from his partners.
Held: The acts complained of were so close to . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability

Updated: 13 May 2022; Ref: scu.193862

Padbury v Holliday and Greenwood Ltd: 1912

A sub-contractor installing some windows left a tool on a window sill. It blew off, and hit the plaintiff, who now sought to recover damages from the main contractor.
Held: This was an act of collateral negligence by an employee of sub-contractors, and the main contractors were not responsible.

Citations:

[1912] 28 TLR 492

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Vicarious Liability, Personal Injury

Updated: 12 May 2022; Ref: scu.190052

Generale Bank Nederland Nv (Formerly Credit Lyonnais Bank Nederland Nv) v Export Credit Guarantee Department: 1996

The Export Credit Guarantee Department was not liable to the Bank for the loss which the Bank sustained due to the fraud of one of its customers in which an employee was involved.

Judges:

Longmore J

Citations:

[1996] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 200

Cited by:

Appeal fromGenerale Bank Nederland Nv (Formerly Credit Lyonnais Bank Nederland Nv) v Export Credit Guarantee Department CA 23-Jul-1997
The bank claimed that it had been defrauded, and that since an employee of the defendant had taken part in the fraud the defendant was had vicarious liability for his participation even though they knew nothing of it.
Held: Where A becomes . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Employment, Banking, Torts – Other

Updated: 12 May 2022; Ref: scu.183573

Nahhas v Pier House (Cheyne Walk) Management Ltd: 1984

A payment by a third party insurance broker to the daughter of a valued client made for benevolent and commercial reasons did not reduce the claim on the tortfeasor a position which would also, should it have been necessary, have been justified by the ordinary principles of subrogation.

Judges:

Mr Denis Henry QC

Citations:

[1984] 1 EGLR 160, (1984) 270 EG 328

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Vicarious Liability

Updated: 11 May 2022; Ref: scu.538145

Limpus v The London General Omnibus Company: 1861

Citations:

[1861] EngR 53, (1861) 2 F and F 640, (1861) 175 ER 1221

Links:

Commonlii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

See AlsoLimpus v London General Omnibus Company CExC 23-Jun-1862
Vicarious Liability – Act on Employers Business
The driver of an omnibus, seeking to disturb the omnibus of another company, drove his own across the path of another. His employers had furnished him and other drivers with a card saying they ‘must not on any account race with or obstruct another . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Personal Injury

Updated: 11 May 2022; Ref: scu.283813

Dubai Aluminium Company Limited v Salaam and others: CA 7 Apr 2000

The liability of a firm for the wrongful acts of one partner is not limited to tortious acts creating liability in common law, but includes all wrongful acts or omissions, including a knowing assistance in a fraudulent scheme. A solicitor who prepares documents for use in a fraudulent scheme, and gives supporting advice, unbeknown to his partners, is acting outside the ordinary course of business, and his partners are not vicariously liable for his acts.

Judges:

Evans, Aldous LJJ, Turner J

Citations:

Times 21-Apr-2000, [2000] 3 WLR 910, [2000] EWCA Civ 118, [2000] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 168, [2001] QB 113, [2000] PNLR 578, [2000] Lloyd’s Rep PN 497

Links:

Bailii

Statutes:

Partnership Act 1890 10

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

Appeal fromDubai Aluminium Company Ltd v Salaam and Others QBD 17-Jul-1998
A partner is vicariously liable for the acts of his partner in equity as well as in tort. Where a partner acted as accessory to a breach of trust he acted as a constructive trustee. A settlement of and action on this basis was enforceable in a later . .
See AlsoDubai Aluminium Co Ltd v Al Alawi and Others ComC 3-Dec-1998
The claimants had brought proceedings against their former sales manager for accepting bribes and secret commission from outsiders. In support of their claim the claimants had obtained a search and seizure order and a worldwide freezing injunction, . .

Cited by:

Appeal fromDubai Aluminium Company Limited v Salaam and Others HL 5-Dec-2002
Partners Liable for Dishonest Act of Solicitor
A solicitor had been alleged to have acted dishonestly, having assisted in a fraudulent breach of trust by drafting certain documents. Contributions to the damages were sought from his partners.
Held: The acts complained of were so close to . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Company, Legal Professions, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 11 May 2022; Ref: scu.147151

Lister and others v Hesley Hall Ltd: CA 7 Oct 1999

Where a residential worker at a children’s home committed sexual abuse on children within his care, the company running the home were not vicariously liable for the acts themselves, but also were not responsible where the worker did not report his own activities but kept them secret. It was unrealistic to try to separate the acts from the secrecy. Neither was within the course of employment. Waller LJ said: ‘The simple point in this case is that if wrongful conduct is outside the course of employment, a failure to prevent or report that wrong conduct cannot be within the scope of employment so as to make the employer vicariously liable for that failure when the employer was not vicariously liable for the wrongful conduct itself.’

Judges:

Waller LJ

Citations:

Times 13-Oct-1999

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

CitedST v North Yorkshire County Council CA 14-Jul-1998
The court considered the liability of the respondent for sexual assaults committed by an employee teacher when taking students on school trips.
Held: The Local Authority was not vicariously liable for sexual assault committed by employee . .

Cited by:

Appeal fromLister and Others v Hesley Hall Ltd HL 3-May-2001
A school board employed staff to manage a residential school for vulnerable children. The staff committed sexual abuse of the children. The school denied vicarious liability for the acts of the teachers.
Held: ‘Vicarious liability is legal . .
CitedDubai Aluminium Company Limited v Salaam and Others HL 5-Dec-2002
Partners Liable for Dishonest Act of Solicitor
A solicitor had been alleged to have acted dishonestly, having assisted in a fraudulent breach of trust by drafting certain documents. Contributions to the damages were sought from his partners.
Held: The acts complained of were so close to . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Torts – Other

Updated: 10 May 2022; Ref: scu.83090

E v North Yorkshire County Council: CA 10 Sep 1998

Where a teacher abused a handicapped child whilst away on school trip the local authority was not vicariously liable for such behaviour since it was an independent act occurring outside the course of employment even though in loco parentis

Citations:

Times 10-Sep-1998

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Vicarious Liability

Updated: 10 May 2022; Ref: scu.80203

In Re Nelson and Others v Byron Price and Associates Ltd: 1981

(British Columbia Court of Appeal) Craig JA, refused to follow Darling Island to hold that a master could not be held vicariously responsible for the breach of a statutory duty by an employee: ‘In arguing that there should not be vicarious liability in this particular case, counsel for the respondent relied upon the judgment of the High Court of Australia in Darling Island . . . in which three members of the Court expressed the view that a master could not be held vicariously responsible for the breach of a statutory duty by an employee. I do not necessarily subscribe to this view. If policy is the basis for the vicarious liability of a master at common law because of the culpable conduct of his servant, then, logically, it should be, also, the basis for statutory liability, subject, of course, to the intention of the Legislature as expressed under the relevant legislation.’

Judges:

Craig JA, Bull JA and McFarlane JA

Citations:

(1981) 122 DLR (3d) 340

Jurisdiction:

Canada

Citing:

Not FollowedDarling Island Stevedoring and Lighterage Co v Long 1957
(High Court of Australia) An employer was not responsible vicariously for a breach of a duty at common law between one emplyee and another. There could be no vicarious liability on an employer under regulations providing precautions to be observed . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability

Updated: 10 May 2022; Ref: scu.241431

Darling Island Stevedoring and Lighterage Co v Long: 1957

(High Court of Australia) An employer was not responsible vicariously for a breach of a duty at common law between one emplyee and another. There could be no vicarious liability on an employer under regulations providing precautions to be observed in the loading and unloading of ships (for which the regulations provided only a criminal sanction), or at common law, since the regulations only imposed a penalty for breach on the employee (‘the person in charge’), not upon the employer.

Citations:

(1957) 97 CLR 36

Cited by:

Not FollowedIn Re Nelson and Others v Byron Price and Associates Ltd 1981
(British Columbia Court of Appeal) Craig JA, refused to follow Darling Island to hold that a master could not be held vicariously responsible for the breach of a statutory duty by an employee: ‘In arguing that there should not be vicarious liability . .
Not FollowedMajrowski v Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust CA 16-Mar-2005
The claimant had sought damages against his employer, saying that they had failed in their duty to him under the 1997 Act in failing to prevent harassment by a manager. He appealed a strike out of his claim.
Held: The appeal succeeded. The . .
CitedMajrowski v Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust HL 12-Jul-2006
Employer can be liable for Managers Harassment
The claimant employee sought damages, saying that he had been bullied by his manager and that bullying amounting to harassment under the 1997 Act. The employer now appealed a finding that it was responsible for a tort committed by a manager, saying . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Commonwealth

Updated: 10 May 2022; Ref: scu.241430

Adams v War Office: QBD 1955

The fact that the Secretary of State has issued a certificate under section 10(1)(b) is no guarantee that the person in respect of whose case it is issued will be awarded a pension.

Citations:

[1955] 3 All ER 245, [1955] 1 WLR 1116

Statutes:

Crown Proceedings Act 1947 10(1)(a)(b), Pensions Appeal Tribunals Act 1943 10(1)(b)

Cited by:

ApprovedBell v Secretary of State for Defence CA 1986
The deceased was injured serving in the forces in Germany. His injury was worstened after negligent communications between army doctors. The defendant relied upon State Immunity to defend a claim, saying he had issued a certificate that he had died . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Armed Forces, Personal Injury, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 09 May 2022; Ref: scu.194881

Beard v London General Omnibus Company: CA 1900

One of the defendant’s conductors, in order to save time, drove the bus quickly around some side streets, negligently injuring the plaintiff, who now sought damages against the bus company.
Held: The plaintiff had failed to provide any evidence that the conductor had been authorised to drive the bus, and therefore failed to establish that they had any resonsibility in negligence for his acts. The action failed.

Citations:

[1900] 2 QB 53, [1900-3] All ER Rep 112, [1900] LJQB 895, [1900] 83 LT 362, [1900] 48 WR 658, [1900] 16 TLR 499

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Negligence, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 09 May 2022; Ref: scu.188793

Percy v Corporation of Glasgow: HL 1922

A pursuer’s averment, in what appeared to be a claim at common law arising out an alleged breach by employees of a Scottish corporation’s bye-laws and regulations, should be allowed to proceed to trial.

Citations:

[1922] 2 AC 299

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedMajrowski v Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust CA 16-Mar-2005
The claimant had sought damages against his employer, saying that they had failed in their duty to him under the 1997 Act in failing to prevent harassment by a manager. He appealed a strike out of his claim.
Held: The appeal succeeded. The . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Scotland, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 07 May 2022; Ref: scu.241426

National Coal Board v England: HL 1954

The plaintiff sought damages after being injured when a co-worker fired a shot. The employee however had himself coupled the detonator to the cable rather than leaving it to the shotfirer, and had his cimmitted a criminal offence. He had been found a quarter responsible, and the NCB sought to rely on the doctrine of ex turpi causa. The trial judge considered a 50% apportionment to be appropriate, on the basis that the plaintiff and the defendant’s employee were equally to blame.
Held: The House accepted that he had been contributorily negligent but rejected the defence of illegality.
The damages should be reduced by only 25%. Lord Reid observed at p 427 that it was not right to disturb the trial judge’s apportionment lightly, but that ‘the difference between holding the parties equally to blame and holding the one’s share of responsibility to be three times that of the other is so substantial that we should give effect to it’.
Lord Oaksey approved Nicol v NCB: ‘I agree with the judgment of Lord Guthrie in Nicol v National Coal Board . . that it cannot be said to be necessarily outside the course of the employment of a workman that he performs his work in a manner which is in breach of a statutory regulation. Here it was within the shot-firer’s employment to fire the shot electrically, but he did it without due care and in breach of the regulation. Unless there is something in the statute which creates the obligation indicating the intention that no action shall be brought a common law in respect of its breach, the ordinary rules of the common law of tort are applicable, including the doctrine respondeat superior.’
Lord Porter said: ‘My Lords, save in one case I cannot find that such a plea has ever been put forward in circumstances similar to these as excusing common law negligence. If it were sound it would be a defence to many actions in which it was not raised and might also be a defence to many claims for compensation. Conceivably it may be a defence in certain cases between the participes criminis, but the argument that it may be a defence between the two persons involved does not support a conclusion that a third party whose servant is one of two involved in disobeying a regulation and so participating in a criminal offence is thereby absolved from liability.’ Applying the Cakebread case, ‘I cannot believe that a breach of a statutory obligation drafted to ensure the adoption of a careful method of working is a ‘turpis causa’ within the meaning of the rule. Indeed, the adage itself is generally applied to a question of contract and I am by no means prepared to concede where concession is not required that it applies also to the case of a tort. This view is, in my opinion, in conformity with the Law Reform (Contributory Negligence) Act 1945 which, after enacting that a claim shall not be defeated by reason of the fault of one person where the damage is caused partly by the fault of another, then goes on to define ‘fault’ as meaning ‘negligence, breach of statutory duty or other act or omission . .’.’
Lord Reid said that the 1945 Act worked to disapply the ex turpi doctrine in all forms of tort in favour of apportionment: ‘Reading the appropriate part of this definition back into section 1 makes it provide that where a person suffers damage as the result partly of his own breach of statutory duty which would, apart from this Act, give rise to the defence of contributory negligence his claim shall not be defeated . . [W]hatever the former position may have been, it is now clear that the appellants cannot rely on this defence [viz turpitude].’
Lord Asquith of Bishopstone said: ‘The defendants relied on the maxim ‘ex turpi causa non oritur actio’ as absolving them of liability.
. . The vast majority of cases in which the maxim has been applied have been cases where, there being an illegal agreement between A and B, either seeks to sue the other for its enforcement or for damages for its breach. That, of course, is not this case. Cases where an action in tort has been defeated by the maxim are exceedingly rare. Possibly a party to an illegal prize fight who is damaged in the conflict cannot sue for assault (Boulter v Clark (1747) Bull N.P. 16, See: (1817) Bull N. P.).
. . If two burglars, A and B, agree to open a safe by means of explosives, and A so negligently handles the explosive charge as to injure B, B might find some difficulty in maintaining an action for negligence against A. But if A and B are proceeding to the premises which they intend burglariously to enter, and before they enter them, B picks A’s pocket and steals his watch, I cannot prevail on myself to believe that A could not sue in tort . . The theft is totally unconnected with the burglary.’

Judges:

Lord Reid, Lord Oaksey, Lord Porter

Citations:

[1954] AC 403, [1954] 1 All ER 546

Statutes:

Law Reform (Contributory Negligence) Act 1945 1(1)

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

ApprovedNicol v National Coal Board SCS 1952
The court considered a claim against his employer after the plaintiff suffered injury after a breach of safety regulations by a co-worker.
Held: Referring to Harrison v NCB: ‘It appears to me that that principle disposes of the argument . .
CitedCakebread v Hopping Bros Ltd CA 1947
Cohen LJ discussed the doctrine of ex turpi causa non oritur actio, saying: ‘The maxim ex turpi causa is based on public policy, and it seems to me plain on the facts of this case that public policy, far from requiring that this action shall be . .
CitedStapley v Gypsum Mines Ltd HL 25-Jun-1953
Plaintiff to take own responsibility for damage
The question was whether the fault of the deceased’s fellow workman, they both having disobeyed their foreman’s instructions, was to be regarded as having contributed to the accident.
Held: A plaintiff must ‘share in the responsibility for the . .

Cited by:

CitedMajrowski v Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust CA 16-Mar-2005
The claimant had sought damages against his employer, saying that they had failed in their duty to him under the 1997 Act in failing to prevent harassment by a manager. He appealed a strike out of his claim.
Held: The appeal succeeded. The . .
CitedMajrowski v Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust HL 12-Jul-2006
Employer can be liable for Managers Harassment
The claimant employee sought damages, saying that he had been bullied by his manager and that bullying amounting to harassment under the 1997 Act. The employer now appealed a finding that it was responsible for a tort committed by a manager, saying . .
CitedVellino v Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police CA 31-Jul-2001
The police were not under any duty to protect someone who had been arrested from injuring himself in an attempt to escape. The claimant had a history of seeking to avoid capture by jumping from his flat window. On this occasion he injured himself in . .
CitedGray v Thames Trains and Others HL 17-Jun-2009
The claimant suffered psychiatric injury in a rail crash caused by the defendant’s negligence. Under this condition of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, the claimant had later gone on to kill another person, and he had been detained under section 41. . .
CitedHounga v Allen and Another SC 30-Jul-2014
The appellant, of Nigerian origin had been brought here at the age of 14 with false identity papers, and was put to work caring for the respondent’s children. In 2008 she was dismissed and ejected from the house. She brought proceedings alleging . .
CitedJackson v Murray and Another SC 18-Feb-2015
Child not entirely free of responsibility
The claimant child, left a school bus and stepped out from behind it into the path of the respondent’s car. She appealed against a finding of 70% contributory negligence.
Held: Her appeal succeeded (Majority, Lord Hodge and Lord Wilson . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Negligence

Updated: 07 May 2022; Ref: scu.241429

Plumb v Cobden Flour Mills Co Ltd: HL 1914

In looking at restrictions by an employer to limit his vicarious liability, the court must distinguish between prohibitions which limit the sphere of employment and those which only deal with conduct within the sphere of employment:’ ‘there are prohibitions which limit the sphere of employment, and prohibitions which only deal with conduct within the sphere of employment’.

Judges:

Lord Dunedin

Citations:

[1914] AC 62

Statutes:

Workmen’s Compensation Act 1906

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedDubai Aluminium Company Limited v Salaam and Others HL 5-Dec-2002
Partners Liable for Dishonest Act of Solicitor
A solicitor had been alleged to have acted dishonestly, having assisted in a fraudulent breach of trust by drafting certain documents. Contributions to the damages were sought from his partners.
Held: The acts complained of were so close to . .
CitedLister and Others v Hesley Hall Ltd HL 3-May-2001
A school board employed staff to manage a residential school for vulnerable children. The staff committed sexual abuse of the children. The school denied vicarious liability for the acts of the teachers.
Held: ‘Vicarious liability is legal . .
CitedCanadian Pacific Railway Co v Lockhart PC 1941
When considering the imposition of vicarious liability, ‘the first consideration is the ascertainment of what the servant is employed to do.’ (Lord Thankerton) and ‘It is clear that the master is responsible for acts actually authorised by him: for . .
CitedRose v Plenty CA 7-Jul-1975
Contrary to his employers orders, a milkman allowed children to assist him in his milkround. One was injured, and sued the milkman’s employer.
Held: The milkman had not gone so far outside the activities for which he was employed for the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Health and Safety

Updated: 06 May 2022; Ref: scu.193842

Mitchil v Alestree: 1726

In an action upon the case brought against the defendant, for that he did ride an horse into a place called Lincoln’s Inn Fields, (a place much frequented by the King’s subjects, and unapt for such purposes) for the breaking and taming of him, and that the horse was so unruly, that he broke from the defendant, and ran over the plaintiff, and grievously hurt him, to his damages, andC.
Upon not guilty pleaded, and a verdict for the plaintiff, it was moved by Simpson in arrest of judgment, that here is no cause of action: for it appears by the declaration, that the mischief which happened was against the defendant’s will, and so damnum absque injuria; and then not shewn what right the King’s subjects had to walk there; and if a man digs a pit in a common into which one that has no right to come there, falls in, no action lies in such case.
Curia contra, It was the defendant’s fault, to bring a wild horse into such a place where mischief might probably be done, by reason of the concourse of people. Lately, in this Court an action was brought against a butcher, who had made an ox run from his stall and gored the plaintiff; and this was alledged in the declaration to be in default of penning of him.
Wylde said: ‘If a man hath an unruly horse in his stable, and leaves open the stable-door, whereby the horse goes forth and does mischief; an action lies against the master.’
Twisden: ‘If one hath kept a tame fox, which gets loose and grows wild, he that kept him before shall not answer for the damage the fox doth after he hath lost him, and he hath resumed his wild nature.’

Judges:

Twisden, Wylde JJ

Citations:

[1726] EngR 590, (1726) 1 Vent 295, (1726) 86 ER 190 (B)

Links:

Commonlii

Cited by:

CitedWoodland v Essex County Council CA 9-Mar-2012
The claimant had been injured in a swimming pool during a lesson. The lesson was conducted by outside independent contractors. The claimant appealed against a finding that his argument that they had a non-delegable duty of care was bound to fail. . .
CitedFarraj and Another v King’s Healthcare NHS Trust (KCH) and Another CA 13-Nov-2009
The claimant parents each carried a gene making any child they bore liable to suffer a serious condition. On a pregnancy the mother’s blood was sent for testing to the defendants who sent it on to the second defendants. The condition was missed, . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, Vicarious Liability, Animals

Updated: 05 May 2022; Ref: scu.379170

Heaton’s Transport (St Helen’s) Ltd v Transport and General Workers’ Union: HL 1972

Injunctions had been granted against the Trades Unions to prevent them undertaking stike action. Proceedings for contempt were brought against the union after blacking had continued, despite the fact that the union through its national and local officers had advised its shop stewards to obey the court order, which advice had been rejected. The House considered the position of shop stewards involved in breaching the injunctions.
Held: The defendant association, once under order from the court to require its shop stewards to desist from the unfair industrial practice of ‘blacking’ container transport firms, had not done everything which it could be expected to do so. The fact that they were agents rather than servants was unimportant. In each case the test to be applied is the same: was the servant or agent acting on behalf of, and within the scope of the authority conferred by, the master or principal? The governor of the prison had been summoned to attend without having been party to the undertaking.
An unincorporated association might be vicariously liable for the tortious acts of one or more of its members.
There can be a contempt if an act intentionally done amounts to a breach of the order: a wilful breach was not the same as, ‘contumacious or insulting behaviour or interference with the administration of justice’.
Lord Wilberforce said: ‘The question to be considered is whether the disobedience was ‘wilful’ in accordance with the established meaning of that word in relation to contempt of court by disobedience to an order of the court. It is important to note that there is no question here of contumacious or insulting behaviour or interference with the administration of justice. There has been simply a disobedience to the court’s injunction by the party restrained by the injunction, and the disobedience has been committed by that party through its agents.’
In considering the established meaning of ‘wilful’ for the purposes of the law of contempt, Lord Wilberforce reviewed a number of authorities, in the light of which he said that the statement of the law by Warrington J in Stancomb had acquired high authority: ‘It is also the reasonable view, because the party in whose favour an order has been made is entitled to have it enforced, and also the effective administration of justice normally requires some penalty for disobedience to an order of a court if the disobedience is more than casual or accidental and unintentional’.

Judges:

Lord Wilberforce

Citations:

[1973] AC 15, [1972] IRLR 25, [1972] 3 All ER 101

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedGodrich and Serwotka v Public and Commercial Services Union and Reamsbottom ChD 31-Jul-2002
The second defendant had become General Secretary of the first defendant after the amalgamation of two unions. The defendants agreed a compromise as to his term of office. The applicants sought declarations that they were now joint secretary.
CitedBeggs v Scottish Ministers HL 7-Feb-2007
The claimant, a serving prisoner, had sought to sue the prison authorities for the conditions in which he was kept. He complained that his correspondence with his lawyers had been unlwafully opened by the prison. Repeatedly, undertakings were given . .
CitedThe Highland Council v TGWU and Unison EAT 3-Jun-2008
EAT EQUAL PAY ACT: Equal value

Equal Pay claims. Whether letters sent to local authority employers by unions prior to coming into force of the statutory grievance procedures met the requirements of regulation . .
CitedThe Catholic Child Welfare Society and Others v Various Claimants and The Institute of The Brothers of The Christian Schools and Others SC 21-Nov-2012
Law of vicarious liability is on the move
Former children at the children’s homes had sought damages for sexual and physical abuse. The court heard arguments as to the vicarious liability of the Society for abuse caused by a parish priest visiting the school. The Court of Appeal had found . .
CitedJones, Re (Alleged Contempt of Court) FD 21-Aug-2013
The Solicitor General sought the committal of the respondent for alleged contempt of court. There had been repeated litigation between the respondent and her former husband as to whether the children should live in Spain with the father or in Wales . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contempt of Court, Employment, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 04 May 2022; Ref: scu.248818

Ormrod v Crosville Motor Services Ltd: QBD 1953

Judges:

Devlin J

Citations:

[1953] 1 WLR 409, [1953] 1 All ER 711

Cited by:

Appeal fromOrmrod v Crosville Motor Services Ltd CA 2-Jan-1953
A friend drove the owner’s car from Birkenhead to Monte Carlo, carrying with him a suitcase belonging to the car owner, so that the two of them could go on holiday with the car in Switzerland. The basis of the finding of vicarious liability on the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability

Updated: 04 May 2022; Ref: scu.545671

Aldred v Naranco: CA 1987

A co-employee pushed a wash basin against Ms Aldred in order to startle her. She turned round quickly to see what was going on and injured her back in the process.
Held: Applying the traditional Salmond test, the co-employee’s act was not so connected with the authorised act of going into the wash room for normal purposes that it was appropriate to impose vicarious liability on her employers.

Citations:

[1987] IRLR 292

Cited by:

CitedGraham v Commercial Bodyworks Ltd CA 5-Feb-2015
The claimant had been very badly burned. He was covered in flammable liquid when a co-worker lit a cigarette.
Held: The claimant’s appeal failed. ‘although the defendant employers did create a risk by requiring their employees to work with . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability

Updated: 04 May 2022; Ref: scu.543696

Yewens v Noakes: CA 1880

Bramwell LJ stated: ‘A person was an employee if his employer has the right to control not only what work he does but the way in which that work is done.’
An employee is ‘a person subject to the command of his master as to the manner in which he shall do his work’, and the master is liable for his acts, neglects and defaults, to the extent specified.

Judges:

Bramwell LJ

Citations:

(1880) 6 QBD 530

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Vicarious Liability, Employment

Updated: 04 May 2022; Ref: scu.538143

Lewis v British Columbia: 11 Dec 1997

(Supreme Court of Canada) Torts – Negligence – Highways – Crown liability – Provincial ministry engaging independent contractor to remove rocks from cliff face – Contractor performing work negligently, leaving rocks protruding from cliff face – Driver fatally injured when one of rocks fell from cliff face and crashed through his windshield – Whether provincial ministry absolved from liability for contractor’s negligence.
Cory J said that a common law duty of care ‘does not usually demand compliance with a specific obligation. It is only when an act is undertaken by a party that a general duty arises to perform the act with reasonable care.’

Judges:

Sopinka, Cory, McLachlin, Iacobucci and Major JJ

Citations:

[1997] 3 SCR 1145, 43 BCLR (3d) 154, 1997 CanLII 304 (SCC), 153 DLR (4th) 594, [1998] 5 WWR 732

Links:

Canlii, Canlii

Cited by:

CitedWoodland v Essex County Council SC 23-Oct-2013
The claimant had been seriously injured in an accident during a swimming lesson. She sought to claim against the local authority, and now appealed against a finding that it was not responsible, having contracted out the provision of swimming . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Commonwealth, Negligence

Updated: 04 May 2022; Ref: scu.516942

Aldred v Nacanco Limited: CA 27 Mar 1987

Several women were in the washroom provided by the employers at their factory. One decided to startle another by giving the wash basin a push, as a result of which the claimant twisted her back.
Held: Lawton LJ, with whom Sir John Donaldson MR and Glidewell LJ agreed, said: ‘What she did was a deliberate act which had nothing whatsoever to do with anything she was employed to do. It was not an improper way of doing her job; it was something wholly outside her job.’

Judges:

Sir John Donaldson MR, Lawton, Glidewell LJJ

Citations:

Unreported, 27 March 1987

Cited by:

CitedWeddall v Barchester Healthcare Ltd CA 24-Jan-2012
Parties appealed against judgments dismissing their claims of vicarious liability as against their employers after assaults by co-employees.
Held: Appeals were dismissed and allowed according to their facts.
In one case, one employee . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability

Updated: 04 May 2022; Ref: scu.450492

Ellis v Wallsend District Hospital: 1989

(Court of Appeal of New South Wales) Samuels JA discussed the circumstances in which a non-delegable duty of care arises: ‘It arises from a relationship which combines the dependence of A upon the reasonable care, skill and judgment of B with the legitimate expectation that B will ensure that those qualities will be exercised in protection of the person or property of A. A further policy decision will be required to determine when that peculiar combination of dependence and expectation . . exists. But it can scarcely be doubted that it does so in the case of the relationship between hospital and patient . . The basis of the duty is, more persuasively, the satisfaction of expectations about where liability ought to be sheeted home.’
Kirby J (dissenting) said that ‘As the intensely technological nature of modern hospitals necessitates the occasional invitation of visiting experts (who are not in the strict sense employers or even honorary staff members of the hospital) it is highly desirable that the law should make plain the protection of patients who suffer as a result of the professional expert’s mistakes. So far as the patient is concerned he or she is in the hospital. He or she should be able to look to the hospital to ensure (by insurance or otherwise) that proved wrongs by health care staff occurring at the hospital or arising out of its activities are compensated in full degree.’
Samuels JA said that proof of the relationship of hospital and patient ‘will generate a special duty of some kind, closer scrutiny of the facts . . is necessary in order to establish its scope. It is a question of what medical services the hospital has undertaken to supply.’ and ‘It is true that while considerations of loss distribution may have been potent in developing the principle in the area of relations between employer and employee where small independent contractors were at one time notoriously likely to be uninsured against public risk., they are no longer of the same importance, as Whippy points out (op cit at 202). There is no reason to suppose that surgeons are significantly less protected by the embrace of underwriters than hospitals are. The basis of the duty is, more persuasively, the satisfaction of expectations about where liability ought to be sheeted home.’

Judges:

Kirby J, Samuels JA

Citations:

[1990] 2 Med LR 103, (1989) 17 NSWLR 553

Jurisdiction:

Australia

Cited by:

CitedFarraj and Another v King’s Healthcare NHS Trust (KCH) and Another CA 13-Nov-2009
The claimant parents each carried a gene making any child they bore liable to suffer a serious condition. On a pregnancy the mother’s blood was sent for testing to the defendants who sent it on to the second defendants. The condition was missed, . .
CitedWoodland v The Swimming Teachers’ Association and Others QBD 17-Oct-2011
The court was asked as to the vicarious or other liability of a school where a pupil suffered injury at a swimming lesson with a non-employee during school time, and in particular whether it had a non-delegable duty to ensure the welfare of children . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability

Updated: 02 May 2022; Ref: scu.378399

Mitchell And His Wife, v Chrassweller and Another: 27 Jan 1853

A master is responsible for an injury resulting from the negligence of his servant whilst driving his cart or carriage, provided the servant is at the time engaged in his master’s business, even though the accident happens in a place to which his master’s business did not call him: but, if the journey upon which the servant starts be solely for his own purposes, and is undertaken without the knowledge or consent of his master, the latter is not responsible. The defendants’ carman, having finished the business of the day, returned to their shop in Welbeck Street, with their horse and cart, and obtained the key of the stable, which was close at hand; but, instead of going there at once, and putting up the horse, as it was his duty to do, he, without his masters’ knowledge or consent, drove a fellow workman to Euston Square ; and, in his way back, ran over and injured the plaintiff and his wife. Held, that, inasmuch as the carman was not at the time of the accident engaged in the business of his masters, they were not responsible for the consequences of his unauthorised act. The declaration alleged that ‘the defendants were possessed of a certain cart and horse, which was being driven by and under the care and direction of their servant,’ –not saying, at the time of the grievances complained of; and that, ‘whilst the plaintiff was crossing a certain street, andc., the defendants, by their servant, so negligently and improperty drove and directed the said cart and horse along the said street, that the plaintiff was knocked down and injured. Held, that the first allegation was immaterial, and not traversable ; and that, under (‘not guilty,” the defendants might shew that the driver was not at the time of the accident acting as their servant. Quaere, as to the power of the judge to add a plea at the trial, under the 222nd section of the common law procedure act, 15 and 16 Vict. c, 76.

Citations:

[1853] EngR 174, (1853) 13 CB 237, (1853) 138 ER 1189

Links:

Commonlii

Personal Injury, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 02 May 2022; Ref: scu.294160

Pickard v Smith: 1861

Refreshment rooms and a coal-cellar at a railway station were let by the company to one S, the opening for putting coals into the cellar being on the arrival platform. A train coming in whilst the servants of a cod-merchant mere shooting coals into the cellar for S., the plaintiff, a passenger, whilst passing (as the jury found) in the usual way out of the station, without any fault of his own, fell into the cellar opening, which the coal-merchant’s servants had negligently left insufficiently guarded.
Held: S, the occupier of the refreshment-rooms and cellar, was responsible for this negligence. And semble, per Williams, J, that the railway company also would be liable, but not the coal-merchant.

Judges:

Williams J

Citations:

[1861] EngR 71, (1861) 10 CB NS 470, (1861) 142 ER 535

Links:

Commonlii

Cited by:

CitedWoodland v Essex County Council SC 23-Oct-2013
The claimant had been seriously injured in an accident during a swimming lesson. She sought to claim against the local authority, and now appealed against a finding that it was not responsible, having contracted out the provision of swimming . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Negligence

Updated: 02 May 2022; Ref: scu.283831

Young v Edward Box and Co Ltd: CA 1951

A lorry driver employed by a firm of contractors on a site where many other contractors were working, contrary to his express instructions, gave an employee of another firm of contractors a lift in his lorry. The passenger was injured and sought to sue the employer.
Held: He could not.
Lord Denning MR said:’In every case where it is sought to make the master liable for the conduct of his servant, the first question is to see whether the servant was liable. If the answer is Yes, the second question is to see whether the employer must shoulder the servant’s liability’.
Asquith LJ said: ‘I should hold that taking men not employed by the defendants on to the vehicle was not merely a wrongful mode of performing the act of the class this driver was employed to perform, but was the performance of an act of a class ‘which he was not employed to perform at all.’

Judges:

Asquith LJ, Denning LJ

Citations:

[1951] 1 TLR 789

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedRose v Plenty CA 7-Jul-1975
Contrary to his employers orders, a milkman allowed children to assist him in his milkround. One was injured, and sued the milkman’s employer.
Held: The milkman had not gone so far outside the activities for which he was employed for the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability

Updated: 02 May 2022; Ref: scu.278320

Hilton v Thomas Burton (Rhodes) Ltd: 1961

Judges:

Diplock J

Citations:

[1961] 1 WLR 705

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedRose v Plenty CA 7-Jul-1975
Contrary to his employers orders, a milkman allowed children to assist him in his milkround. One was injured, and sued the milkman’s employer.
Held: The milkman had not gone so far outside the activities for which he was employed for the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Agency

Updated: 02 May 2022; Ref: scu.278322

Matuszczyk v National Coal Board: 1953

The pursuer sought damages at common law after being injured by a shot-firing by a co-worker. The pursuer based his case on duties said to be owed to him by the shot-firer at common law. The defenders’ argument was that these duties had been superseded by the duties laid down by statutory regulation, for which the employer was not vicariously liable.
Held: The claim could proceed. The doctrine of common employment having been abolished the employer was vicariously liable: ‘ . . now that common employment has been abolished, the law of Scotland must be back where it was in Dixon v Rankine (1852) 14 D 420, which was disapproved in the Bartonshill case (1858) 3 Macq 266; and we can again rely after a prolonged eclipse upon the well-known judgment of Lord Justice-Clerk Hope from which I take this sentence in which his Lordship is referring to the victim’s fellow servants: ‘For their careful and cautious attention to duty, for their neglect of precautions by which danger to life may be caused, he (the employer) is just as much responsible as for such misconduct on his own part, if he were actually working or present.’ In other words, so far as regards conduct within the scope of the servant’s employment, there is no limit in the general case to the rule respondeat superior.’

Judges:

Lord President Cooper

Citations:

(1953) SC 8

Citing:

CitedStanbury v Exeter Corporation 1905
An action was brought against the corporation for the negligence of an inspector who, acting under the 1894 Act seized and detained sheep suspected of sheep-scab.
Held: The corporation was not liable. The inspector was performing a function . .

Cited by:

CitedMajrowski v Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust CA 16-Mar-2005
The claimant had sought damages against his employer, saying that they had failed in their duty to him under the 1997 Act in failing to prevent harassment by a manager. He appealed a strike out of his claim.
Held: The appeal succeeded. The . .
CitedMajrowski v Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust HL 12-Jul-2006
Employer can be liable for Managers Harassment
The claimant employee sought damages, saying that he had been bullied by his manager and that bullying amounting to harassment under the 1997 Act. The employer now appealed a finding that it was responsible for a tort committed by a manager, saying . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Scotland, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 01 May 2022; Ref: scu.241427

Nicol v National Coal Board: SCS 1952

The court considered a claim against his employer after the plaintiff suffered injury after a breach of safety regulations by a co-worker.
Held: Referring to Harrison v NCB: ‘It appears to me that that principle disposes of the argument against the relevancy of the pursuer’s case on breach of the statutory regulations. Accordingly, I hold that the pursuer relevantly averred that the defenders are vicariously responsible for the fireman’s breach of regulations 2(e) and (h) of the Explosives Order.’

Judges:

Lord Guthrie

Citations:

(1952) 102 LJ 357

Citing:

CitedHarrison v National Coal Board HL 1951
The plaintiff sought damages from his employer after suffering injury when a co-worker fired a shot in the colliery, acting in breach of the regulations.
Held: There was no vicarious liability duty in law on the managers to ensure compliance . .

Cited by:

ApprovedNational Coal Board v England HL 1954
The plaintiff sought damages after being injured when a co-worker fired a shot. The employee however had himself coupled the detonator to the cable rather than leaving it to the shotfirer, and had his cimmitted a criminal offence. He had been found . .
CitedMajrowski v Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust CA 16-Mar-2005
The claimant had sought damages against his employer, saying that they had failed in their duty to him under the 1997 Act in failing to prevent harassment by a manager. He appealed a strike out of his claim.
Held: The appeal succeeded. The . .
CitedMajrowski v Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust HL 12-Jul-2006
Employer can be liable for Managers Harassment
The claimant employee sought damages, saying that he had been bullied by his manager and that bullying amounting to harassment under the 1997 Act. The employer now appealed a finding that it was responsible for a tort committed by a manager, saying . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Scotland, Personal Injury

Updated: 01 May 2022; Ref: scu.241424

Jones v Scullard: 1898

A borrowed driver was acting as the servant of the defendant owner of the carriage and horses so as to make the defendant liable for the driver’s negligence.

Judges:

Lord Russell of Killowen CJ

Citations:

[1898] 2 QB 565

Cited by:

CitedViasystems (Tyneside) Ltd v Thermal Transfer (Northern) Ltd and others CA 10-Oct-2005
The defendants had subcontracted work installing air conditioning to the second defendants, who in turn bought in fitters from the third defendants. A fitter caused a flood acting irresponsibly.
Held: The court reviewed the law of vicarious . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability

Updated: 30 April 2022; Ref: scu.231000

Rourke v White Moss Colliery Co Ltd: 1876

The defendant colliery contracted with a contractor, Whittle, to do engineering work in the pit, and for these purposes supplied the contractor with equipment and an engineer in the colliery’s own employment and pay. The claimant was an employee of the contractor, who had been injured by reason of the engineer’s negligence. Under the work contract, the engineer was to be under the control and orders of the contractor. The court of appeal differed in the reasons for its decision that the colliery was not liable for its engineer’s negligence. Cockburn CJ put it on the general basis that an employee lent to a temporary employer for a particular purpose ‘must be dealt with as the servant of the man to whom he is lent’ and that therefore the claimant was a ‘fellow-servant’ and fell foul of that era’s doctrine of common employment, namely that one employee could not recover damages from his employer for the negligence of his fellow-employee (at 209). Mellish LJ and Baggallay JA, however, held that, although the engineer remained the general servant of the colliery, it was not liable for his negligence because the fact that he had been put under the control and orders of the contractor meant that his acts were ‘the acts of Whittle and not of the defendants’ (at 211). They therefore considered that they did not have to deal with the doctrine of common employment. Bramwell JA, however, adopted the ratio of common employment (at 211/212). It seems to me that on either ratio the court considered that for relevant purposes either the whole status of the borrowed employee was transferred to the temporary employer, or at any rate that his acts were to be regarded as those of the employer under whose orders he was working. There was, again, no submission that it might be possible to view both employers as liable, but an assumption that a choice had to be made.

Citations:

[1876] 2 CPD 205

Cited by:

CitedViasystems (Tyneside) Ltd v Thermal Transfer (Northern) Ltd and others CA 10-Oct-2005
The defendants had subcontracted work installing air conditioning to the second defendants, who in turn bought in fitters from the third defendants. A fitter caused a flood acting irresponsibly.
Held: The court reviewed the law of vicarious . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability

Updated: 30 April 2022; Ref: scu.231003

Laugher v Pointer: 1826

The owner of a carriage hired a pair of horses for a day to draw the carriage. The owner of the horses also provided the driver, by whose negligence a horse belonging to a third party was injured. It appears that the majority of the court held that the owner of the carriage was not liable for the injury. Abbott CJ and Littledale J gave judgments with which an unrecorded majority of the court must have agreed. Littledale J said that the coachman or postillion cannot be the servant of both the owner of the horses and the traveller. ‘He is the servant of one or the other, but not the servant of one and the other; the law does not recognise a several liability in two principals who are unconnected.’
Abbott CJ said: ‘I have the control and management of all that belongs to my land or my house; and it is my fault if I do not so exercise my authority as to prevent injury to another.’

Judges:

Abbott CJ, Littledale J, Bayley and Holroyd JJ (dissenting)

Citations:

(1826) 5 B and C 547, [1826] EngR 355, (1826) 5 B and C 547, (1826) 108 ER 204

Links:

Commonlii

Cited by:

CitedViasystems (Tyneside) Ltd v Thermal Transfer (Northern) Ltd and others CA 10-Oct-2005
The defendants had subcontracted work installing air conditioning to the second defendants, who in turn bought in fitters from the third defendants. A fitter caused a flood acting irresponsibly.
Held: The court reviewed the law of vicarious . .
CitedMint v Good CA 1951
The plaintiff was injured by the collapse of a wall which separated the highway from the forecourt of a house owned by the defendant. The house was let on a weekly tenancy. No right to enter was expressly reserved to the owner. The judge found that . .
CitedWilchick v Marks and Silverstone KBD 1934
The plaintiff was injured by a shutter falling from a house next to the highway. The house belonged to the owners who were large property owners but was let to a tenant on a weekly tenancy under rent control to a tailor in a small way of business. . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability

Updated: 30 April 2022; Ref: scu.230999

Makanjuola v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis: 1990

A plain clothed off duty police officer gained entry to premises by production of his warrant card. He enquired as to the immigration status of the two residents. He told them they were in breach of the immigration regulations, and demanded sexual favours, which the female resident acceded to, in return for his refraining from reporting the irregularities.
Held: The Commissioner was not liable for the actions of the officer under Section 48(1) of the 1964 Act. The phrase ‘police functions’ referred to’ the ordinary police functions of investigating, preventing, discovering and reporting crime, including the power of arrest’. The first defendant contended that the same approach should be applied in this case. ‘Purported’, here meant ‘in the professed performance of his functions’ or ‘pretending to be acting in the course of his employment’. Obtaining entry to the premises by identifying himself as a police officer and going on to make enquires was in purported performance of his police functions, and a statement by the officer that he intended to arrest, report, warn or take no further action would also be in purported performance of his police functions. However, the claim was not concerned with something which a police officer might in certain circumstances be entitled to do, but something which the resident could never have believed was or could have been done in the performance of his duty, it being clear to her as it would have been to anyone else, that the demand for sexual favours was one which no one could make as a police officer.

Judges:

Henry J

Citations:

[1992] 3 All ER 617, (1990) 2 Admin LR 214

Statutes:

Police Act 1964 48(1)

Cited by:

DistinguishedHutchinson v Metropolitan Police Commissioner and Another QBD 27-Jul-2005
The claimant sought damages for assault by a probationary constable. The constable had been called to a drunken party for Sainsbury’s employees.
Held: The claimant had been assaulted. Miss Morgan had introduced herself as a police officer, had . .
CitedA and others v Secretary of State for the Home Department (No 2) HL 8-Dec-2005
Evidence from 3rd Party Torture Inadmissible
The applicants had been detained following the issue of certificates issued by the respondent that they posed a terrorist threat. They challenged the decisions of the Special Immigration Appeals Commission saying that evidence underlying the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Employment, Police

Updated: 30 April 2022; Ref: scu.230140

Sanderson v Collins: CA 1904

The defendant’s coachman had taken out for his own purposes a dog-cart which belonged to the plaintiff and had been lent to the defendant.
Held: The defendant was not vicariously liable for the coachman’s actions: ‘If the servant in doing any act breaks the connection of service between himself and his master, the act done under those circumstances is not that of the master’.

Judges:

Collins MR

Citations:

[1904] 1 KB 628

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedLister and Others v Hesley Hall Ltd HL 3-May-2001
A school board employed staff to manage a residential school for vulnerable children. The staff committed sexual abuse of the children. The school denied vicarious liability for the acts of the teachers.
Held: ‘Vicarious liability is legal . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability

Updated: 30 April 2022; Ref: scu.214673

Gold v Essex County Council: CA 1942

The hospital was held accountable for an injury caused by negligence of an employee radiographer. The main issue was whether the authority could be vicariously liable even for employees in cases where their employment called for the exercise of special skill of a kind which the authority could not reasonable be expected to supervise or control.
Held: Lord Greene MR said that the liability of a hospital arises out of an obligation to use reasonable care in treatment, the performance of which cannot be delegated to someone else, not even to a doctor or surgeon under contract for service: ‘the extent of the obligation which one person assumes towards another is to be inferred from the circumstances of the case. This is true whether the relationship be contractual (as in the case of a nursing home conducted for profit) or non-contractual (as in the case of a hospital which gives free treatment). In the former case there is, of course, a remedy in contract, while in the latter the only remedy is in tort, but in each case the first task is to discover the extent of the obligation assumed by the person whom it is sought to make liable. Once this is discovered, it follows of necessity that the person accused of a breach of the obligation cannot escape liability because he has employed another person, whether a servant or agent, to discharge it on his behalf, and this is equally true whether or not the obligation involves the use of skill. It is also true that, if the obligation is undertaken by a corporation, or a body of trustees or governors, they cannot escape liability for its breach, any more than can an individual, and it is no answer to say that the obligation is one which on the face of it they could never perform themselves.’
Goddard LJ said that the liability for doctors on the permanent staff depends, on ‘whether there is a contract of service and that must depend on the facts of any particular case’. He said: ‘Apart from any express term governing the relationship of the parties, the extent of the obligation which one person assumes towards another is to be inferred from the circumstances of the case. This is true whether the relationship be contractual (as in the case of a nursing home conducted for profit) or non-contractual (as in the case of a hospital which gives free treatment). In the former case there is, of course, a remedy in contract, while in the latter the only remedy is in tort, but in each case the first task is to discover the extent of the obligation assumed by the person whom it is sought to make liable. Once this is discovered, it follows of necessity that the person accused of a breach of the obligation cannot escape liability because he has employed another person, whether a servant or agent, to discharge it on his behalf, and this is equally true whether or not the obligation involves the use of skill.’
He distinguished between nurses, for whose negligence the hospital would be liable, and consulting physicians and surgeons where: ‘clearly the nature of their work and the relationship in which they stand to the defendants precludes the drawing of an inference that the defendants undertake responsibility for their negligent acts.’
The hospital provided treatment by radiography, and it owed a duty to provide such treatment with care and was liable for the negligence of the ‘whole-time employee engaged to give the treatment’: ‘It is clear, therefore, that the powers of the defendants include the power of treating patients, and that they are entitled, and, indeed, bound in a proper case, to recover the just expense of doing so. If they exercise that power, the obligation which they undertake is an obligation to treat, and they are liable if the persons employed by them to perform the obligation on their behalf act without due care. I am unable to see how a body invested with such a power and to all appearance exercising it, can be said to be assuming no greater obligation than to provide a skilled person and proper alliances.’
MacKinnon LJ described a general rule that: ‘One who employs a servant is liable to another person if the servant does an act within the scope of his employment so negligently as to injure that other. This is the rule of respondeat superior.’

Judges:

Lord Greene MR, Goddard LJ, MacKinnon LJ

Citations:

[1942] 2 KB 293

Cited by:

CitedA v Ministry of Defence and another QBD 16-Apr-2003
The claimant’s father a member of the armed forces had been posted to Germany, and his wife, A’s mother had gone with him. A had been born in Germany, but suffered injury at birth through the negligence of the doctor’s appointed by the defendant . .
CitedFarraj and Another v King’s Healthcare NHS Trust (KCH) and Another CA 13-Nov-2009
The claimant parents each carried a gene making any child they bore liable to suffer a serious condition. On a pregnancy the mother’s blood was sent for testing to the defendants who sent it on to the second defendants. The condition was missed, . .
AppliedCassidy v Ministry of Health CA 1951
The court considered the liability in negligence of the respondent for the negligence of doctors employed by it.
Held: The Ministry was liable for the negligence of doctors who were employed by it on contracts of service.
Denning LJ . .
CitedWoodland v The Swimming Teachers’ Association and Others QBD 17-Oct-2011
The court was asked as to the vicarious or other liability of a school where a pupil suffered injury at a swimming lesson with a non-employee during school time, and in particular whether it had a non-delegable duty to ensure the welfare of children . .
CitedWoodland v Essex County Council CA 9-Mar-2012
The claimant had been injured in a swimming pool during a lesson. The lesson was conducted by outside independent contractors. The claimant appealed against a finding that his argument that they had a non-delegable duty of care was bound to fail. . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 29 April 2022; Ref: scu.197041

Daniels v Whetstone Entertainments Ltd: 1962

Allender, a steward at a dance hall, and employed to keep order, assaulted a customer inside the hall in the mistaken belief that he had previously been himself assaulted by the customer. Allender explicitly rejected his employer’s instructions to return to the hall. Outside the dance hall the steward, in a rage, made an unprovoked attack and injured the customer who was not intending to re-enter.
Held: The employer was not liable to the injured patron. The first assault was held to be within the scope of the steward’s employment, but the second assault was an act of private retaliation and outside that scope.

Citations:

[1962] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 1

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedBrown v Robinson and Sentry PC 14-Dec-2004
(Jamaica) The deceased claimant had been shot by a sentry employed by the respondent company. His estate appealed a finding that the sentry was not acting in the course of his employment.
Held: Older authorities had now been replaced by recent . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability

Updated: 29 April 2022; Ref: scu.188821

United Bank of Kuwait Ltd v Hammond and Others: CA 1988

It will only be in the ordinary course of business of the firm for a solicitor to do an act where there was an underlying transaction of a kind which was part of the usual business of a solicitor. ‘On the facts represented to the [third party] would a reasonably careful and competent person [such as the third party] have concluded that there was an underlying transaction of a kind which was part of the usual business of a solicitor?’
An undertaking given by a solicitor or clerk in the course of the business of a firm is enforceable against the firm for which he works.

Judges:

Glidewell LJ

Citations:

[1988] 1 WLR 1051

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedJ J Coughlan Ltd v Ruparelia and others CA 21-Jul-2003
The defendant firm of solicitors had acted in a matter involving a fraud. One partner was involved in the fraud. The claimants sought to recover from the partnership.
Held: ‘The issue is not how the transaction ought properly to be described, . .
CitedAdcock v Co-Operative Insurance Society Ltd CA 26-Apr-2000
The claimant claimed under his fire insurance with the defendants. He sought damages for their delay in processing the claim.
Held: The power to award interest on damages is discretionary. The judge had refused to allow interest, at a rate . .
CitedColl v Floreat Merchant Banking Ltd and Others QBD 3-Jun-2014
The court was asked whether it was possible to bring contempt proceedings against a solicitor for the breach of an undertaking other than one given to the court. The parties had been employee and employer. On the breakdown of that relationship, the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Legal Professions

Updated: 29 April 2022; Ref: scu.186087

Semtex Ltd v Gladstone: 1954

The court considered the liability of the master in a case of master and servant, a case of pure vicarious liability and a case in which the sole cause of the injuries was the negligence of the servant.

Judges:

Finnimore J

Citations:

[1954] 2 All ER 206

Cited by:

CitedHenderson v Temple Pier Company Limited CA 23-Apr-1998
The plaintiff suffered injury walking a gangway onto a moored ship. Her solicitors failed to identify the owner of the ship, misspelling the name and failing to search in the General Register of Shipping and Seamen. The eventual claim was made . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Limitation, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 29 April 2022; Ref: scu.186433

Seaboard Offshore Ltd v Secretary of State Transport: QBD 24 Mar 1993

A company is not vicariously liable for the failure of the Captain of ship to comply with the section. The section was not framed so as to appear to give rise to criminal liability of an employer for acts of an employee in such circumstances. The owner did not have personal vicarious liability for everything done in operating the ship.

Citations:

Gazette 24-Mar-1993

Statutes:

Merchant Shipping Act 1988 31

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Health and Safety, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 28 April 2022; Ref: scu.89075

Barclays Bank Plc v Various Claimants: CA 17 Jul 2018

126 claimants alleged sexual assaults by a man now deceased, during the course of their employment by the defendant bank. The court now considered whether the bank was vicariously liable for his acts.

Citations:

[2018] EWCA Civ 1670

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Torts – Other, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 25 April 2022; Ref: scu.619875

Meridian Global Funds Management Asia Ltd v Securities Commission: PC 26 Jun 1995

(New Zealand) The New Zealand statute required a holder of specified investments to give notice of its holding to a regulator as soon as it became aware of its holding. Unbeknown to any others in the company apart from one colleague, its chief investment officer improperly acquired such investments on the company’s behalf. The former managing director of Meridian used the company’s funds to make it a substantial security holder but neither he nor anyone else gave the requisite statutory notice requiring every person who became a ‘substantial security holder’ to give notice of his interest both to the company and to the Stock Exchange as soon as he knew he was a substantial security holder. The question was whether his acts or omissions were the acts or omission of the company so as to render the company liable to the statutory penalties.
Held: The company was liable. It was a matter of construction in each situation to decide whether an employee’s knowledge is to be imputed to his employer. It might be so imputed where this was necessary to make legislation effective.
Lord Hoffmann said that the rules for attributing the acts of a director to the company are primarily in its constitution, but ‘These primary rules of attribution are obviously not enough to enable a company to go out into the world and do business. Not every act on behalf of the company could be expected to be the subject of a resolution of the board or a unanimous decision of the shareholders. The company therefore builds upon the primary rules of attribution by using general rules of attribution which are equally available to natural persons, namely, the principles of agency. It will appoint servants and agents whose acts, by a combination of the general principles of agency and the company’s primary rules of attribution, count as the acts of the company. And having done so, it will also make itself subject to the general rules by which liability for the acts of others can be attributed to natural persons, such as estoppel or ostensible authority in contract and vicarious liability or tort.
It is worth pausing at this stage to make what may seem an obvious point. Any statement about what a company has or has not done, or can or cannot do, is necessarily a reference to the rules of attribution (primary and general) as they apply to that company. Judges sometimes say that a company ‘as such’ cannot do anything; it must act by servants or agents. This may seem an unexceptionable, even banal remark. And of course the meaning is usually perfectly clear. But a reference to a company ‘as such’ might suggest that there is something out there called the company of which one can meaningfully say that it can or cannot do something. There is in fact no such thing as the company as such, no ding an sich, only the applicable rules. To say that a company cannot do something means only that there is no one whose doing of that act would, under the applicable rules of attribution, count as an act of the company.
The company’s primary rules of attribution together with the general principles of agency, vicarious liability and so forth are usually sufficient to enable one to determine its rights and obligations. In exceptional cases, however, they will not provide an answer. This will be the case when a rule of law, either expressly or by implication, excludes attribution on the basis of the general principles of agency or vicarious liability. For example, a rule may be stated in language primarily applicable to a natural person and require some act or state of mind on the part of that person ‘himself’ as opposed to his servants or agents. This is generally true of rules of the criminal law, which ordinarily impose liability only for the actus reus and mens rea of the defendant himself. How is such a rule to be applied to a company?
One possibility is that the court may come to the conclusion that the rule was not intended to apply to companies at all; for example, a law which created an offence for which the only penalty was community service. Another possibility is that the court might interpret the law as meaning that it could apply to a company only on the basis of its primary rules of attribution, i.e. if the act giving rise to liability was specifically authorised by a resolution of the board or an unanimous agreement of the shareholders. But there will be many cases in which neither of these solutions is satisfactory; in which the court considers that the law was intended to apply to companies and that, although it excludes ordinary vicarious liability, insistence on the primary rules of attribution would in practice defeat that intention. In such a case, the court must fashion a special rule of attribution for the particular substantive rule. This is always a matter of interpretation: given that it was intended to apply to a company, how was it intended to apply? Whose act (or knowledge, or state of mind) was for this purpose intended to count as the act etc. of the company? One finds the answer to this question by applying the usual canons of interpretation, taking into account the language of the rule (if it is a statute) and its content and policy.’
Lord Hoffmann: ‘. . . their Lordships would wish to guard themselves against being understood to mean that whenever a servant of a company has authority to do an act on its behalf, knowledge of that act will for all purposes be attributed to the company. It is a question of construction in each case as to whether the particular rule requires that the knowledge that an act has been done, or the state of mind with which it was done, should be attributed to the company. Sometimes, as in In re Supply of Ready Mixed Concrete (No. 2) [1995] 1 A.C. 456 and this case, it will be appropriate . . .. On the other hand, the fact that a company’s employee is authorised to drive a lorry does not in itself lead to the conclusion that if he kills someone by reckless driving, the company will be guilty of manslaughter. There is no inconsistency. Each is an example of an attribution rule for a particular purpose, tailored as it always must be to the terms and policies of the substantive rule.’

Judges:

Lord Hoffmann, Lord Keith of Kinkel, Lord Jauncev of Tullichettle, Lord Mustill, Lord Lloyd of Berwick

Citations:

Gazette 19-Jul-1995, Times 29-Jun-1995, [1995] 2 AC 500, [1995] BCC 942, [1995] 3 All ER 918, [1995] UKPC 5, [1995] 3 WLR 413, [1995] 2 BCLC 116

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedCrown Dilmun, Dilmun Investments Limited v Nicholas Sutton, Fulham River Projects Limited ChD 23-Jan-2004
There was a contract for the sale of Craven Cottage football stadium, conditional upon the grant of non-onerous planning permissions. It was claimed that the contract had been obtained by the defendant employee in breach of his fiduciary duties to . .
CitedMajrowski v Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust CA 16-Mar-2005
The claimant had sought damages against his employer, saying that they had failed in their duty to him under the 1997 Act in failing to prevent harassment by a manager. He appealed a strike out of his claim.
Held: The appeal succeeded. The . .
CitedKR and others v Royal and Sun Alliance Plc CA 3-Nov-2006
The insurer appealed findings of liability under the 1930 Act. Claims had been made for damages for child abuse in a residential home, whom they insured. The home had become insolvent, and the claimants had pursued the insurer.
Held: The . .
CitedMoore Stephens (A Firm) v Stone Rolls Ltd (in liquidation) HL 30-Jul-2009
The appellants had audited the books of the respondent company, but had failed to identify substantial frauds by an employee of the respondent. The auditors appealed a finding of professional negligence, relying on the maxim ex turpi causa non . .
CitedFerguson v British Gas Trading Ltd CA 10-Feb-2009
Harassment to Criminal Level needed to Convict
The claimant had been a customer of the defendant, but had moved to another supplier. She was then subjected to a constant stream of threatening letters which she could not stop despite re-assurances and complaints. The defendant now appealed . .
CitedOrr v Milton Keynes Council CA 1-Feb-2011
The employee was involved in offensive and insubordinate behaviour with his team leader. He was dismissed by a more senior manager, after a hearing in which the first manager gave evidence but which the claimant did not attend. It was later shown . .
CitedReilly v Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council SC 14-Mar-2018
Burchell case remains good law
The appellant head teacher had been dismissed for failing to disclose the fact that her partner had been convicted of a sex offence. She now appealed from rejection of her claim for unfair dismissal.
Held: The appeal was dismissed. The . .
CitedRoyal Mail Group Ltd v Jhuti SC 27-Nov-2019
‘if a person in the hierarchy of responsibility above the employee determines that she (or he) should be dismissed for a reason but hides it behind an invented reason which the decision-maker adopts, the reason for the dismissal is the hidden reason . .
CitedSingularis Holdings Ltd v Daiwa Capital Markets Europe Ltd SC 30-Oct-2019
The Court was asked whether a claim against a bank for breach of the Quincecare duty is defeated if the customer is a company, and the fraudulent payment instructions are given by the company’s Chairman and sole shareholder who is the dominating . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Financial Services, Vicarious Liability, Company

Updated: 25 April 2022; Ref: scu.83660

Barings Plc and Another v Coopers and Lybrand (A Firm) and Others: ChD 11 Jun 2003

Evans-Lombe J expressed an unwillingness to accept any all-embracing test for what may constitute the breaking of the chain of causation, saying: ‘It seems to me that what will constitute such conduct is so fact-sensitive to the facts of any case where the issue arises that it is almost impossible to generalise. If one must do so, I would say that it must be some unreasonable conduct, not necessarily unforeseeable . . a new cause coming in and disturbing the sequence of events . . not necessarily reckless . . which may result from an accumulation of events which in sum have the effect of removing the negligence sued on as a cause . . which accumulation of events may take place over time.’

Judges:

The Honourable Mr Justice Evans-Lombe

Citations:

[2003] EWHC 1319 (Ch), [2003] Lloyd’s Rep IR 566, [2003] PNLR 34

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

CitedRose v Plenty CA 7-Jul-1975
Contrary to his employers orders, a milkman allowed children to assist him in his milkround. One was injured, and sued the milkman’s employer.
Held: The milkman had not gone so far outside the activities for which he was employed for the . .

Cited by:

CitedBorealis Ab v Geogas Trading Sa ComC 9-Nov-2010
The parties had contracted for sale and purchase of butane for processing. It was said to have been contaminated. The parties now disputed the effect on damages for breach including on causation, remoteness, mitigation and quantum.
Held: The . .
CitedSingularis Holdings Ltd v Daiwa Capital Markets Europe Ltd SC 30-Oct-2019
The Court was asked whether a claim against a bank for breach of the Quincecare duty is defeated if the customer is a company, and the fraudulent payment instructions are given by the company’s Chairman and sole shareholder who is the dominating . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Professional Negligence, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 24 April 2022; Ref: scu.183401

Stapley v Gypsum Mines Ltd: HL 25 Jun 1953

Plaintiff to take own responsibility for damage

The question was whether the fault of the deceased’s fellow workman, they both having disobeyed their foreman’s instructions, was to be regarded as having contributed to the accident.
Held: A plaintiff must ‘share in the responsibility for the damage’ for the Act to apply, and this involves consideration not only of the blameworthiness of each party but also of the relative importance of a plaintiff’s acts in causing damage, apart from his blameworthiness. The court is concerned with the causative potency matters giving rise to the result of the accident, not just to the accident itself. The question as to what caused an accident must be determined as a properly instructed and reasonable jury would decide it, by applying common sense to the facts of each particular case.
Reid L said: ‘Finally, it is necessary to apply the Law Reform (Contributory Negligence) Act, 1945. Sellers J. reduced the damages by one half, holding both parties equally to blame. Normally one would not disturb such an award, but Sellers J. does not appear to have taken into account the fact that Stapley deliberately and culpably entered the stope. By doing so it appears to me that he contributed to the accident much more directly than Dale. The Act directs that the damages ‘shall be reduced to such extent as the court thinks just and equitable having regard to the claimant’s share in the responsibility for the damage’ (section 1(1)). A court must deal broadly with the problem of apportionment and in considering what is just and equitable must have regard to the blameworthiness of each party, but ‘the claimant’s share in the responsibility for the damage’ cannot, I think, be assessed without considering the relative importance of his acts in causing the damage apart from his blameworthiness. It may be that in this case Dale was not much less to blame than Stapley, but Stapley’s conduct in entering the stope contributed more immediately to the accident than anything that Dale did or failed to do. I agree with your Lordships that in all the circumstances it is proper in this case to reduce the damages by 80% and to award 20%. of the damages to the appellant. ‘
and ‘One may find that as a matter of history several people have been at fault and that if any one of them had acted properly the accident would not have happened, but that does not mean that the accident must be regarded as having been caused by the faults of all of them. One must discriminate between those faults which must be discarded as being too remote and those which must not. Sometimes it is proper to discard all but one and to regard that one as the sole cause, but in other cases it is proper to regard two or more as having jointly caused the accident. I doubt whether any test can be applied generally.’
Lord Asquith said that court of law: ‘must accept the fact that the philosophic doctrine of causation and the juridical doctrine of responsibility for the consequences of a negligent act diverge.’ The law is concerned with assigning responsibility for the consequences of the breach, and a defendant is not necessarily responsible in law for everything that follows from his act, even if it is wrongful.

Judges:

Reid L, Porter L, Oaksey L, Tucker L

Citations:

[1953] AC 663, [1953] UKHL 4, [1953] 2 All ER 478, [1953] 3 WLR 279

Links:

Bailii

Statutes:

Law Reform (Contributory Negligence) Act 1945 1(1)

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

ApprovedDavies v Swan Motor Co (Swansea) Ltd CA 1949
A plaintiff brought an action for damages for personal injury against the drivers of two cars.
Held: There are two aspects to apportioning responsibility between a plaintiff and defendant in an action for negligence, the respective causative . .

Cited by:

CitedEagle v Chambers CA 24-Jul-2003
The claimant was severely injured when run down by the defendant driving his car. She was in Blackpool, and drunk and wandering in the highway. The defendant was himself at or near the drink driving limit. She appealed against a finding that she was . .
CitedExel Logistics Ltd v Curran and others CA 30-Sep-2004
The claimants sought damages for personal injuries after a crash in a Land Rover maintained by the defendants. The defendants appealed findings of negligence in failing properly to inflate the rear tyres, in continuing despite the danger, and poor . .
CitedChester v Afshar HL 14-Oct-2004
The claimant suffered back pain for which she required neurosurgery. The operation was associated with a 1-2% risk of the cauda equina syndrome, of which she was not warned. She went ahead with the surgery, and suffered that complication. The . .
CitedCommissioner of Police for the Metropolis v Reeves (Joint Administratix of The Estate of Martin Lynch, Deceased) HL 15-Jul-1999
The deceased was a prisoner known to be at risk of committing suicide. Whilst in police custody he hanged himself in his prison cell. The Commissioner accepted that he was in breach of his duty of care to the deceased, but not that that breach was . .
CitedBadger v The Ministry of Defence QBD 16-Dec-2005
The widow of the deceased sought damages after his exposure to asbestos whilst working for the defendant. He had contracted lung cancer. The defendant argued that the deceased had continued to smoke knowing of the risks, and that he had made a . .
CitedNational Coal Board v England HL 1954
The plaintiff sought damages after being injured when a co-worker fired a shot. The employee however had himself coupled the detonator to the cable rather than leaving it to the shotfirer, and had his cimmitted a criminal offence. He had been found . .
CitedVellino v Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police CA 31-Jul-2001
The police were not under any duty to protect someone who had been arrested from injuring himself in an attempt to escape. The claimant had a history of seeking to avoid capture by jumping from his flat window. On this occasion he injured himself in . .
CitedCorr v IBC Vehicles Ltd HL 27-Feb-2008
The claimant’s husband had committed suicide. She sought damages for financial loss from his former employers under the 1976 Act. He had suffered a severe and debilitating injury working for them leading to his depression and suicide. The employers . .
CitedSt George v The Home Office CA 8-Oct-2008
The claimant was taken into prison. He was known to be subject to epilepsy, with high risks on withdrawal from drugs, but was allocated a high bunk. He had a seizure and fell, suffering head injuries. He sought damages in negligence. The defendant . .
CitedSmith v Skanska Construction Services Ltd QBD 29-Jul-2008
The court considered whether the driver of a vehicle involved in a fatal road accident in Thailand was driving within the authority of the UK employers. The driver was not an employee but had authority to use company vehicles for tasks for the . .
AppliedClay v AJ Crump and Sons Ltd CA 1964
An architect, a demolition contractor and a building contractor were each held liable to an employee of building contractors for the collapse of a wall which, with the architect’s approval, demolition contractors had left standing.
Held: As . .
CitedJackson v Murray and Another SC 18-Feb-2015
Child not entirely free of responsibility
The claimant child, left a school bus and stepped out from behind it into the path of the respondent’s car. She appealed against a finding of 70% contributory negligence.
Held: Her appeal succeeded (Majority, Lord Hodge and Lord Wilson . .
CitedBPE Solicitors and Another v Hughes-Holland (In Substitution for Gabriel) SC 22-Mar-2017
The court was asked what damages are recoverable in a case where (i) but for the negligence of a professional adviser his client would not have embarked on some course of action, but (ii) part or all of the loss which he suffered by doing so arose . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, Damages, Vicarious Liability

Leading Case

Updated: 24 April 2022; Ref: scu.185853

Staveley Iron and Chemical Co Ltd v Jones: HL 1956

The court must avoid treating every risky act by an employee due to familiarity with the work or some inattention resulting from noise or strain as contributory negligence: ‘ . . in Factory Act cases the purpose of imposing the absolute obligation is to protect the workmen against those very acts of inattention which are sometimes relied upon as constituting contributory negligence so that too strict a standard would defeat the object of the statute.’ (Lord Tucker) The rule of ‘respondeat superior’ is merely a restatement of the rule ‘qui facit per alium facit per se’. The employee’s wrong is imputed to the employer.

Judges:

Lord Reid, Lord Tucker

Citations:

[1956] AC 627

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedLister and Others v Hesley Hall Ltd HL 3-May-2001
A school board employed staff to manage a residential school for vulnerable children. The staff committed sexual abuse of the children. The school denied vicarious liability for the acts of the teachers.
Held: ‘Vicarious liability is legal . .
CitedCommissioner of Police for the Metropolis v Reeves (Joint Administratix of The Estate of Martin Lynch, Deceased) HL 15-Jul-1999
The deceased was a prisoner known to be at risk of committing suicide. Whilst in police custody he hanged himself in his prison cell. The Commissioner accepted that he was in breach of his duty of care to the deceased, but not that that breach was . .
CitedMajrowski v Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust HL 12-Jul-2006
Employer can be liable for Managers Harassment
The claimant employee sought damages, saying that he had been bullied by his manager and that bullying amounting to harassment under the 1997 Act. The employer now appealed a finding that it was responsible for a tort committed by a manager, saying . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Negligence, Health and Safety

Updated: 24 April 2022; Ref: scu.214672

Imperial Chemical Industries Ltd v Shatwell: HL 6 Jul 1964

The respondent was employed as a shot firer in a quarry, and was to test the electric wiring connecting explosive charges. Contrary to instructions that testing must be done from a shelter, the respondent and another shot firer carried out a test in the open and they were both injured.
Held: The employer’s appeal succeeded. Where two fellow-servants combined to disobey an order deliberately though they knew the risk involved, a plea of volenti non fit injuria was a complete defence if the employer was not himself at fault and was only liable vicariously for the acts of the fellow servant. The House emphasised the distinction between lack of care for one’s own safety and the true acceptance of risk. A plaintiff’s conduct cannot be described as voluntary unless he truly had a free choice.
The House considered the origins of the doctrine of vicarious liability: ‘The doctrine of vicarious liability has not grown from any very clear, logical or legal principle but from social convenience and rough justice’, and ‘an employer who is himself at fault in persistently refusing to comply with a statutory rule could not possibly be allowed to escape liability because the injured workman had agreed to waive the breach.’
Lord Reid said that though ‘. . an employer who is himself at fault in persistently refusing to comply with a statutory rule could not possibly be allowed to escape liability because the injured workman had agreed to waive the breach.’, ‘It was argued that in this case it has not been shown that George [Shatwell] had a full appreciation of the risk. In my view it must be held that he had. He knew that those better qualified than he was took the risk seriously. He knew that his employers had forbidden this practice and that it had then been prohibited by statutory regulation. And he knew that his employers were taking strong measures to see that the order was obeyed. If he did not choose to believe what he was told I do not think that he could for that reason say that he did not fully appreciate the risk. He knew that the risk was that a charge would explode during testing, and no shot firer could be in any doubt about the possible consequences of that.’
Lord Pearce: ‘The doctrine of vicarious liability has not grown from any very clear, logical or legal principle but from social convenience and rough justice’. And ‘I am not persuaded that there is any reason of principle or policy which can be of substantial guidance in the resolution of the problem of applying the rule in any particular case. Theory may well justify the existence of the concept, but it is hard to find guidance from any underlying principle which will weigh in the decision whether in a particular case a particular wrongful act by the employee should or should not be regarded as falling within the scope of the employment.’
and ‘Since contributory negligence has ceased to be a total defence and it has become possible to produce a fair result by apportionment, the reluctance to find the total defence of volenti non fit injuria became more marked …’
and ‘Where Parliament has laid down that certain precautions shall be taken by the master to protect his workman, the master is not and should not be entitled to neglect those precautions and then rely on an expressed or implied agreement between himself and the workman that the latter, if injured as a result of the neglect, will bear the loss alone.’
Viscount Radcliffe: ‘These considerations apart, there are involved in this case questions as to the application of the maxim volenti non fit injuria and as to the principle that in the eyes of the law a man cannot be treated as having disavowed a statutory protection enacted for his benefit in the public interest. On these points, I have had the opportunity of studying in advance the opinions of your Lordships, and I wish to associate myself in particular with the opinion to be delivered by my noble and learned friend, Lord Pearce. I do think it of great importance that the law should not in general allow a person to disqualify himself from the protection of a statutory duty imposed for his benefit, where there is any element of public advantage in upholding the duty. But I do not think that this is a case in which that principle applies.’ and
‘My Lords, it helps sometimes to assess the merits of a decision if one starts by noticing its results and only after doing that allots to it the legal principles upon which it is said to depend.’
Lord Hodson said that a plaintiff’s conduct cannot be described as voluntary unless he truly had a free choice.

Judges:

Lord Pearce, Lord Hodson, Viscount Radcliffe

Citations:

[1964] 2 All ER 999, [1964] UKHL 2, [1965] AC 656

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

CitedYarmouth v France CA 11-Aug-1887
The plaintiff was employed by the defendant to drive carts. He objected that the horse had a vicious nature, but was obliged to drive it in any event. The horse kicked him.
Held: For the purposes of the 1880 Act, the plaintiff was an employee, . .

Cited by:

CitedLister and Others v Hesley Hall Ltd HL 3-May-2001
A school board employed staff to manage a residential school for vulnerable children. The staff committed sexual abuse of the children. The school denied vicarious liability for the acts of the teachers.
Held: ‘Vicarious liability is legal . .
CitedMcTear v Imperial Tobacco Ltd OHCS 31-May-2005
The pursuer sought damages after her husband’s death from lung cancer. She said that the defenders were negligent in having continued to sell him cigarettes knowing that they would cause this.
Held: The action failed. The plaintiff had not . .
CitedCommissioner of Police for the Metropolis v Reeves (Joint Administratix of The Estate of Martin Lynch, Deceased) HL 15-Jul-1999
The deceased was a prisoner known to be at risk of committing suicide. Whilst in police custody he hanged himself in his prison cell. The Commissioner accepted that he was in breach of his duty of care to the deceased, but not that that breach was . .
CitedMajrowski v Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust CA 16-Mar-2005
The claimant had sought damages against his employer, saying that they had failed in their duty to him under the 1997 Act in failing to prevent harassment by a manager. He appealed a strike out of his claim.
Held: The appeal succeeded. The . .
CitedMajrowski v Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust CA 16-Mar-2005
The claimant had sought damages against his employer, saying that they had failed in their duty to him under the 1997 Act in failing to prevent harassment by a manager. He appealed a strike out of his claim.
Held: The appeal succeeded. The . .
CitedMajrowski v Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust HL 12-Jul-2006
Employer can be liable for Managers Harassment
The claimant employee sought damages, saying that he had been bullied by his manager and that bullying amounting to harassment under the 1997 Act. The employer now appealed a finding that it was responsible for a tort committed by a manager, saying . .
CitedWhite v Blackmore CA 15-Jun-1972
The plaintiff attended a jalopy car race and was injured. It was a condition of his entry that he agreed that motor racing was dangerous and that he would not hold the organisers or others responsible if injured. He was injured when a safety rope, . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Health and Safety

Leading Case

Updated: 24 April 2022; Ref: scu.189975

Various Claimants v Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc: QBD 16 May 2018

Judges:

Langstaff J

Citations:

[2018] EWHC 1123 (QB)

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

See AlsoVarious Claimants v WM Morrisons Supermarket Plc QBD 1-Dec-2017
The defendant employer had had confidential information of many of its staff taken and disclosed by a rogue employee. The employees now sought compensation. The main issue was whether the company was directly or vicariously liable for the tort.
CitedO, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 27-Apr-2016
The appellant failed asylum seeker had been detained for three years pending deportation. She suffered a mental illness, and during her detention the medical advice that her condition could be coped with in the detention centre changed, recommending . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Information, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 22 April 2022; Ref: scu.616161

Conway v George Wimpey and Co Ltd: CA 1951

A number of contractors were employed in work at the Heathrow Airport. The defendant company had instituted a bus service for their own employees and the driver was prohibited by the defendant company from giving lifts to anyone other than their own employees.
Held: The claim failed. The act of the driver in giving a lift to the plaintiff was outside the scope of his employment. It was not merely a wrongful mode of performing an act of the class which the driver was employed to perform, but was the performance of an act which he was not employed to perform.
Asquith LJ said: ‘I should hold that taking men not employed by the defendants on to the vehicle was not merely a wrongful mode of performing the act of the class this driver was employed to perform, but was the performance of an act of a class ‘which he was not employed to perform at all.’

Judges:

Asquith LJ

Citations:

[1951] 2 KB 266

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

Not FollowedRose v Plenty CA 7-Jul-1975
Contrary to his employers orders, a milkman allowed children to assist him in his milkround. One was injured, and sued the milkman’s employer.
Held: The milkman had not gone so far outside the activities for which he was employed for the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Torts – Other, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 12 April 2022; Ref: scu.278318

Aldred v Nacanco: CA 1987

The claimant sought damages. At the end of the day, a co-employee tried to startle her by pushing an insecure washbasin against her, but caused her actual injury.
Held: The plaintiff’s appeal was dismissed. It was an independent act not sufficiently connected with the employment. An employer would be liable for acts actually authorised and for the way the employee carries out those acts. It was not foreseeable that the washbasin would cause injury, or that it would be used in this way.

Citations:

[1987] IRLR 292

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedLister and Others v Hesley Hall Ltd HL 3-May-2001
A school board employed staff to manage a residential school for vulnerable children. The staff committed sexual abuse of the children. The school denied vicarious liability for the acts of the teachers.
Held: ‘Vicarious liability is legal . .
CitedGravil v Carroll and Another CA 18-Jun-2008
The claimant was injured by an unlawful punch thrown by the first defendant when they played rugby. He sought damages also against the defendant’s club, and now appealed from a finding that they were not vicariously liable. The defendant player’s . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Employment, Vicarious Liability, Negligence

Updated: 12 April 2022; Ref: scu.214709

Ashworth v Stanwix: QBD 1860

Innocent partners are vicariously liable for the torts of their co-partner.

Citations:

(1860) 3 E and E 701

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedDubai Aluminium Company Limited v Salaam and Others HL 5-Dec-2002
Partners Liable for Dishonest Act of Solicitor
A solicitor had been alleged to have acted dishonestly, having assisted in a fraudulent breach of trust by drafting certain documents. Contributions to the damages were sought from his partners.
Held: The acts complained of were so close to . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Company

Updated: 12 April 2022; Ref: scu.193868

Oceangas (Gibraltar) Ltd v Pla (The Cavendish): QBD 24 May 1993

A harbour authority is not vicariously liable for a pilot’s negligence. A pilot is an independent professional person, even though the port provides his services, and can insist on his employment.

Citations:

Times 24-May-1993, Gazette 01-Sep-1993, Independent 28-May-1993

Statutes:

Pilotage Act 1987

Negligence, Transport, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 09 April 2022; Ref: scu.84417

Director General of Fair Trading v Pioneer Concrete (UK) Ltd, sub nom Supply of Ready Mixed Concrete (No 2): HL 25 Nov 1994

The actions of company employees, acting in the course of their employment and in contempt may put the company employer in contempt also, and even though the company may have given explicit instructions that no infringing agreement should be entered into.

Citations:

Independent 30-Nov-1994, Times 25-Nov-1994, Gazette 05-Jan-1995, [1995] 1 AC 456

Citing:

Appeal fromIn Re Supply of Ready Mixed Concrete (No 2) CA 8-Jul-1993
An employer was not liable for its employee’s action in contempt of court against the company’s clear instructions with regard to anti-competitive agreements. . .
See AlsoDirector General of Fair Trading v Smiths Concrete: re Supply of Ready Mixed Concrete 1992
For a person to be found in contempt of a court order it is necessary to show that that he knew of the relevant order and with that knowledge he intended to do the act which amounted to a breach of the court order. It is not necessary to show that . .

Cited by:

CitedBird v Hadkinson ChD 4-Mar-1999
A party ordered to make disclosure in Mareva proceedings, could be found in contempt where the answers given were technically true, but misleading because of their incompleteness. The party has a clear duty to provide full and accurate disclosure. A . .
CitedGulf Azov Shipping Company Ltd v Idisi ComC 22-Nov-2000
Application to commit defendant to prison for contempt of court. . .
CitedFerguson v British Gas Trading Ltd CA 10-Feb-2009
Harassment to Criminal Level needed to Convict
The claimant had been a customer of the defendant, but had moved to another supplier. She was then subjected to a constant stream of threatening letters which she could not stop despite re-assurances and complaints. The defendant now appealed . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contempt of Court, Company, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 08 April 2022; Ref: scu.82207

Cunningham v Glasgow City Council: SCS 8 Aug 2008

The pursuer, a teacher, claimed under health and safety laws of the injury suffered working for the defenders. He said that he had also suffered harassment for which his employers were vicariously responsible. The defenders said that the action was not strictly a personal injury claim within chapter 43, since injuries under the 1997 Act were for a statutory delict.

Citations:

[2008] ScotCS CSOH – 113

Links:

Bailii

Statutes:

Protection from Harassment Act 1997, Prescription and Limitation (Scotland) Act 1973 18B

Jurisdiction:

Scotland

Torts – Other, Health and Safety, Vicarious Liability, Limitation

Updated: 06 April 2022; Ref: scu.272504

Bartonshill Coal Company v Jane McGuire, Widow: HL 17 Jun 1858

Master’s Liability to the Public for Injury done by a Servant. – Per the Lord Chancellor: A master is liable for any injury or damage done to the public through the negligence or unskilfulness of servants acting in the master’s employ. The reason is, that every act done by the servant in the course of his duty is regarded as done by his master’s orders, and consequently is the same as if it were the master’s own act, according to the maxim, Qui facit per alium facit per se – Subject – Master’s Exemption from Liability to one Servant for Injury done to him by a Fellow-Servant. – When the injury caused by the negligence or unskilfulness of a servant is sustained, not by the public, but by another servant acting in the same employment under the same master, the master is not liable, unless there be proof of general incompetency on the part of the servant causing the injury, or of insufficiency or defectiveness in the machinery furnished by the master;
Per Lord Brougham: The two servants (the injurer and the injured) must be in the same common employment, and engaged in the same common work under that common employment
Lord Chelmsford LC said: ‘It is necessary to ascertain whether the servants are fellow-labourers in the same common work; because, although a servant may be taken to have engaged to encounter all risks which are incident to the service which he undertakes, he cannot be expected to anticipate those which may happen to him on occasions foreign to his employment’

Judges:

Lord Chelmsford LC, Lord Brougham

Citations:

(1858) 3 Macq 300, [1858] UKHL 3 – Macqueen – 300

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

Scotland

Cited by:

CitedCox v Ministry of Justice SC 2-Mar-2016
The claimant was working in a prison supervising working prisoners. One of them dropped a bag of rice on her causing injury. At the County Curt, the prisoner was found negligence in the prisoner, but not the appellant for vicarious liability. The . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability

Updated: 06 April 2022; Ref: scu.606464

Various Claimants v Barclays Bank Plc: QBD 26 Jul 2017

The claimants alleged that they had been sexually assaulted many years ago by a doctor employed by the defendant bank on their applications for employment. The court was now asked as a preliminary apoint whether the Bank was vicariously liable for his actions.
Held: The Bank was vicariously liable.

Judges:

Nicola Davies DBE J

Citations:

[2017] EWHC 1929 (QB)

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Vicarious Liability

Updated: 28 March 2022; Ref: scu.591317

Barwick v English Joint Stock Bank: 1867

When considering the vicarious liability of a master for the acts of his servant, no sensible distinction could be drawn between the case of fraud and any other wrong. The general rule was that: ‘the master is answerable for every such wrong of the servant or agent as is committed in the course of the service and for the master’s benefit, though no express command or privity of the master be proved’ (my emphasis).’It is true, [the master] has not authorized the particular act, but he has put the agent in his place to do that class of acts, and he must be answerable for the manner in which the agent has conducted himself in doing the business which it was the act of his master to place him in.’
It was argued in that case that a principal was not liable for a fraudulent act of his agent. Willes J rejected that argument, holding that ‘no sensible distinction can be drawn between the case of fraud and the case of any other wrong’. He cited authorities in which the doctrine had been applied, for example, in cases of direct trespass to goods and false imprisonment, and he observed: ‘In all these cases it may be said, as it was said here, that the master has not authorized the act. It is true, he has not authorized the particular act, but he has put the agent in his place to do that class of acts, and he must be answerable for the manner in which the agent has conducted himself in doing the business which it was the act of his master to place him in.’

Judges:

Willes J

Citations:

(1867) LR 2 Ex 259

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

CitedHern v Nichols 1700
The plaintiff brought an action on the case for deceit, alleging that he bought several parcels of silk under a fraudulent representation by the defendant’s factor that it was another kind of silk. The factor was operating overseas and there was no . .

Cited by:

CitedDubai Aluminium Company Limited v Salaam and Others HL 5-Dec-2002
Partners Liable for Dishonest Act of Solicitor
A solicitor had been alleged to have acted dishonestly, having assisted in a fraudulent breach of trust by drafting certain documents. Contributions to the damages were sought from his partners.
Held: The acts complained of were so close to . .
CitedLister and Others v Hesley Hall Ltd HL 3-May-2001
A school board employed staff to manage a residential school for vulnerable children. The staff committed sexual abuse of the children. The school denied vicarious liability for the acts of the teachers.
Held: ‘Vicarious liability is legal . .
CitedMohamud v WM Morrison Supermarkets plc SC 2-Mar-2016
The claimant had been assaulted and racially abused as he left a kiosk at the respondent’s petrol station by a member of staff. A manager had tried to dissuade the assailant, and the claim for damages against the supermarket had failed at first . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability

Updated: 26 March 2022; Ref: scu.193843

Chell v Tarmac Cement and Lime Ltd: CA 12 Jan 2022

Explosive Pellet Use Not Within Employee’s Role.

The claimant worked on a site operated by the respondent. One of the respondent’s employees exploded two pellet targets injuring the claimant’s hearing. He asserted vicarious liability in the respondent. There had been tensions between the claimant and the respondent’s own staff. The judge found that the use of the pellets was not within the range of duties assigned to the respondent’s employees, and that they were therefore not responsible.
Held: The appeal failed. The parties did not challenge the judge’s analysis of the law. On the facts: ‘ the careful and detailed findings of fact made by the judge, unchallenged by the appellant, are fatal to this appeal. What they demonstrate is that there was not a sufficiently close connection between the act which caused the injury and the work of Mr H so as to make it fair, just and reasonable to impose vicarious liability on Tarmac.’ The pellet was not part of the respondent’s equipment, and nor was it part of his work to use it. No supervisory role existed.
‘In order to succeed on the alleged breach of the employer’s duty of care, it must be shown that there was a reasonably foreseeable risk of injury to the appellant by reason of the actions of Mr Heath. It is accepted that horseplay, ill-discipline and malice could provide a mechanism for causing such a reasonably foreseeable risk but, in my view, it is not made out on the facts of this case.’

Judges:

Lady Justice Nicola Davies
Lady Justice Simler
And
Lord Justice William Davis

Citations:

[2022] EWCA Civ 7

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

CitedJacobi v Griffiths 17-Jun-1999
(Canadian Supreme Court) The process for determining when a non-authorised act by an employee is so connected to the employer’s enterprise that liability should be imposed involved two steps: 1. Firstly a court should determine whether there are . .
CitedCox v Ministry of Justice SC 2-Mar-2016
The claimant was working in a prison supervising working prisoners. One of them dropped a bag of rice on her causing injury. At the County Curt, the prisoner was found negligence in the prisoner, but not the appellant for vicarious liability. The . .
CitedBazley v Curry 17-Jun-1999
(Canadian Supreme Court) The court considerd the doctrine of vicarious liability: ‘The policy purposes underlying the imposition of vicarious liability on employers are served only where the wrong is so connected with the employment that it can be . .
CitedMohamud v WM Morrison Supermarkets plc SC 2-Mar-2016
The claimant had been assaulted and racially abused as he left a kiosk at the respondent’s petrol station by a member of staff. A manager had tried to dissuade the assailant, and the claim for damages against the supermarket had failed at first . .
CitedLister and Others v Hesley Hall Ltd HL 3-May-2001
A school board employed staff to manage a residential school for vulnerable children. The staff committed sexual abuse of the children. The school denied vicarious liability for the acts of the teachers.
Held: ‘Vicarious liability is legal . .
CitedGraham v Commercial Bodyworks Ltd CA 5-Feb-2015
The claimant had been very badly burned. He was covered in flammable liquid when a co-worker lit a cigarette.
Held: The claimant’s appeal failed. ‘although the defendant employers did create a risk by requiring their employees to work with . .
CitedCockbill v Riley QBD 22-Mar-2013
The claimant sufferd catastrophic injury diving into a paddling pool at a party held by the defendant for his daughter to celebrate completing her GCSEs.
Held: The claim failed. ‘It was reasonably foreseeable that someone would lose his . .
CitedDubai Aluminium Company Limited v Salaam and Others HL 5-Dec-2002
Partners Liable for Dishonest Act of Solicitor
A solicitor had been alleged to have acted dishonestly, having assisted in a fraudulent breach of trust by drafting certain documents. Contributions to the damages were sought from his partners.
Held: The acts complained of were so close to . .
Appeal fromChell v Tarmac Cement and Lime Ltd QBD 5-Oct-2020
. .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Personal Injury, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 23 March 2022; Ref: scu.671052

Biffa Waste Services Ltd and Another v Maschinenfabrik Ernst Hese Gmbh and others: CA 12 Nov 2008

The defendant contracted to build a plant for the claimant. The plant was damaged by a fire caused by the defendant’s independent sub-contractor. The defendant appealed against the finding that it was responsible for the sub-contractor’s failure. The risk of fire had been identified, but not properly understood. The judge found that the defendant had imposed sufficient control over the way the task had been handled to have become responsible.
Held: The defendant’s appeal was allowed. Biffa could not establish liability under the borrowed employee rule – the workmen had too much independence. Supervision is not control, and the judge had erred. The principle which made a main contractor responsible for the acts of properly chosen independent sub-contractors where the working situation was ultra hazardous was quite unsatisfactory and should be restricted in its effect to exceptional situations where the hazards would remain whatever safety steps were taken. The decision in Honeywill should be restricted.

Judges:

Lord Justice May, Lord Justice Rimer and Lord Justice Stanley Burnton

Citations:

[2008] EWCA Civ 1257

Links:

Bailii, Times

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

Appeal fromBiffa Waste Services Ltd and Another v Maschinenfabrik Ernst Hese Gmbh and others TCC 11-Jan-2008
. .
CitedMersey Docks and Harbour Board v Coggins and Griffith (Liverpool) Ltd HL 1946
Employers Liability for Worker’s Negligence
A worker was injured by a negligently driven crane. The crane and Board’s driver were hired out to stevedores for loading work. The stevedores controlled the crane’s operations, but did not direct how the driver controlled the crane. The hire . .
CitedNokes v Doncaster Amalgamated Collieries Ltd HL 1948
A Contract of Service is not a form of property
The employee coal miner was prosecuted for absenting himself from work. He was found liable by the justices and appealed. The basis of the appeal was that he had formerly been employed by the Hickleton Mining Company Limited. That had become . .
CitedDenham v Midland Employers’ Mutual Assurance Limited CA 1955
The court was asked which of two mutually exclusive liability insurance policies covered damages which an employer was liable to pay to the widow of an employee, who was killed while he was working under the specific direction of engineers engaged . .
CitedSmith and another v Blandford Gee Cementation Co Ltd 1970
The court considered a finding by a tribunal that a contract of services had been transferred. Bridge J said: ‘To my mind, it runs counter to a fundamental principle that a man’s contractual position, particularly in such a vital matter as the . .
See AlsoBiffa Waste Services Ltd and Another v Maschinenfabrik Ernst Hese Gmbh and others TCC 31-Oct-2008
. .
See AlsoBiffa Waste Services Ltd and Another v Maschinenfabrik Ernst Hese Gmbh and others TCC 19-Sep-2008
Claim for damages after fire occuring during construction of waste plant. . .
CitedHawley v Luminar Leisure Ltd and others CA 24-Jan-2006
The claimant was assaulted and severely injured at a night club by a doorman supplied to the club by a third party company now in liquidation. He claimed the club was the ‘temporary deemed employer’ of the doorman. He also sought to claim under the . .
CitedViasystems (Tyneside) Ltd v Thermal Transfer (Northern) Ltd and others CA 10-Oct-2005
The defendants had subcontracted work installing air conditioning to the second defendants, who in turn bought in fitters from the third defendants. A fitter caused a flood acting irresponsibly.
Held: The court reviewed the law of vicarious . .
RestrictedHoneywill v Larkin CA 1933
The plaintiffs wanted photographs inside a cinema on which they had worked, and asked the defendants to take them. The photographer used a chemical flashlight using magnesium which gave off intense heat. The negligent photographer caused a fire. The . .

Cited by:

CitedJGE v The Portsmouth Roman Catholic Diocesan Trust CA 12-Jul-2012
The claimant suffered physical and serious sexual abuse whilst a child at a children’s home run by the defendant. A parish priest committed some of the abuse, and she claimed that the defendants were vicariously liable. They denied such liability. . .
CitedThe Catholic Child Welfare Society and Others v Various Claimants and The Institute of The Brothers of The Christian Schools and Others SC 21-Nov-2012
Law of vicarious liability is on the move
Former children at the children’s homes had sought damages for sexual and physical abuse. The court heard arguments as to the vicarious liability of the Society for abuse caused by a parish priest visiting the school. The Court of Appeal had found . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 25 February 2022; Ref: scu.277774

Phelps v Hillingdon London Borough Council; Anderton v Clwyd County Council; Gower v Bromley London Borough Council; Jarvis v Hampshire County Council: HL 28 Jul 2000

The plaintiffs each complained of negligent decisions in his or her education made by the defendant local authorities. In three of them the Court of Appeal had struck out the plaintiff’s claim and in only one had it been allowed to proceed.
Held: The House unanimously dismissed the local authority’s appeal in that last case but allowed the plaintiff’s appeal in the other three. A local authority can be liable in negligence for its failures to provide appropriate special needs educational support to those it had a duty to educate, and was liable even for the independent acts of its professional agents employed by it for this purpose.
The absence of an express statutory provision for damages was not conclusive, professionals must acknowledge that their decisions have consequences and that their duties lie not only toward their employers. Failure to reduce the consequences of conditions such as dyslexia can constitute a personal injury. A head teacher owes a duty of care to exercise the reasonable skills of a headmaster in relation to such a child’s educational needs and a special advisory teacher brought in to advise on the educational needs of a specific pupil, particularly if he knows that his advice will be communicated to the pupil’s parents, ‘owes a duty to the child to exercise the skill and care of a reasonable advisory teacher.’ and ‘the professionalism, dedication and standards of those engaged in the provision of educational services are such that cases of liability for negligence will be exceptional.’ It was clear in principle that a teacher or educational psychologist could in principle owe a duty of care to a child as well as an employing authority. Valid claims in negligence were not to be excluded because claims which were without foundation or exaggerated might be made. There was no reason to exclude the claims on grounds of public policy alone.

Judges:

Lord Slynn of Hadley Lord Jauncey of Tullichettle Lord Lloyd of Berwick Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead Lord Clyde Lord Hutton Lord Millett

Citations:

Times 28-Jul-2000, Gazette 31-Aug-2000, [2000] UKHL 47, [2001] 2 AC 619, [2000] 3 WLR 776, [2000] 4 All ER 504, (2000) 150 NLJ 1198

Links:

House of Lords, Bailii

Statutes:

Education Act 1996

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

Appeal fromPhelps v Mayor and Burgesses London Borough of Hillingdon CA 4-Nov-1998
The plaintiff claimed damages for the negligent failure of an educational psychologist employed by a local authority to identify that the plaintiff was dyslexic.
Held: An educational psychologist has no duty of care to a child, as opposed to . .
ApprovedX (Minors) v Bedfordshire County Council; M (A Minor) and Another v Newham London Borough Council; Etc HL 29-Jun-1995
Liability in Damages on Statute Breach to be Clear
Damages were to be awarded against a Local Authority for breach of statutory duty in a care case only if the statute was clear that damages were capable of being awarded. in the ordinary case a breach of statutory duty does not, by itself, give rise . .
Appeal fromJarvis v Hampshire County Council CA 23-Nov-1999
A child who did not receive sufficient education appropriate to his disability (dyslexia), did not acquire a right to claim in damages against the education authority. This applies both to claims of misfeasance in public office and in negligence. . .
CitedBarrett v London Borough of Enfield CA 25-Mar-1997
A Local Authority is only vicariously liable for the negligence of a social worker to a child in care. . .
CitedW v Essex County Council and Another HL 17-Mar-2000
A foster child was placed with a family. The child had a history of abusing other children, but the foster parents, who had other children were not told. The foster child caused psychiatric damage to the carers.
Held: It was wrong to strike . .

Cited by:

CitedBradford-Smart v West Sussex County Council CA 23-Jan-2002
The claimant sought damages from the school for failing to prevent injuries arising from bullying, which was taking place on the way to and from school, but not at school.
Held: A school has no general obligation to prevent such bullying, but . .
CitedA, B v Essex County Council QBD 18-Dec-2002
The applicants sought damages after they had had placed with them for adoption a child who proved to be destructively hyperactive.
Held: The authority might be liable where they failed to disclose to adoptive parents known characteristics of a . .
AppliedLiennard v Slough Borough Council QBD 15-Mar-2002
The claimant sought damages from the respondents who had been responsible for his education, for having failed to diagnose his learning difficulties. The school had recognised that he was underachieving, but diagnosis as to the reason was not easy. . .
CitedChagos Islanders v The Attorney General, Her Majesty’s British Indian Ocean Territory Commissioner QBD 9-Oct-2003
The Chagos Islands had been a British dependent territory since 1814. The British government repatriated the islanders in the 1960s, and the Ilois now sought damages for their wrongful displacement, misfeasance, deceit, negligence and to establish a . .
CitedA and Another v Essex County Council CA 17-Dec-2003
The claimant sought damages. The respondent had acted as an adoption agency but had failed to disclose all relevant information about the child.
Held: Any such duty extended only during the period where the child was with the prospective . .
CitedGorringe v Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council HL 1-Apr-2004
Statutory Duty Not Extended by Common Law
The claimant sought damages after a road accident. The driver came over the crest of a hill and hit a bus. The road was not marked with any warning as to the need to slow down.
Held: The claim failed. The duty could not be extended to include . .
Appealed toJarvis v Hampshire County Council CA 23-Nov-1999
A child who did not receive sufficient education appropriate to his disability (dyslexia), did not acquire a right to claim in damages against the education authority. This applies both to claims of misfeasance in public office and in negligence. . .
CitedDavid Lannigan v Glasgow City Council OHCS 12-Aug-2004
The pursuer said the teachers employed by the defendant had failed to identify that was dyslexic, leading him to suffer damage. The defenders said the claim was time barred, which the pursuer admitted, but then said that the claim ought to go ahead . .
CitedSingh v Entry Clearance Officer New Delhi CA 30-Jul-2004
The applicant, an 8 year old boy, became part of his Indian family who lived in England, through an adoption recognised in Indian Law, but not in English Law. Though the adoption was genuine, his family ties had not been broken in India. The family . .
CitedAdams v Bracknell Forest Borough Council HL 17-Jun-2004
A attended the defendant’s schools between 1977 and 1988. He had always experienced difficulties with reading and writing and as an adult found those difficulties to be an impediment in his employment. He believed them to be the cause of the . .
CitedKearn-Price v Kent County Council CA 30-Oct-2002
The claimant was injured, being hit in the face by a football in a school playground. It was before school started. There had been accidents, and there were rules which had not been enforced. The school appealed a finding of negligence.
Held: . .
CitedJane Marianne Sandhar, John Stuart Murray v Department of Transport, Environment and the Regions CA 5-Nov-2004
The claimant’s husband died when his car skidded on hoar frost. She claimed the respondent was liable under the Act and at common law for failing to keep it safe.
Held: The respondent had not assumed a general responsibility to all road users . .
CitedCustoms and Excise v Barclays Bank Plc CA 22-Nov-2004
The claimant had obtained judgment against customers of the defendant, and then freezing orders for the accounts. The defendants inadvertently or negligently allowed sums to be transferred from the accounts. The claimants sought repayment by the . .
CitedCarty v London Borough of Croydon CA 27-Jan-2005
The claimant sought damages in negligence from education officers employed by the respondent. He appealed refusal of his claim. A statement of special education needs had been made which he said did not address his learning difficulties. The . .
CitedJD v East Berkshire Community Health NHS Trust and others HL 21-Apr-2005
Parents of children had falsely and negligently been accused of abusing their children. The children sought damages for negligence against the doctors or social workers who had made the statements supporting the actions taken. The House was asked if . .
CitedWest Bromwich Albion Football Club Ltd v El-Safty QBD 14-Dec-2005
The claimant sought damages from the defendant surgeon alleging negligent care of a footballer. The defendant argued that he had no duty to the club as employer of his patient who was being treated through his BUPA membership. It would have created . .
CitedHM Customs and Excise v Barclays Bank Plc HL 21-Jun-2006
The claimant had served an asset freezing order on the bank in respect of one of its customers. The bank paid out on a cheque inadvertently as to the order. The Commissioners claimed against the bank in negligence. The bank denied any duty of care. . .
See AlsoRhiannon Anderton v Clwyd County Council (2) QBD 25-Jul-2001
The claim form had been issued only just before the limitation period expired. Under the rules it would have been deemed to have been served on a Sunday, the day before the expiry of the period, but evidence suggested it was not received until after . .
See AlsoAnderton v Clwyd County Council (No 2); Bryant v Pech and Another Dorgan v Home Office; Chambers v Southern Domestic Electrical Services Ltd; Cummins v Shell International Manning Services Ltd CA 3-Jul-2002
In each case, the applicant sought to argue that documents which had actually been received on a certain date should not be deemed to have been served on a different day because of the rule.
Held: The coming into force of the Human Rights Act . .
CitedBowden and Another v Lancashire County Council CA 16-Apr-2002
The claimant had succeeded in her appeal against the cancellation of her registration as a child minder, and now sought damages for negligence in using unnecessarily the emergency procedure leading to damage to the claimant’s reputation and . .
CitedJain and Another v Trent Strategic Health Authority CA 22-Nov-2007
The claimant argued that the defendant owed him a duty of care as proprietor of a registered nursing home in cancelling the registration of the home under the 1984 Act. The authority appealed a finding that it owed such a duty.
Held: The . .
CitedK v Central and North West London Mental Health NHS Trust and Another QBD 30-May-2008
The claimant appealed against an order striking out his claim in negligence. He had leaped from a window in a suicide attempt. The accommodation was provided by the defendant whilst caring for him under the 1983 Act.
Held: The case should be . .
CitedConnor v Surrey County Council CA 18-Mar-2010
The claimant teacher said that she suffered personal injury from stress after the board of governors improperly failed to protect her from from false complaints. The Council now appealed against an award of substantial damages.
Held: The . .
CitedHome Office v Mohammed and Others CA 29-Mar-2011
The claimants sought damages saying that after a decision had been made that they should receive indefinite leave to remain in 2001 (latest), the leave was not issued until 2007 (earliest) thus causing them severe losses. The defendant now appealed . .
CitedSiddiqui v University of Oxford QBD 5-Dec-2016
The University applied to have struck out the claim by the claimant for damages alleging negligence in its teaching leading to a lower class degree than he said he should have been awarded.
Held: Strike out on the basis that the claim was . .
CitedRobinson v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police SC 8-Feb-2018
Limits to Police Exemption from Liability
The claimant, an elderly lady was bowled over and injured when police were chasing a suspect through the streets. As they arrested him they fell over on top of her. She appealed against refusal of her claim in negligence.
Held: Her appeal . .
CitedPoole Borough Council v GN and Another SC 6-Jun-2019
This appeal is concerned with the liability of a local authority for what is alleged to have been a negligent failure to exercise its social services functions so as to protect children from harm caused by third parties. The principal question of . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Local Government, Education, Vicarious Liability, Professional Negligence

Leading Case

Updated: 11 February 2022; Ref: scu.84699

Fisher v Oldham Corporation: KBD 1930

On Officer was subject to a claim for false imprisonment on an unlawful arrest, and it was asserted that the Watch Committee of the local authority were vicariously liable. The plaintiff pointed to his Oath of Office: ‘I . . . . . . . . . of . . . . . . . . . Street in the borough of Oldham do declare that I will well and truly serve and act as a constable of the said borough of Oldham for preserving the peace by day and by night and preventing robberies and other felonies and misdemeanours and apprehending offenders against the peace.’ The court examined the authorities as to the relationship between police officers and local authorities.
Held: The police were not the servants or agents of the Watch Committee of a borough corporation so as to make the corporation civilly liable for wrongs committed by the police. The police perform their duties as constables wholly independently of the Watch Committee. McCardle J illustrated the situation: ‘Suppose that a police officer arrested a man for a serious felony? Suppose, too, that the watch committee of the borough at once passed a resolution directing that the felon should be released? Of what value would such a resolution be? Not only would it be the plain duty of the police officer to disregard the resolution, but it would also be the duty of the Chief Constable to consider whether an information should not at once be laid against the members of the Watch Committee for a conspiracy to obstruct the course of justice.’
As to the argument that the Watch Committee were the officer’s employee, McArdle J said: ‘Prima facie, therefore, a police constable is not the servant of the borough. He is a servant of the State, a ministerial officer of the central power, though subject, in some respects, to local supervision and local regulation.’
In distinguishing obiter dicta in Wallwork v Fielding, that ‘The relations are those of employer and employee’ McCardle J said: ‘This . . is only an obiter dictum . . The words, of course, go too far if they are meant to imply that the relation between a corporation and a police officer is the normal relation of master and servant. Only in a special and limited sense can a police officer be said to be in the employ of the municipal corporation. With respect to the action for ‘wages’ as they are called in that case . . I think the point may well be raised some day whether any such action will lie in so far as it is framed upon an alleged contract of service in the ordinary sense. Any such action may perhaps be more properly brought on a special footing – namely on the duty of the defendants to pay such sum as is due by virtue of statutory obligation plus a certain degree of contractual relationship.’

Judges:

McCardie J

Citations:

[1930] 2 KB 364, 28 LGR 293, [1930] All ER 96, 99 LJKB 569, 143 LT 281, 94 JP 132, 46 TLR 390, 74 Sol Jo 299, 29 Cox CC 154

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

DistinguishedWallwork v Fielding CA 1922
A borough police constable sued the watch committee to recover his pay for a period during which he had been suspended by the defendant from duty, for an offence against discipline. The defendants alleged that the plaintiff was properly suspended . .

Cited by:

CitedRegina v Secretary of State for the Home Department, ex Parte Northumbria Police Authority CA 18-Nov-1987
The Authority appealed from refusal of judicial review of a circular issued by the respondent as to the supply of Plastic Baton Rounds and CS gas from central resources only. The authority suggested that the circular amounted to permission for the . .
CitedConway v Rimmer HL 28-Feb-1968
Crown Privilege for Documents held by the Polie
The plaintiff probationary police constable had been investigated, prosecuted and cleared of an allegation of theft. He now claimed damages for malicious prosecution, and in the course of the action, sought disclosure of five documents, but these . .
CitedCommissioner of Police for Metropolis v Lowrey-Nesbitt EAT 13-Jul-1998
A police officer does not work under a contract of employment for Employment Rights Act purposes and so may not claim for unlawful deduction from wages under the Act. Employment is a special statutory relationship, not contractual. . .
CitedChief Constable of Cumbria v McGlennon EAT 15-Jul-2002
. .
CitedMcKinnon v The London Borough of Redbridge CA 26-Feb-2014
The court was asked whether a member of the Redbridge Parks Police Service was entitled to make a claim for unfair dismissal. The employment tribunal held that he is so entitled. The Employment Appeal Tribunal reversed that decision.
(Orse . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Police, Local Government, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 01 February 2022; Ref: scu.554754

Mohamud v WM Morrison Supermarkets plc: SC 2 Mar 2016

The claimant had been assaulted and racially abused as he left a kiosk at the respondent’s petrol station by a member of staff. A manager had tried to dissuade the assailant, and the claim for damages against the supermarket had failed at first instance and at the court of appeal.
Held: The appeal was allowed.
Lord Toulson said: ‘In the simplest terms, the court has to consider two matters. The first question is what functions or ‘field of activities’ have been entrusted by the employer to the employee, or, in everyday language, what was the nature of his job. As has been emphasised in several cases, this question must be addressed broadly . . Secondly, the court must decide whether there was sufficient connection between the position in which he was employed and his wrongful conduct to make it right for the employer to be held liable under the principle of social justice which goes back to Holt. To try to measure the closeness of connection, as it were, on a scale of 1 to 10, would be a forlorn exercise and, what is more, it would miss the point. The cases in which the necessary connection has been found for Holt’s principle to be applied are cases in which the employee used or misused the position entrusted to him in a way which injured the third party.’
And, applying the Bazley case: ‘ (a); an opportunity to assault was afforded. That in itself is not sufficient, and in this instance it did not involve an abuse of power. (b); the assault did not and could not have furthered the employer’s aims. The situation is different from cases discussed earlier in this judgment. (c); the assault was related to a polite approach and request by the Appellant. The situation was one in which friction, confrontation or intimacy was not, in my judgment, inherent. (d); no relevant power was conferred on the employee as regards to the customer. (e); there was no special vulnerability of the applicant in the way that might arise, for example, where a child is in the care of a warden at a home’
Lord Dyson said: ‘The close connection test has now been repeatedly applied by our courts for some 13 years. In my view, it should only be abrogated or refined if a demonstrably better test can be devised. Far from being demonstrably better, the proposed new test is hopelessly vague. What does ‘representative capacity’ mean in this context? And by what criteria is the court to determine the circumstances in which the reasonable observer would consider the employee to be acting in a representative capacity? I do not see how this test is more precise than the close connection test or how it better reflects modern views of justice. The attraction of the close connection test is that it is firmly rooted in justice. It asks whether the employee’s tort is so closely connected with his employment as to make it just to hold the employer liable.’

Judges:

Lord Neuberger, President, Lady Hale, Deputy President, Lord Dyson, Lord Reed, Lord Toulson

Citations:

[2016] WLR(D) 109, [2016] UKSC 11, [2016] ICR 485, [2017] 1 All ER 15, [2016] PIQR P11, [2016] 2 WLR 821, [2016] AC 677, [2016] IRLR 362, UKSC 2014/0087

Links:

Bailii Summary, Bailii, WLRD, SC, SC Summary

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

CitedKeppel Bus Co v Ahmad PC 20-May-1974
Singapore – The respondent, the plaintiff was a passenger in a bus belonging to the appellants. They employed as conductor of the bus the second defendant. The conductor treated an elderly lady passenger in a high-handed and rude fashion. The . .
CitedVasey v Surrey Free Inns Plc CA 5-May-1995
The claimant had been refused entry to the nightclub and in a temper he had kicked the door and damaged glass in it. Employees of the defendants’ nightclub, two employed as doormen, pursued the group of whom the claimant was one, to a public car . .
AppliedBazley v Curry 17-Jun-1999
(Canadian Supreme Court) The court considerd the doctrine of vicarious liability: ‘The policy purposes underlying the imposition of vicarious liability on employers are served only where the wrong is so connected with the employment that it can be . .
CitedFennelly v Connex South Eastern Ltd CA 11-Dec-2000
A ticket inspector, following an altercation with a passenger during which strong words were exchanged, had held the passenger in a headlock. The court had found this to be within the course of his employment so as to make the employer vicariously . .
CitedBoson v Sandford and Others 1629
A shipper of goods sued the ship owner for damage caused by the negligence of the master. Eyre J held that there was no difference between a land carrier and a water carrier, and therefore the owners were under a special liability as carriers for . .
CitedMattis v Pollock (T/A Flamingo’s Nightclub) QBD 24-Oct-2002
The claimant sought damages after being assaulted by a doorman employed by the defendant.
Held: The responsibility of the nightclub owner for the actions of his aggressive doorman was not extinguished by the separation in time and place from . .
CitedHern v Nichols 1700
The plaintiff brought an action on the case for deceit, alleging that he bought several parcels of silk under a fraudulent representation by the defendant’s factor that it was another kind of silk. The factor was operating overseas and there was no . .
CitedSir Robert Wayland’s Case 1795
Holt CJ said: ‘the master at his peril ought to take care what servant he employs; and it is more reasonable that he should suffer for the cheats of his servant than strangers and tradesmen’. . .
At CAMohamud v Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc CA 13-Feb-2014
The court was asked whether the Respondent supermarket was vicariously liable for an assault committed by an employee upon the Appellant. The claimant had been assaulted and injured by the respondent’s employee whilst at a service station. He now . .
CitedVaickuviene and Others v J Sainsbury Plc SCS 11-Jul-2013
A Mr Romasov was killed by a fellow employee in a Sainsbury’s supermarket; this fellow employee had, two days earlier, told Mr Romasov that he did not like immigrants and that he should go back to his own country. There was an argument when the . .
CitedMiddleton v Fowler and Others 1795
For the master to be liable the servant’s act had to be within the area of the authority given to him. . .
CitedBarwick v English Joint Stock Bank 1867
When considering the vicarious liability of a master for the acts of his servant, no sensible distinction could be drawn between the case of fraud and any other wrong. The general rule was that: ‘the master is answerable for every such wrong of the . .
CitedMackay and Another v The Commercial Bank of New Brunswick and Others PC 14-Mar-1874
(New Brunswick) It may be generally assumed that, in mercantile transactions, principals do not authorise their agents to act fraudulently, frauds are beyond the agent’s authority in the narrowest sense of which the expression admits; but that so . .
CitedHouldsworth v City of Glasgow Bank HL 12-Mar-1880
‘an innocent principal was civilly responsible for the fraud of his authorised agent, acting within his authority, to the same extent as if it was his own fraud’. . .
CitedLloyd v Grace, Smith and Co HL 1912
Mrs Lloyd delivered the title deeds of her cottages at Ellesmere Port to the solicitors’ managing clerk, who defrauded her.
Held: Vicarious liability can extend to fraudulent acts or omissions if those were carried out in the course of the . .
CitedCentral Motors (Glasgow) Ltd v Cessnock Garage and Motor Co 1925
A night watchman at a garage drove off in a car left there for his own purposes and damaged it.
Held: The garage had delegated to their employee the duty of keeping the car safely secured in the garage and they were liable to the owners of the . .
CitedWarren v Henlys Ltd 1948
A garage attendant, as an act of personal vengeance, assaulted a customer of the garage. A customer at a petrol station was abused by the attendant as he drove off without paying. The customer then paid. He complained to the police officer he found . .
CitedPetterson v Royal Oak Hotel Ltd 22-Aug-1947
A barman had refused to serve a drunken customer with more alcohol. As the customer was on his way out of the premises, he threw a glass at the barman which broke in pieces at his feet. The barman picked up a piece of the broken glass and threw it . .
CitedDeatons Pty Ltd v Flew 12-Dec-1949
(High Court of Australia). A barmaid employed by the appellant threw first the beer from a glass, and then the glass in a customer’s face causing injury. The company appealed a find of vicarious liability.
Held: The act of the barmaid was not . .
CitedKeppel Bus Co v Ahmad PC 20-May-1974
Singapore – The respondent, the plaintiff was a passenger in a bus belonging to the appellants. They employed as conductor of the bus the second defendant. The conductor treated an elderly lady passenger in a high-handed and rude fashion. The . .
CitedRose v Plenty CA 7-Jul-1975
Contrary to his employers orders, a milkman allowed children to assist him in his milkround. One was injured, and sued the milkman’s employer.
Held: The milkman had not gone so far outside the activities for which he was employed for the . .
CitedBazley v Curry 17-Jun-1999
(Canadian Supreme Court) The court considerd the doctrine of vicarious liability: ‘The policy purposes underlying the imposition of vicarious liability on employers are served only where the wrong is so connected with the employment that it can be . .
ConfirmedLister and Others v Hesley Hall Ltd HL 3-May-2001
A school board employed staff to manage a residential school for vulnerable children. The staff committed sexual abuse of the children. The school denied vicarious liability for the acts of the teachers.
Held: ‘Vicarious liability is legal . .
CitedDubai Aluminium Company Limited v Salaam and Others HL 5-Dec-2002
Partners Liable for Dishonest Act of Solicitor
A solicitor had been alleged to have acted dishonestly, having assisted in a fraudulent breach of trust by drafting certain documents. Contributions to the damages were sought from his partners.
Held: The acts complained of were so close to . .
CitedBernard v The Attorney General of Jamaica PC 7-Oct-2004
PC (Jamaica) The claimant had been queuing for some time to make an overseas phone call at the Post Office. Eventually his turn came, he picked up the phone and dialled. Suddenly a man intervened, announced . .
CitedBrown v Robinson and Sentry PC 14-Dec-2004
(Jamaica) The deceased claimant had been shot by a sentry employed by the respondent company. His estate appealed a finding that the sentry was not acting in the course of his employment.
Held: Older authorities had now been replaced by recent . .
CitedMajrowski v Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust HL 12-Jul-2006
Employer can be liable for Managers Harassment
The claimant employee sought damages, saying that he had been bullied by his manager and that bullying amounting to harassment under the 1997 Act. The employer now appealed a finding that it was responsible for a tort committed by a manager, saying . .
CitedGravil v Carroll and Another CA 18-Jun-2008
The claimant was injured by an unlawful punch thrown by the first defendant when they played rugby. He sought damages also against the defendant’s club, and now appealed from a finding that they were not vicariously liable. The defendant player’s . .
CitedWeddall v Barchester Healthcare Ltd CA 24-Jan-2012
Parties appealed against judgments dismissing their claims of vicarious liability as against their employers after assaults by co-employees.
Held: Appeals were dismissed and allowed according to their facts.
In one case, one employee . .
CitedThe Catholic Child Welfare Society and Others v Various Claimants and The Institute of The Brothers of The Christian Schools and Others SC 21-Nov-2012
Law of vicarious liability is on the move
Former children at the children’s homes had sought damages for sexual and physical abuse. The court heard arguments as to the vicarious liability of the Society for abuse caused by a parish priest visiting the school. The Court of Appeal had found . .

Cited by:

CitedChell v Tarmac Cement and Lime Ltd CA 12-Jan-2022
Explosive Pellet Use Not Within Employee’s Role.
The claimant worked on a site operated by the respondent. One of the respondent’s employees exploded two pellet targets injuring the claimant’s hearing. He asserted vicarious liability in the respondent. There had been tensions between the claimant . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Personal Injury

Updated: 28 January 2022; Ref: scu.560622

Petterson v Royal Oak Hotel Ltd: 22 Aug 1947

A barman had refused to serve a drunken customer with more alcohol. As the customer was on his way out of the premises, he threw a glass at the barman which broke in pieces at his feet. The barman picked up a piece of the broken glass and threw it back at the departing customer, but missed him and injured the eye of another customer, who sued for damages. At trial, the trial judge found that the barman threw the piece of glass ‘not in order to expedite the departure of the troublesome customer, but as an expression of his personal resentment at the glass being thrown at him’. He found for the claimant.
Held: His judgment was upheld by the Court of Appeal. The barman’s action was an improper mode of doing his job of keeping order in the bar and avoiding altercations, although at the time the customer was leaving.

Citations:

[1948] NZLR 136, [1947] NZGazLawRp 97, (1947) 49 GLR 397

Links:

NZGLR

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedMohamud v WM Morrison Supermarkets plc SC 2-Mar-2016
The claimant had been assaulted and racially abused as he left a kiosk at the respondent’s petrol station by a member of staff. A manager had tried to dissuade the assailant, and the claim for damages against the supermarket had failed at first . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Agency, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 28 January 2022; Ref: scu.606514

Houldsworth v City of Glasgow Bank: HL 12 Mar 1880

‘an innocent principal was civilly responsible for the fraud of his authorised agent, acting within his authority, to the same extent as if it was his own fraud’.

Citations:

(1880) 5 App Cas 317, [1880] UKLawRpAC 14

Links:

Commonlii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedMohamud v WM Morrison Supermarkets plc SC 2-Mar-2016
The claimant had been assaulted and racially abused as he left a kiosk at the respondent’s petrol station by a member of staff. A manager had tried to dissuade the assailant, and the claim for damages against the supermarket had failed at first . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability

Updated: 28 January 2022; Ref: scu.606513

Lister v Romford Ice and Cold Storage Co Ltd: CA 1956

Where an employer is found vicariously liable for an employee’s actions, they are entitled to recover an indemnity from them, to cover such losses.
Held: An accident which occurred in the yard of a slaughterhouse did not arise out of use on the road. Romer LJ opined that to hold that the accident arose out of use on a road would be stretching the language of the section beyond permissible limits. He gave the following example to illustrate his understanding of the meaning of the statutory words: ‘An accident is caused by the use of a vehicle on a road if it runs over a pedestrian at a zebra crossing; an accident arises out of the use of a vehicle on a road if it skids off the road and injures a pedestrian who is walking on the pavement.’
Birkett LJ expressed a similar view in rejecting the idea that the accident arose out of the use of the lorry on the road because the lorry had to be driven on the road to get to the yard.
Denning LJ took a different view, holding that because the lorry was engaged in operations incidental or ancillary to a journey on the road, the accident arose out of the use of the vehicle on the road.

Lord Justice Birkett, Lord Justice Romer
[1956] 2 QB 180
Road Traffic Act 1930 36(1)
England and Wales
Cited by:
Appeal fromLister v Romford Ice and Cold Storage Co Ltd HL 1957
An employer may be civilly responsible for his employee’s breach even though it constitutes a crime, and a skilled employee in general owed a contractual duty of reasonable care to his employer in the performance of his employment. In determining . .
ApproveeR and S Pilling (T/A Phoenix Engineering) v UK Insurance Ltd SC 27-Mar-2019
The driver’s car failed its MOT., He took it to private premises to repair. In those repairs, inflammable materials ignited and the fire spread those premises and adjoining third party premises. The premise’ insurers paid the owners of both and . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 23 January 2022; Ref: scu.241433

Frederick and Others v Positive Financial Solutions (Financial Services) Ltd: ChD 5 Aug 2016

The Claimants seek to recover from the Defendant, Positive Solutions (Financial Services) Ltd (Positive Solutions), compensation for losses that they have allegedly suffered as a result of the conduct of a Mr Qureshi and a Mr Warren.

Master Bowles
[2016] EWHC 2030 (Ch)
Bailii
Financial Services and Markets Act 2000
England and Wales

Vicarious Liability, Financial Services

Updated: 22 January 2022; Ref: scu.568635

Chell v Tarmac Cement and Lime Ltd: QBD 5 Oct 2020

Martin Spencer J
[2020] EWHC 2613 (QB)
Bailii
England and Wales
Cited by:
Appeal fromChell v Tarmac Cement and Lime Ltd CA 12-Jan-2022
Explosive Pellet Use Not Within Employee’s Role.
The claimant worked on a site operated by the respondent. One of the respondent’s employees exploded two pellet targets injuring the claimant’s hearing. He asserted vicarious liability in the respondent. There had been tensions between the claimant . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 22 January 2022; Ref: scu.655140

Regina v Stephens: 1866

The court was asked whether the owner of a slate quarry was answerable for a public nuisance caused by his workmen without his knowledge and contrary to his general orders.
Held: Mellor J: ‘It is quite true that this in point of form is a proceeding of a criminal nature, but in substance I think it is in the nature of a civil proceeding, and I can see no reason why a different rule should prevail with regard to such an act as is charged in this indictment between proceedings which are civil and proceedings which are criminal. I think there may be nuisances of such a character that the rule I am applying here, would not be applicable to them, but here it is perfectly clear that the only reason for proceeding criminally is that the nuisance, instead of being merely a nuisance affecting an individual, or one or two individuals, affects the public at large, and no private individual, without receiving some special injury, could have maintained an action. Then if the contention of those who say the direction is wrong is to prevail, the public would have great difficulty in getting redress. The object of this indictment is to prevent the recurrence of the nuisance. The prosecutor cannot proceed by action, but must proceed by indictment, and if this were strictly a criminal proceeding the prosecution would be met with the objection that there was no mens rea: that the indictment charged the defendant with a criminal offence, when in reality there was no proof that the defendant knew of the act, or that he himself gave orders to his servants to do the particular act he is charged with; still at the same time it is perfectly clear that the defendant finds the capital, and carries on the business which causes the nuisance, and it is carried on for his benefit; although from age or infirmity the defendant is unable to go to the premises, the business is carried on for him by his sons, or at all events by his agents. Under these circumstances the defendant must necessarily give to his servants or agents all the authority that is incident to the carrying on of the business. It is not because he had at some time or other given directions that it should be carried on so as not to allow the refuse from the works to fall into the river, and desired his servants to provide some other place for depositing it, that when it has fallen into the river, and has become prejudicial to the public, he can say he is not liable on an indictment for a nuisance caused by the acts of his servants. It appears to me that all it was necessary to prove is, that the nuisance was caused in the carrying on of the works of the quarry.’

Blackburn J: ‘All that it is necessary to say is this, that where a person maintains works by his capital, and employs servants, and so carries on the works as in fact to cause a nuisance to a private right, for which an action would lie, if the same nuisance inflicts an injury upon a public right the remedy for which would be by indictment, the evidence which would maintain the action would also support the indictment. That is all that it was necessary to decide and all that is decided.’

Mellor J, Blackburn J
(1866) LR 1 QB 702
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedSherras v De Rutzen QBD 2-May-1895
The court considered the need to establish mens rea where it was dealing with something which was one of a class of acts which ‘are not criminal in any real sense, but are acts which in the public interest are prohibited under a penalty’, and ‘There . .
CitedRegina v Rimmington; Regina v Goldstein HL 21-Jul-2005
Common Law – Public Nuisance – Extent
The House considered the elements of the common law offence of public nuisance. One defendant faced accusations of having sent racially offensive materials to individuals. The second was accused of sending an envelope including salt to a friend as a . .
CitedCraik, Chief Constable of Northumbria Police, Regina (on The Application of) v Newcastle Upon Tyne Magistrates’ Court Admn 30-Apr-2010
The claimant a retired Chief Constable sought judicial review of a decision to commit him for trial on a charge of unlawful imprisonment. The suspect and now prosecutor had been arrested and held in custody, but without the necessary timely review . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Crime, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 14 January 2022; Ref: scu.231627

Graham v Commercial Bodyworks Ltd: CA 5 Feb 2015

The claimant had been very badly burned. He was covered in flammable liquid when a co-worker lit a cigarette.
Held: The claimant’s appeal failed. ‘although the defendant employers did create a risk by requiring their employees to work with thinning agents, it is difficult to say that the creation of that risk was sufficiently closely connected with Mr Wilkinson’s highly reckless act of splashing the thinner onto Mr Graham’s overalls and then using a cigarette lighter in his vicinity.’ and ‘the real cause of Mr Graham’s injuries was the no doubt frolicsome but reckless conduct of Mr Wilkinson which cannot be said to have occurred in the course of his employment.’

Longmore, Underhill, Sharp LJJ
[2015] EWCA Civ 47, [2015] WLR(D) 50, [2015] ICR 665, [2015] PIQR P15
Bailii, WLRD
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedJacobi v Griffiths 17-Jun-1999
(Canadian Supreme Court) The process for determining when a non-authorised act by an employee is so connected to the employer’s enterprise that liability should be imposed involved two steps: 1. Firstly a court should determine whether there are . .
CitedBazley v Curry 17-Jun-1999
(Canadian Supreme Court) The court considerd the doctrine of vicarious liability: ‘The policy purposes underlying the imposition of vicarious liability on employers are served only where the wrong is so connected with the employment that it can be . .
CitedDubai Aluminium Company Limited v Salaam and Others HL 5-Dec-2002
Partners Liable for Dishonest Act of Solicitor
A solicitor had been alleged to have acted dishonestly, having assisted in a fraudulent breach of trust by drafting certain documents. Contributions to the damages were sought from his partners.
Held: The acts complained of were so close to . .
CitedLister and Others v Hesley Hall Ltd HL 3-May-2001
A school board employed staff to manage a residential school for vulnerable children. The staff committed sexual abuse of the children. The school denied vicarious liability for the acts of the teachers.
Held: ‘Vicarious liability is legal . .
CitedAldred v Naranco CA 1987
A co-employee pushed a wash basin against Ms Aldred in order to startle her. She turned round quickly to see what was going on and injured her back in the process.
Held: Applying the traditional Salmond test, the co-employee’s act was not so . .
CitedMattis v Pollock (T/A Flamingo’s Nightclub) CA 1-Jul-2003
A nightclub employed an unlicensed bouncer/doorman. After an altercation in and outside the club, he went home, and returned armed and seriously assaulted the customer.
Held: The club had vicarious liability for his acts. There was a . .
CitedWilson v Exel UK Ltd SCS 29-Apr-2010
A supervisor in a depot was entrusted to implement the employers’ health and safety policies. In a prank, he forcefully pulled an employee’s head back by her hair.
Held: The pursuer’s appeal against rejection of the claim based upon vicarious . .
CitedWeddall v Barchester Healthcare Ltd CA 24-Jan-2012
Parties appealed against judgments dismissing their claims of vicarious liability as against their employers after assaults by co-employees.
Held: Appeals were dismissed and allowed according to their facts.
In one case, one employee . .
CitedVaickuviene and Others v J Sainsbury Plc SCS 11-Jul-2013
A Mr Romasov was killed by a fellow employee in a Sainsbury’s supermarket; this fellow employee had, two days earlier, told Mr Romasov that he did not like immigrants and that he should go back to his own country. There was an argument when the . .

Cited by:
CitedChell v Tarmac Cement and Lime Ltd CA 12-Jan-2022
Explosive pellet not part of employee’s role.
The claimant worked on a site operated by the respondent. One of the respondent’s employees exploded two pellet targets injuring the claimant’s hearing. He asserted vicarious liability in the respondent. There had been tensions between the claimant . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Personal Injury

Updated: 14 January 2022; Ref: scu.542263

Bazley v Curry: 17 Jun 1999

(Canadian Supreme Court) The court considerd the doctrine of vicarious liability: ‘The policy purposes underlying the imposition of vicarious liability on employers are served only where the wrong is so connected with the employment that it can be said that the employer has introduced the risk of the wrong (and is thereby fairly and usefully charged with its management and minimization). The question is whether there is a connection or nexus between the employment enterprise and that wrong that justifies imposition of vicarious liability on the employer for the wrong, in terms of fair allocation of the consequences of the risk and/or deterrence.’ The court criticised the decision in Trotman, saying: ‘the opinion’s reasoning depends on the level of generality with which the sexual act is described. Instead of describing the act in terms of the employee’s duties of supervising and caring for vulnerable students during a study trip abroad, the Court of Appeal cast it in terms unrelated to those duties. Important legal decisions should not turn on such semantics. As Atiyah points out (Vicarious Liability in the Law of Torts, p 263): ‘conduct can be correctly described at varying levels of generality, and no one description of the ‘act’ on which the servant was engaged is necessarily more correct than any other’.’
McLachlin J posed some non-inclusive factors which may be relevant in considering intentional torts: ‘(a) The opportunity that the enterprise afforded the employee to abuse his or her power;
(b) The extent to which the wrongful act may have furthered the employer’s aims (and hence be more likely to have been committed by the employee);
(c) The extent to which the wrongful act was related to friction, confrontation or intimacy inherent in the employer’s enterprise;
(d) The extent of power conferred on the employee in relation to the victim;
(e) The vulnerability of potential victims to wrongful exercise of the employee’s power.’

McLachlin J
(1999) 174 DLR (4th) 45, [1999] 8 WWR 197, 43 CCEL (2d) 1, 62 BCLR (3d) 173, [1999] 2 SCR 534
Canlii
Canada
Citing:
CriticisedST v North Yorkshire County Council CA 14-Jul-1998
The court considered the liability of the respondent for sexual assaults committed by an employee teacher when taking students on school trips.
Held: The Local Authority was not vicariously liable for sexual assault committed by employee . .

Cited by:
ApprovedLister and Others v Hesley Hall Ltd HL 3-May-2001
A school board employed staff to manage a residential school for vulnerable children. The staff committed sexual abuse of the children. The school denied vicarious liability for the acts of the teachers.
Held: ‘Vicarious liability is legal . .
CitedBernard v The Attorney General of Jamaica PC 7-Oct-2004
PC (Jamaica) The claimant had been queuing for some time to make an overseas phone call at the Post Office. Eventually his turn came, he picked up the phone and dialled. Suddenly a man intervened, announced . .
CitedMajrowski v Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust CA 16-Mar-2005
The claimant had sought damages against his employer, saying that they had failed in their duty to him under the 1997 Act in failing to prevent harassment by a manager. He appealed a strike out of his claim.
Held: The appeal succeeded. The . .
CitedGravil v Carroll and Another CA 18-Jun-2008
The claimant was injured by an unlawful punch thrown by the first defendant when they played rugby. He sought damages also against the defendant’s club, and now appealed from a finding that they were not vicariously liable. The defendant player’s . .
CitedMaga v The Trustees of The Birmingham Archdiocese of The Roman Catholic Church CA 16-Mar-2010
The claimant appealed against rejection of his claim for damages after alleging sexual abuse by a catholic priest. The judge had found the church not vicariously liable for the injuries, and that the archdiocese had not been under a duty further to . .
CitedWeddall v Barchester Healthcare Ltd CA 24-Jan-2012
Parties appealed against judgments dismissing their claims of vicarious liability as against their employers after assaults by co-employees.
Held: Appeals were dismissed and allowed according to their facts.
In one case, one employee . .
CitedThe Catholic Child Welfare Society and Others v Various Claimants and The Institute of The Brothers of The Christian Schools and Others SC 21-Nov-2012
Law of vicarious liability is on the move
Former children at the children’s homes had sought damages for sexual and physical abuse. The court heard arguments as to the vicarious liability of the Society for abuse caused by a parish priest visiting the school. The Court of Appeal had found . .
CitedGraham v Commercial Bodyworks Ltd CA 5-Feb-2015
The claimant had been very badly burned. He was covered in flammable liquid when a co-worker lit a cigarette.
Held: The claimant’s appeal failed. ‘although the defendant employers did create a risk by requiring their employees to work with . .
AppliedMohamud v WM Morrison Supermarkets plc SC 2-Mar-2016
The claimant had been assaulted and racially abused as he left a kiosk at the respondent’s petrol station by a member of staff. A manager had tried to dissuade the assailant, and the claim for damages against the supermarket had failed at first . .
CitedMohamud v WM Morrison Supermarkets plc SC 2-Mar-2016
The claimant had been assaulted and racially abused as he left a kiosk at the respondent’s petrol station by a member of staff. A manager had tried to dissuade the assailant, and the claim for damages against the supermarket had failed at first . .
CitedChell v Tarmac Cement and Lime Ltd CA 12-Jan-2022
Explosive pellet not part of employee’s role.
The claimant worked on a site operated by the respondent. One of the respondent’s employees exploded two pellet targets injuring the claimant’s hearing. He asserted vicarious liability in the respondent. There had been tensions between the claimant . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability

Updated: 14 January 2022; Ref: scu.214669

Lister and Others v Hesley Hall Ltd: HL 3 May 2001

A school board employed staff to manage a residential school for vulnerable children. The staff committed sexual abuse of the children. The school denied vicarious liability for the acts of the teachers.
Held: ‘Vicarious liability is legal responsibility imposed on an employer, although he is himself free from blame, for a tort committed by his employee in the course of his employment.’ ‘Vicarious liability is a species of strict liability. It is not premised on any culpable act or omission on the part of the employer; an employer who is not personally at fault is made legally answerable for the fault of his employee. It is best understood as a loss-distribution device’ (Lord Millett) The court overruled earlier decisions to hold that the school was vicariously liable. The test is not just whether the abuse was an unauthorised way of carrying out tasks authorised as part of the employment. These acts had been committed on the premises and during the time when the staff should have been complying with their duty to care for the children. The connection of time and place, and the inextricable link between the acts of abuse and the employment, were sufficiently close to establish liability. Wrongful conduct must be so closely connected with acts the partner or employee was authorised to do that, for the purpose of the liability of the firm or the employer to third parties, the wrongful conduct may fairly and properly be regarded as done by the partner while acting in the ordinary course of the firm’s business or the employee’s employment.

Lord Steyn, Lord Clyde, Lord Hutton, Lord Hobhouse of Woodborough, Lord Millett
Times 10-May-2001, Gazette 14-Jun-2001, [2001] UKHL 22, [2002] 1 AC 215, [2001] 2 All ER 769, [2001] 2 FCR 97, (2001) 3 LGLR 49, [2001] NPC 89, [2001] Fam Law 595, [2001] 2 WLR 1311, [2001] IRLR 472, [2001] ICR 665, [2001] Emp LR 819, [2001] 2 FLR 307, [2001] ELR 422
Bailii, House of Lords
England and Wales
Citing:
Appeal fromLister and others v Hesley Hall Ltd CA 7-Oct-1999
Where a residential worker at a children’s home committed sexual abuse on children within his care, the company running the home were not vicariously liable for the acts themselves, but also were not responsible where the worker did not report his . .
OverruledST v North Yorkshire County Council CA 14-Jul-1998
The court considered the liability of the respondent for sexual assaults committed by an employee teacher when taking students on school trips.
Held: The Local Authority was not vicariously liable for sexual assault committed by employee . .
CitedLloyd v Grace, Smith and Co HL 1912
Mrs Lloyd delivered the title deeds of her cottages at Ellesmere Port to the solicitors’ managing clerk, who defrauded her.
Held: Vicarious liability can extend to fraudulent acts or omissions if those were carried out in the course of the . .
CitedCanadian Pacific Railway Co v Lockhart PC 1941
When considering the imposition of vicarious liability, ‘the first consideration is the ascertainment of what the servant is employed to do.’ (Lord Thankerton) and ‘It is clear that the master is responsible for acts actually authorised by him: for . .
CitedRacz v Home Office HL 17-Dec-1993
The Home Office can be liable for the actions of prison officers which amounted to an official misfeasance. The principles of vicarious liability apply as much to misfeasance in public office as to other torts involving malice, knowledge or . .
CitedMorris v C W Martin and Sons Ltd CA 1965
The plaintiff took her mink stole to the defendants for cleaning. An employee received and stole the fur. The judge had held that the defendants were not liable because the theft was not committed in the course of employment.
Held: The . .
CitedWilliams v A and W Hemphill Ltd HL 1966
Against his employers’s instructions a driver of a lorry deviated substantially from his route. On the detour an accident occurred owing to the fault of the driver. The question arose whether the employers of the lorry driver were vicariously . .
CitedPort Swettenham Authority v T W Wu and Co (M) Sdn Bhd PC 19-Jun-1978
A gratuitous bailee assumes a duty to take reasonable care of the chattel: ‘This standard, although high, may be a less exacting standard than that which the common law requires of a bailee for reward [but] the line between the two standards is a . .
CitedRose v Plenty CA 7-Jul-1975
Contrary to his employers orders, a milkman allowed children to assist him in his milkround. One was injured, and sued the milkman’s employer.
Held: The milkman had not gone so far outside the activities for which he was employed for the . .
CitedIlkiw v Samuels CA 1963
The plaintiff was injured by the careless manouvering of a lorry by the defendant’s employee.
Held: When considering the vicarious liability of an employer, the proper approach to the nature of the servant’s employment is a broad one. . .
CitedPhoto Production Ltd v Securicor Transport Ltd HL 14-Feb-1980
Interpretation of Exclusion Clauses
The plaintiffs had contracted with the defendants for the provision of a night patrol service for their factory. The perils the parties had in mind were fire and theft. A patrol man deliberately lit a fire which burned down the factory. It was an . .
ApprovedJacobi v Griffiths 17-Jun-1999
(Canadian Supreme Court) The process for determining when a non-authorised act by an employee is so connected to the employer’s enterprise that liability should be imposed involved two steps: 1. Firstly a court should determine whether there are . .
ApprovedBazley v Curry 17-Jun-1999
(Canadian Supreme Court) The court considerd the doctrine of vicarious liability: ‘The policy purposes underlying the imposition of vicarious liability on employers are served only where the wrong is so connected with the employment that it can be . .
CitedSanderson v Collins CA 1904
The defendant’s coachman had taken out for his own purposes a dog-cart which belonged to the plaintiff and had been lent to the defendant.
Held: The defendant was not vicariously liable for the coachman’s actions: ‘If the servant in doing any . .
CitedKilboy v South Eastern Fire Area Joint Committee 1952
The court discussed the rule of respondeat superior: ‘What was once presented as a legal principle has degenerated into a rule of expediency, imperfectly defined, and changing its shape before our eyes under the impact of changing social and . .
CitedImperial Chemical Industries Ltd v Shatwell HL 6-Jul-1964
The respondent was employed as a shot firer in a quarry, and was to test the electric wiring connecting explosive charges. Contrary to instructions that testing must be done from a shelter, the respondent and another shot firer carried out a test in . .
CitedStaveley Iron and Chemical Co Ltd v Jones HL 1956
The court must avoid treating every risky act by an employee due to familiarity with the work or some inattention resulting from noise or strain as contributory negligence: ‘ . . in Factory Act cases the purpose of imposing the absolute obligation . .
CitedKirby v National Coal Board OHCS 1958
The court considered the degree of connection necessary between the act of an employee and his employer’s business to establish liability under the rule respondeat superior: ‘four different types of situation have been envisaged as guides to the . .
CitedPlumb v Cobden Flour Mills Co Ltd HL 1914
In looking at restrictions by an employer to limit his vicarious liability, the court must distinguish between prohibitions which limit the sphere of employment and those which only deal with conduct within the sphere of employment:’ ‘there are . .
CitedTower Boot Company Limited v Jones CA 11-Dec-1996
An employer’s liability for racial abuse by its employees is wider than its liability under the rules of vicarious liability. The statute created new obligations. Sex and race discrimination legislation seeks to eradicate the ‘very great evil’ of . .
CitedCentury Insurance v Northern Ireland Road Transport Board HL 4-Mar-1942
Vicarious liability applied, where the lighting of a match to light a cigarette and throwing it on the floor while transferring petrol from a lorry to a tank was held to be in the scope of employment. . .
CitedDeatons Pty Ltd v Flew 12-Dec-1949
(High Court of Australia). A barmaid employed by the appellant threw first the beer from a glass, and then the glass in a customer’s face causing injury. The company appealed a find of vicarious liability.
Held: The act of the barmaid was not . .
CitedIrving and Irving v Post Office CA 1987
The defendant’s employee disliked his neighbours – the plaintiffs. Whilst working in the sorting office, he wrote racially abusive materials on letters addressed to them. The plaintiffs appealed a finding that the defendant was not liable because . .
CitedCentral Motors (Glasgow) Ltd v Cessnock Garage and Motor Co 1925
A night watchman at a garage drove off in a car left there for his own purposes and damaged it.
Held: The garage had delegated to their employee the duty of keeping the car safely secured in the garage and they were liable to the owners of the . .
CitedWard v Scotrail Railways Limited SCS 27-Nov-1998
The claimant sought damages from the defender, saying that a co-worker had sexually harrassed her. The behaviour continued after she made a complaint to her employer.
Held: It was conceded that the employee’s conduct was not such as to attract . .
CitedAldred v Nacanco CA 1987
The claimant sought damages. At the end of the day, a co-employee tried to startle her by pushing an insecure washbasin against her, but caused her actual injury.
Held: The plaintiff’s appeal was dismissed. It was an independent act not . .
CitedMeux v Great Eastern Railway Co 1895
The plaintiff sought damages from the railway company for carelessly damaging his goods even though he did not himself have a contract with the company.
Held: A duty was owed by the railway company towards the goods owner, applying cases which . .
CitedGilchrist Watt and Sanderson Pty Ltd v York Products Pty Ltd PC 1970
(New South Wales – Australia) The defendants were stevedores who had lost two cases of clocks that they had received as sub-bailees of the shipowners, who in turn owed a duty to deliver them to the plaintiffs under the bills of lading.
Held: . .
CitedBarwick v English Joint Stock Bank 1867
When considering the vicarious liability of a master for the acts of his servant, no sensible distinction could be drawn between the case of fraud and any other wrong. The general rule was that: ‘the master is answerable for every such wrong of the . .
CitedFoulkes v Metropolitan District Railway Co 1880
The court considered the liability of a railway company where the plaintiff had bought his ticket from one railway company, but claimed liability from another which had undertaken responsibility for part of the services to be rendered to the . .
CitedDyer v Munday; Morris v Martin CA 1895
The defendant, a hire purchase furniture dealer, sent his manager to recover back some furniture hired to X and upon which several instalments were unpaid. X had pledged the furniture to his landlord as security for his rent, and the landlord’s wife . .
CitedWarren v Henlys Ltd 1948
A garage attendant, as an act of personal vengeance, assaulted a customer of the garage. A customer at a petrol station was abused by the attendant as he drove off without paying. The customer then paid. He complained to the police officer he found . .

Cited by:
CitedMattis v Pollock (T/A Flamingo’s Nightclub) CA 1-Jul-2003
A nightclub employed an unlicensed bouncer/doorman. After an altercation in and outside the club, he went home, and returned armed and seriously assaulted the customer.
Held: The club had vicarious liability for his acts. There was a . .
CitedDubai Aluminium Company Limited v Salaam and Others HL 5-Dec-2002
Partners Liable for Dishonest Act of Solicitor
A solicitor had been alleged to have acted dishonestly, having assisted in a fraudulent breach of trust by drafting certain documents. Contributions to the damages were sought from his partners.
Held: The acts complained of were so close to . .
CitedThe Attorney General v Hartwell PC 23-Feb-2004
PC (The British Virgin Islands) A police officer had taken the police revolver, and used it to shoot the claimant. It was alleged that the respondent police force were vicariously liable for his acts and also . .
CitedFrans Maas (Uk) Ltd v Samsung Electronics (Uk) Ltd ComC 30-Jun-2004
A large volume of mobile phones were stolen from a warehouse. The owner claimed damages from the bailee. The defendant said that standard terms applied limiting their responsibility to value calculated by weight.
Held: There was a bailment . .
CitedMattis v Pollock (T/A Flamingo’s Nightclub) QBD 24-Oct-2002
The claimant sought damages after being assaulted by a doorman employed by the defendant.
Held: The responsibility of the nightclub owner for the actions of his aggressive doorman was not extinguished by the separation in time and place from . .
ConsideredBalfron Trustees Ltd v Peterson CA 2001
The court analysed in detail the decision in Lister v Hesley Hall and continued: ‘All of these passages emphasise the necessity of identifying the duty or responsibility of the employer to the victim. If such a duty or responsibility exists, the . .
CitedCercato-Gouveia v Kiprianou and Another CA 17-Jul-2001
Application for permission to appeal. Granted. An employer might be vicariously liable to one employee for the acts of another employee to whom he had delegated some of his duties to the claimant employee. . .
CitedBernard v The Attorney General of Jamaica PC 7-Oct-2004
PC (Jamaica) The claimant had been queuing for some time to make an overseas phone call at the Post Office. Eventually his turn came, he picked up the phone and dialled. Suddenly a man intervened, announced . .
CitedBrown v Robinson and Sentry PC 14-Dec-2004
(Jamaica) The deceased claimant had been shot by a sentry employed by the respondent company. His estate appealed a finding that the sentry was not acting in the course of his employment.
Held: Older authorities had now been replaced by recent . .
CitedHutchinson v Metropolitan Police Commissioner and Another QBD 27-Jul-2005
The claimant sought damages for assault by a probationary constable. The constable had been called to a drunken party for Sainsbury’s employees.
Held: The claimant had been assaulted. Miss Morgan had introduced herself as a police officer, had . .
CitedMajrowski v Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust CA 16-Mar-2005
The claimant had sought damages against his employer, saying that they had failed in their duty to him under the 1997 Act in failing to prevent harassment by a manager. He appealed a strike out of his claim.
Held: The appeal succeeded. The . .
CitedMajrowski v Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust HL 12-Jul-2006
Employer can be liable for Managers Harassment
The claimant employee sought damages, saying that he had been bullied by his manager and that bullying amounting to harassment under the 1997 Act. The employer now appealed a finding that it was responsible for a tort committed by a manager, saying . .
CitedHelen Green v DB Group Services (UK) Ltd QBD 1-Aug-2006
The claimant sought damages from her former employers, asserting that workplace bullying and harassment had caused injury to her health. She had had a long term history of depression after being abused as a child, and the evidence was conflicting, . .
CitedGravil v Carroll and Another CA 18-Jun-2008
The claimant was injured by an unlawful punch thrown by the first defendant when they played rugby. He sought damages also against the defendant’s club, and now appealed from a finding that they were not vicariously liable. The defendant player’s . .
AuthoritativeMaga v The Trustees of The Birmingham Archdiocese of The Roman Catholic Church CA 16-Mar-2010
The claimant appealed against rejection of his claim for damages after alleging sexual abuse by a catholic priest. The judge had found the church not vicariously liable for the injuries, and that the archdiocese had not been under a duty further to . .
CitedWeddall v Barchester Healthcare Ltd CA 24-Jan-2012
Parties appealed against judgments dismissing their claims of vicarious liability as against their employers after assaults by co-employees.
Held: Appeals were dismissed and allowed according to their facts.
In one case, one employee . .
CitedReynolds v Strutt and Parker LLP ChD 15-Jul-2011
The defendant had organised a team bonding day, including a cycling event. The claimant employee was severely injured falling from his cycle. He said that the defendant had been engligent in not providing cycling helmets. The circuit hosting company . .
CitedThe Catholic Child Welfare Society and Others v Various Claimants and The Institute of The Brothers of The Christian Schools and Others SC 21-Nov-2012
Law of vicarious liability is on the move
Former children at the children’s homes had sought damages for sexual and physical abuse. The court heard arguments as to the vicarious liability of the Society for abuse caused by a parish priest visiting the school. The Court of Appeal had found . .
CitedGraham v Commercial Bodyworks Ltd CA 5-Feb-2015
The claimant had been very badly burned. He was covered in flammable liquid when a co-worker lit a cigarette.
Held: The claimant’s appeal failed. ‘although the defendant employers did create a risk by requiring their employees to work with . .
CitedJetivia Sa and Another v Bilta (UK) Ltd and Others SC 22-Apr-2015
The liquidators of Bilta had brought proceedings against former directors and the appellant alleging that they were party to an unlawful means conspiracy which had damaged the company by engaging in a carousel fraud with carbon credits. On the . .
CitedCox v Ministry of Justice SC 2-Mar-2016
The claimant was working in a prison supervising working prisoners. One of them dropped a bag of rice on her causing injury. At the County Curt, the prisoner was found negligence in the prisoner, but not the appellant for vicarious liability. The . .
ConfirmedMohamud v WM Morrison Supermarkets plc SC 2-Mar-2016
The claimant had been assaulted and racially abused as he left a kiosk at the respondent’s petrol station by a member of staff. A manager had tried to dissuade the assailant, and the claim for damages against the supermarket had failed at first . .
CitedArmes v Nottinghamshire County Council SC 18-Oct-2017
The claimant had been abused as a child by foster parents with whom she had been placed by the respondent authority. The court was now asked, the Council not having been negligent, were they in any event liable having a non-delegable duty of care . .
CitedChell v Tarmac Cement and Lime Ltd CA 12-Jan-2022
Explosive pellet not part of employee’s role.
The claimant worked on a site operated by the respondent. One of the respondent’s employees exploded two pellet targets injuring the claimant’s hearing. He asserted vicarious liability in the respondent. There had been tensions between the claimant . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Education

Leading Case

Updated: 14 January 2022; Ref: scu.162910

Dubai Aluminium Company Limited v Salaam and Others: HL 5 Dec 2002

Partners Liable for Dishonest Act of Solicitor

A solicitor had been alleged to have acted dishonestly, having assisted in a fraudulent breach of trust by drafting certain documents. Contributions to the damages were sought from his partners.
Held: The acts complained of were so close to the activities which a solicitor would normally undertake, that in favour of third parties, it must be assumed that he acted in the ordinary course of his business, and the partners were vicariously liable. It had been said that the acts were equitable wrongs, and did not fall within the compass of common law torts or deceit, but nothing in the 1890 Act restricted the applicability of the section to exclude these acts. Explicit authorisation by each partner of the acts of other partners could not be expected or required for vicarious liability to be established. ‘Perhaps the best general answer is that the wrongful conduct must be so closely connected with acts the partner or employee was authorised to do that, for the purpose of the liability of the firm or the employer to third parties, the wrongful conduct may fairly and properly be regarded as done by the partner while acting in the ordinary course of the firm’s business or the employee’s employment.’
Lord Millett said: ‘Vicarious liability is a loss distribution device based on grounds of social and economic policy. Its rationale limits the employer’s liability to conduct occurring in the course of the employee’s employment. ‘The master ought to be liable for all those torts which can fairly be regarded as reasonably incidental risks to the type of business he carries on . . .the ultimate question is whether or not it is just that the loss resulting from the servant’s acts should be considered as one of the normal risks to be borne by the business in which the servant is employed.’
He also said that it is preferable to substitute dog Latin for bastard French.
Lord Nicholls said that: ‘This ‘close connection’ test focuses attention in the right direction. But it affords no guidance on the type or degree of connection which will normally be regarded as sufficiently close to prompt the legal conclusion that the risk of the wrongful act occurring and any loss flowing from the wrongful act, should fall on the firm or employer rather than the third party who was wronged. It provides no clear assistance on when, to use Professor Fleming’s phraseology, an incident is to be regarded as sufficiently work-related, as distinct from personal’ . . This lack of precision is inevitable, given the infinite range of circumstances where the issue arises. The crucial feature or features, either producing or negativing vicarious liability, vary widely from one case or type of case to the next. Essentially the court makes an evaluative judgment in each case, having regard to all the circumstances and, importantly, having regard also to the assistance provided by previous court decisions. In this field the latter form of assistance is particularly valuable.’
and ‘The underlying legal policy is based on the recognition that carrying on a business enterprise necessarily involves risks to others. It involves the risk that others will be harmed by wrongful acts committed by the agents through whom the business is carried on. When those risks ripen into loss, it is just that the business should be responsible for compensating the person who has been wronged.’
Lord Millett explained the structure and effect of section 9 of the 1980 Act: ‘Section 9 is not concerned with the liability of the firm at all but with the liability of the individual partners. It provides that every partner in a firm is liable jointly with the other partners for all debts and obligations of the firm incurred while he was a partner. Section 12 makes every partner jointly and severally liable for loss for which the firm was liable under sections 10 and 11 while he was a partner in the firm. Where section 10 makes the firm vicariously liable for loss caused by a partner’s wrongdoing, therefore, section 12 makes the liability the joint and several liability of the individual partners. Sections 11 and 13 are not concerned with wrongdoing or with vicarious liability but with the original liability of the firm to account for receipts. . . Section 11 deals with money which is properly received by the firm in the ordinary course of its business and is afterwards misappropriated by one of the partners. The firm is not vicariously liable for the misappropriation; it is liable to account for the money it received, and cannot plead the partner’s wrongdoing as an excuse for its failure to do so. Section 13 deals with money which is misappropriated by a trustee who happens to be a partner and who in breach of trust or fiduciary duty afterwards pays it to his firm or otherwise improperly employs it in the partnership business. The innocent partners are not vicariously liable for the misappropriation, which will have occurred outside the ordinary course of the firm’s business. But they are liable to restore the money if the requirements of the general law of knowing receipt are satisfied.’

Slynn of Hadley, Nicholls of Birkenhead, Hutton, Hobhouse of Woodborough, and Millett LL
Times 06-Dec-2002, [2003] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 65, [2002] UKHL 48, [2002] 3 WLR 1913, [2003] 2 AC 366, [2003] 1 All ER 97, [2003] 2 All ER (Comm) 451, [2003] 1 LLR 65, [2003] 1 BCLC 32, [2003] IRLR 608, [2003] 1 CLC 1020, [2003] WTLR 163
House of Lords, Bailii
Civil Liability (Contributions) Act 1978 1(1), Partnership Act 1890 10, Limitation act 1980 9 21
England and Wales
Citing:
Appeal fromDubai Aluminium Company Limited v Salaam and others CA 7-Apr-2000
The liability of a firm for the wrongful acts of one partner is not limited to tortious acts creating liability in common law, but includes all wrongful acts or omissions, including a knowing assistance in a fraudulent scheme. A solicitor who . .
CitedAttorney General v Stanyforth 1721
Co-partners are liable for penalties incurred, for instance, for breach of revenue laws. . .
CitedBarnes v Addy 1874
A stranger to a trust can be liable in equity for assisting in a breach of trust, even though he received no trust property.
Lord Selborne said: ‘Now in this case we have to deal with certain persons who are trustees, and with certain other . .
CitedMorris v C W Martin and Sons Ltd CA 1965
The plaintiff took her mink stole to the defendants for cleaning. An employee received and stole the fur. The judge had held that the defendants were not liable because the theft was not committed in the course of employment.
Held: The . .
CitedBarwick v English Joint Stock Bank 1867
When considering the vicarious liability of a master for the acts of his servant, no sensible distinction could be drawn between the case of fraud and any other wrong. The general rule was that: ‘the master is answerable for every such wrong of the . .
CitedHamlyn v John Houston and Co CA 1903
One side of the defendant’s business as grain merchants was to obtain, by lawful means, information about its competitors’ activities. Houston, a partner in the firm, obtained confidential information on the plaintiff Hamlyn’s business by bribing . .
CitedLloyd v Grace, Smith and Co HL 1912
Mrs Lloyd delivered the title deeds of her cottages at Ellesmere Port to the solicitors’ managing clerk, who defrauded her.
Held: Vicarious liability can extend to fraudulent acts or omissions if those were carried out in the course of the . .
CitedPlumb v Cobden Flour Mills Co Ltd HL 1914
In looking at restrictions by an employer to limit his vicarious liability, the court must distinguish between prohibitions which limit the sphere of employment and those which only deal with conduct within the sphere of employment:’ ‘there are . .
CitedLister and Others v Hesley Hall Ltd HL 3-May-2001
A school board employed staff to manage a residential school for vulnerable children. The staff committed sexual abuse of the children. The school denied vicarious liability for the acts of the teachers.
Held: ‘Vicarious liability is legal . .
CitedBugge v Brown 1919
When an employee acts ‘so as to be in effect a stranger in relation to his employer with respect to the act he has committed’, his employer does not have vicarious liability for his acts. . .
CitedLister and others v Hesley Hall Ltd CA 7-Oct-1999
Where a residential worker at a children’s home committed sexual abuse on children within his care, the company running the home were not vicariously liable for the acts themselves, but also were not responsible where the worker did not report his . .
CitedKooragang Investments Pty Ltd v Richardson and Wrench Ltd PC 27-Jul-1981
(New South Wales) An employee of the defendants was authorised to carry out valuations, but he negligently carried out an unauthorised private valuation.
Held: In doing so he was not acting as an employee of the defendant company. The company . .
CitedGenerale Bank Nederland Nv (Formerly Credit Lyonnais Bank Nederland Nv) v Export Credits Guarantee Department HL 19-Feb-1999
The wrong of the servant or agent for which the master or principal is liable is one committed in the case of a servant in the course of his employment, and in the case of an agent in the course of his authority. It is fundamental to the whole . .
CitedMara v Browne HL 1896
In a marriage settlement, the first defendant, a solicitor, advised the persons who were acting as trustees, though not yet formally appointed as such. He suggested a series improper of investments for the trust funds. The money was to be lent on . .
CitedRoyal Brunei Airlines SDN BHD v Tan PC 24-May-1995
(Brunei) The defendants were a one-man company, BLT, and the one man, Mr Tan. A dishonest third party to a breach of trust was liable to make good a resulting loss even though he had received no trust property. The test of knowledge was an objective . .
DoubtedIn re Bell’s Indenture 1980
A firm of solicitors was held not to be vicariously liable for an act of dishonest assistance made by a partner. . .
CitedFisher v CHT Ltd (No 2) 1966
Where more than one defendant is liable in damages, the court will make allowance for the insolvency of one when ordering a contribution from the others. . .
CitedK v P ChD 1993
The court considered when orders might be made under the Act for a contribution to be made to damages payable. Ferris J said: ‘In my judgment the ex turpi causa defence is not available as an answer to a claim for contribution under the Act of 1978. . .
CitedBrydges v Branfill 1842
A tenant for life of settled land set out on an elaborate fraud aiming for the capital. It required first a private Act of Parliament to enable the estate to be sold under the direction of the court and the proceeds paid into court and invested in . .
CitedSt Aubyn v Smart 1868
. .
CitedAshworth v Stanwix QBD 1860
Innocent partners are vicariously liable for the torts of their co-partner. . .
CitedMeekins v Henson 1964
The section in the 1890 Act produced ‘a necessary equation of a partnership firm with employers for this purpose [vicarious liability]’. Vicarious liability is a ‘secondary liability as the liability of one person for the act of another who is . .
CitedRe Fryer 1857
The acts of a solicitor as an express trustee are not within the scope of the ordinary business of a solicitor. . .
CitedTaylor v Davies PC 19-Dec-1919
(Ontario) An assignee for the benefit of creditors conveyed mortgaged property to the mortgagee in satisfaction of part of the debt due to him. The mortgagee was also one of the inspectors required by the Canadian legislation to supervise the . .
CitedClarkson v Davies PC 1923
In a case involving fraud, referring to Taylor v Davies, Lord Justice Clerk said that: ‘it was there laid down that there is a distinction between a trust which arises before the occurrence of the transaction impeached and cases which arises only by . .
CitedNavarro v Moregrand Ltd 1951
The vicarious liability of an employer does not depend upon the employee’s authority to do the particular act which constitutes the wrong. It is sufficient if the employee is authorised to do acts of the kind in question. . .
CitedParagon Finance Plc (Formerly Known As National Home Loans Corporation Plc v D B Thakerar and Co (a Firm); Ranga and Co (a Firm) and Sterling Financial Services Limited CA 21-Jul-1998
Where an action had been begun on basis of allegations of negligence and breach of trust, new allegations of fraud where quite separate new causes of claim, and went beyond amendments and were disallowed outside the relevant limitation period. . .
CitedSelangor United Rubber Estates Ltd v Cradock (No 3) ChD 1968
The expressions ‘constructive trust’ and ‘constructive trustee’ are ‘nothing more than a formula for equitable relief. It is the actual control of assets belonging beneficially to a company which causes the law to treat directors as analogous to . .
CitedCoulthard v Disco Mix Club Ltd CA 2000
The expression ‘constructive trustee’ creates a trap.This ‘type of trust is merely the creation by the court . . to meet the wrongdoing alleged: there is no real trust and usually no chance of a proprietary remedy.’ . .
At First InstanceDubai Aluminium Company Ltd v Salaam and Others QBD 17-Jul-1998
A partner is vicariously liable for the acts of his partner in equity as well as in tort. Where a partner acted as accessory to a breach of trust he acted as a constructive trustee. A settlement of and action on this basis was enforceable in a later . .
See AlsoDubai Aluminium Co Ltd v Al Alawi and Others ComC 3-Dec-1998
The claimants had brought proceedings against their former sales manager for accepting bribes and secret commission from outsiders. In support of their claim the claimants had obtained a search and seizure order and a worldwide freezing injunction, . .

Cited by:
CitedNIRU Battery Manufacturing Company and Another v Milestone Trading Ltd and others ComC 8-May-2003
There was a contract for the sale of lead ingots. The sale was supported by letters of credit but inaccurate certificates were issued to release payment. The parties sought now to amend the contributions in the light of the Royal Brompton Hospital . .
CitedMattis v Pollock (T/A Flamingo’s Nightclub) CA 1-Jul-2003
A nightclub employed an unlicensed bouncer/doorman. After an altercation in and outside the club, he went home, and returned armed and seriously assaulted the customer.
Held: The club had vicarious liability for his acts. There was a . .
CitedJ J Coughlan Ltd v Ruparelia and others CA 21-Jul-2003
The defendant firm of solicitors had acted in a matter involving a fraud. One partner was involved in the fraud. The claimants sought to recover from the partnership.
Held: ‘The issue is not how the transaction ought properly to be described, . .
CitedBakhitar v Keosghgerian and Others QBD 3-Dec-2003
Employer liable for employee with criminal record
An employee of a firm of solicitors took pawned jewellery to show to a third party possible purchaser. The jewels were misappropriated.
Held: The person involved, who was known to have a criminal record for fraud was for all relevant purposes . .
CitedCochlan v Ruberella Limited CA 21-Jul-2003
The issue arose as to the liability of a firm for the acts of a partner who had made statements to the claimant regarding the rate of return on a proposed investment amounting to some 6,000 per cent per annum.
Held: The following propositions . .
CitedThe Attorney General v Hartwell PC 23-Feb-2004
PC (The British Virgin Islands) A police officer had taken the police revolver, and used it to shoot the claimant. It was alleged that the respondent police force were vicariously liable for his acts and also . .
CitedBernard v The Attorney General of Jamaica PC 7-Oct-2004
PC (Jamaica) The claimant had been queuing for some time to make an overseas phone call at the Post Office. Eventually his turn came, he picked up the phone and dialled. Suddenly a man intervened, announced . .
CitedBrown v Robinson and Sentry PC 14-Dec-2004
(Jamaica) The deceased claimant had been shot by a sentry employed by the respondent company. His estate appealed a finding that the sentry was not acting in the course of his employment.
Held: Older authorities had now been replaced by recent . .
CitedHawley v Luminar Leisure Ltd and others CA 24-Jan-2006
The claimant was assaulted and severely injured at a night club by a doorman supplied to the club by a third party company now in liquidation. He claimed the club was the ‘temporary deemed employer’ of the doorman. He also sought to claim under the . .
CitedMajrowski v Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust CA 16-Mar-2005
The claimant had sought damages against his employer, saying that they had failed in their duty to him under the 1997 Act in failing to prevent harassment by a manager. He appealed a strike out of his claim.
Held: The appeal succeeded. The . .
CitedMajrowski v Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust HL 12-Jul-2006
Employer can be liable for Managers Harassment
The claimant employee sought damages, saying that he had been bullied by his manager and that bullying amounting to harassment under the 1997 Act. The employer now appealed a finding that it was responsible for a tort committed by a manager, saying . .
CitedSt Paul Travelers Insurance Co Ltd v Okporuah and others ChD 10-Aug-2006
The first defendant had acquired several properties, and was due to make repayments greatly in excess of his income. A further defendant, his brother, was a solicitor who was known to have been involved in mortgage fraud and was suspected of having . .
CitedCharter Plc and Another v City Index Ltd and others ChD 12-Oct-2006
An employee of the claimant had fraudulently spent several million pounds of the claimant’s money on personal bets through the defendant company. The claimant said that the defendants knew the origin of the funds and were liable to repay them. . .
CitedGravil v Carroll and Another CA 18-Jun-2008
The claimant was injured by an unlawful punch thrown by the first defendant when they played rugby. He sought damages also against the defendant’s club, and now appealed from a finding that they were not vicariously liable. The defendant player’s . .
CitedMaga v The Trustees of The Birmingham Archdiocese of The Roman Catholic Church CA 16-Mar-2010
The claimant appealed against rejection of his claim for damages after alleging sexual abuse by a catholic priest. The judge had found the church not vicariously liable for the injuries, and that the archdiocese had not been under a duty further to . .
CitedWeddall v Barchester Healthcare Ltd CA 24-Jan-2012
Parties appealed against judgments dismissing their claims of vicarious liability as against their employers after assaults by co-employees.
Held: Appeals were dismissed and allowed according to their facts.
In one case, one employee . .
CitedReynolds v Strutt and Parker LLP ChD 15-Jul-2011
The defendant had organised a team bonding day, including a cycling event. The claimant employee was severely injured falling from his cycle. He said that the defendant had been engligent in not providing cycling helmets. The circuit hosting company . .
CitedThe Catholic Child Welfare Society and Others v Various Claimants and The Institute of The Brothers of The Christian Schools and Others SC 21-Nov-2012
Law of vicarious liability is on the move
Former children at the children’s homes had sought damages for sexual and physical abuse. The court heard arguments as to the vicarious liability of the Society for abuse caused by a parish priest visiting the school. The Court of Appeal had found . .
CitedWilliams v Central Bank of Nigeria QBD 8-Apr-2011
The claimant had been defrauded by a customer of the defendant bank. He brought a claim against the bank, saying that they knew or ought to have known of the fraudster’s activities, and were liable. The Bank denied that the UK courts had . .
CitedGraham v Commercial Bodyworks Ltd CA 5-Feb-2015
The claimant had been very badly burned. He was covered in flammable liquid when a co-worker lit a cigarette.
Held: The claimant’s appeal failed. ‘although the defendant employers did create a risk by requiring their employees to work with . .
CitedJackson v Murray and Another SC 18-Feb-2015
Child not entirely free of responsibility
The claimant child, left a school bus and stepped out from behind it into the path of the respondent’s car. She appealed against a finding of 70% contributory negligence.
Held: Her appeal succeeded (Majority, Lord Hodge and Lord Wilson . .
CitedCox v Ministry of Justice SC 2-Mar-2016
The claimant was working in a prison supervising working prisoners. One of them dropped a bag of rice on her causing injury. At the County Curt, the prisoner was found negligence in the prisoner, but not the appellant for vicarious liability. The . .
CitedMohamud v WM Morrison Supermarkets plc SC 2-Mar-2016
The claimant had been assaulted and racially abused as he left a kiosk at the respondent’s petrol station by a member of staff. A manager had tried to dissuade the assailant, and the claim for damages against the supermarket had failed at first . .
CitedHenchley and Others v Thompson ChD 16-Feb-2017
The Claimants sought an order directing the Defendant to provide a full account of his dealings with the assets of the two trusts as a trustee or as a de facto trustee.
Held: The court has a discretion whether or not to make an order for an . .
CitedDixon Coles and Gill (A Former Firm) v Baines, Bishop of Leeds and Another CA 20-Jul-2021
Innocent Co-Trustee not Liable for Default
Proceedings were brought by former clients against their former solicitors. One of the partners stole money held in the firm’s client account on behalf of the claimants. The other two partners were entirely innocent of, and in no way implicated in, . .
CitedChell v Tarmac Cement and Lime Ltd CA 12-Jan-2022
Explosive pellet not part of employee’s role.
The claimant worked on a site operated by the respondent. One of the respondent’s employees exploded two pellet targets injuring the claimant’s hearing. He asserted vicarious liability in the respondent. There had been tensions between the claimant . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Company, Vicarious Liability, Legal Professions, Limitation

Leading Case

Updated: 14 January 2022; Ref: scu.178327

Cox v Ministry of Justice: SC 2 Mar 2016

The claimant was working in a prison supervising working prisoners. One of them dropped a bag of rice on her causing injury. At the County Curt, the prisoner was found negligence in the prisoner, but not the appellant for vicarious liability. The claimant’s appeal succeeded at the Court of Appeal.
Held: The Minister’s appeal failed. The activities assigned to the prisoners were integral to the activities of the prison in furthering its aims, particular so for the provision of prisoners’ meals. That these aims served also the public interest was not a bar to the imposition of vicarious liability. The prison service placed the prisoners in a position where there was a risk of committing a variety of negligent acts. This was recognised by the provision of health and safety training. The prisoners worked under the direction of prison staff. The claimant had been injured as a result of the prisoner’s negligence in carrying on activities assigned to him, and the prison service was therefore vicariously liable to her.
Reference was made to five incidents of the relationship between employer and employee which had been identified in the Christian Brothers case as usually making it fair, just and reasonable to impose vicarious liability, and which could properly give rise to vicarious liability where other relationships had the same incidents and could therefore be treated as akin to employment. They were: (i) the employer is more likely to have the means to compensate the victim than the employee and can be expected to have insured against that liability; (ii) the tort will have been committed as a result of activity being taken by the employee on behalf of the employer; (iii) the employee’s activity is likely to be part of the business activity of the employer; (iv) the employer, by employing the employee to carry on the activity will have created the risk of the tort committed by the employee; and (v) the employee will, to a greater or lesser degree, have been under the control of the employer.
The weight to be attached to these various factors will vary according to the context, and ‘The result of this approach is that a relationship other than one of employment is in principle capable of giving rise to vicarious liability where harm is wrongfully done by an individual who carries on activities as an integral part of the business activities carried on by a defendant and for its benefit (rather than his activities being entirely attributable to the conduct of a recognisably independent business of his own or of a third party), and where the commission of the wrongful act is a risk created by the defendant by assigning those activities to the individual in question.’

Lord Neuberger, President, Lady Hale, Deputy President, Lord Dyson, Lord Reed, Lord Toulson
[2016] WLR(D) 110, [2016] UKSC 10, [2016] 2 WLR 806, [2016] IRLR 370, [2016] PIQR P8, [2017] 1 All ER 1, [2016] ICR 470, [2016] AC 660, UKSC 2014/0089
Bailii, Bailii Summary, WLRD, SC, SC Summary
Health and Safety Act 1974 48(3), Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 5(1)
England and Wales
Citing:
At County CourtCox v Ministry of Justice Misc 3-May-2013
(Swansea County Court) While working as a catering manager at HM Prison Swansea, the claimant suffered injury in an accident caused by the negligence of a prisoner who was carrying out paid work under her supervision. She now sought damages from the . .
At CACox v Ministry of Justice CA 19-Feb-2014
Appeal against rejection of claim for personal injury. While working as the catering manager at HM Prison Swansea, the Claimant was injured in an accident caused by the negligence of a prisoner carrying out paid work under her supervision. The . .
CitedThe Catholic Child Welfare Society and Others v Various Claimants and The Institute of The Brothers of The Christian Schools and Others SC 21-Nov-2012
Law of vicarious liability is on the move
Former children at the children’s homes had sought damages for sexual and physical abuse. The court heard arguments as to the vicarious liability of the Society for abuse caused by a parish priest visiting the school. The Court of Appeal had found . .
CitedTurberville v Stampe 1698
A master is responsible for all acts done by his servant in the course of his employment, even though he may have given no particular directions. . .
CitedThomas Duncan, Treasurer To The Trustees Of The Perth And Dundee Turnpike Road v James Findlater HL 23-Aug-1839
Trustees appointed under a Public Road Act are not responsible for an injury occasioned by the negligence of the men employed in making or repairing the road.
The funds raised by such Act cannot be charged with compensation for such an injury; . .
CitedWoodland v Essex County Council SC 23-Oct-2013
The claimant had been seriously injured in an accident during a swimming lesson. She sought to claim against the local authority, and now appealed against a finding that it was not responsible, having contracted out the provision of swimming . .
CitedLister and Others v Hesley Hall Ltd HL 3-May-2001
A school board employed staff to manage a residential school for vulnerable children. The staff committed sexual abuse of the children. The school denied vicarious liability for the acts of the teachers.
Held: ‘Vicarious liability is legal . .
CitedViasystems (Tyneside) Ltd v Thermal Transfer (Northern) Ltd and others CA 10-Oct-2005
The defendants had subcontracted work installing air conditioning to the second defendants, who in turn bought in fitters from the third defendants. A fitter caused a flood acting irresponsibly.
Held: The court reviewed the law of vicarious . .
CitedBartonshill Coal Company v Jane McGuire, Widow HL 17-Jun-1858
Master’s Liability to the Public for Injury done by a Servant. – Per the Lord Chancellor: A master is liable for any injury or damage done to the public through the negligence or unskilfulness of servants acting in the master’s employ. The reason . .
CitedDubai Aluminium Company Limited v Salaam and Others HL 5-Dec-2002
Partners Liable for Dishonest Act of Solicitor
A solicitor had been alleged to have acted dishonestly, having assisted in a fraudulent breach of trust by drafting certain documents. Contributions to the damages were sought from his partners.
Held: The acts complained of were so close to . .
CitedCentral Motors (Glasgow) Ltd v Cessnock Garage and Motor Co 1925
A night watchman at a garage drove off in a car left there for his own purposes and damaged it.
Held: The garage had delegated to their employee the duty of keeping the car safely secured in the garage and they were liable to the owners of the . .
CitedBroom v Morgan CA 1953
The plaintiff and her husband were employed by the defendant to manage and work in a beer and wine house. The Plaintiff was injured through the negligence of her husband in the course of his employment. In an action by her against the defendant in . .
CitedIlkiw v Samuels CA 1963
The plaintiff was injured by the careless manouvering of a lorry by the defendant’s employee.
Held: When considering the vicarious liability of an employer, the proper approach to the nature of the servant’s employment is a broad one. . .

Cited by:
CitedArmes v Nottinghamshire County Council SC 18-Oct-2017
The claimant had been abused as a child by foster parents with whom she had been placed by the respondent authority. The court was now asked, the Council not having been negligent, were they in any event liable having a non-delegable duty of care . .
CitedChell v Tarmac Cement and Lime Ltd CA 12-Jan-2022
Explosive pellet not part of employee’s role.
The claimant worked on a site operated by the respondent. One of the respondent’s employees exploded two pellet targets injuring the claimant’s hearing. He asserted vicarious liability in the respondent. There had been tensions between the claimant . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Prisons

Updated: 14 January 2022; Ref: scu.560621