TVZ and Others v Manchester City Football Club Ltd: QBD 6 May 2021

Applications in proceedings between the eight Claimants and the Defendant arising out of sexual abuse perpetrated by B when he was a football coach in the 1980s. Each of the Claimants was sexually and emotionally abused by B, in some cases repeatedly. At the relevant times, the Claimants were boys aged between 8 and 16 years old who were abused by B whilst he coached youth football teams in which they played.

Judges:

Mr Justice Cavanagh

Citations:

[2021] EWHC 1179 (QB)

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Vicarious Liability, Torts – Other

Updated: 20 December 2022; Ref: scu.662430

Dyer 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 sought to prevent the manager from removing the furniture. The manager assaulted her in the house.
Held: The employer had placed his employee in a situation ‘where he may be expected on occasions to have to resort to personal violence’. There is no rule of law that vicarious responsibility should cease to apply when the conduct for which liability is imposed is criminal rather than just tortious. ‘The liability of the master does not rest merely on the question of authority, because the authority given is generally to do the master’s business rightly; but the law says that if, in course of carrying out his employment, the servant commits an excess beyond the scope of his authority, the master is liable.’

Judges:

Lord Esher MR

Citations:

[1895] 1 QB 742

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 . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Crime, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 12 December 2022; Ref: scu.214873

Williams v A and W Hemphill Ltd: HL 1966

Against his employer’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 liable.
Held: Lord Pearson said: ‘Had the driver in the present case been driving a lorry which was empty or contained nothing of real importance, I think that so substantial a deviation might well have constituted a frolic of his own. The presence of passengers, however, whom the servant is charged qua servant to drive to their ultimate destination makes it impossible (at all events, provided that they are not all parties to the plans for deviation) to say that the deviation is entirely for the servant’s purposes. Their presence and transport is a dominant purpose of the authorised journey, and, although they are transported deviously, continues to play an essential part. It was said in argument that there must be some limits to that contention and that one could not hold that, if the driver had gone to Inverness, he would still be acting on his master’s business. No doubt there are such limits to the argument as common sense may set on the facts of each case. But when there are passengers whom the servants on his master’s behalf has taken aboard for transport to Glasgow, their transport and safety does not cease at a certain stage of the journey to be the master’s business, or part of his enterprise, merely because the servant has for his own purposes chosen some route which is contrary to his instructions . . The more dominant are the current obligations of the master’s business in connection with the lorry, the less weight is to be attached to disobedient navigational extravagances of the servant . . In weighing up, therefore, the question of degree, whether the admittedly substantial deviation of the vehicle with its passengers and baggage was such as to make the lorry’s progress a frolic of the servant unconnected with or in substitution for the master’s business, the presence of the passengers is a decisive factor against regarding it as a mere frolic of the servant. In the present case the defenders remained liable, in spite of the deviation, for their driver’s negligence.’

Judges:

Lord Pearson

Citations:

1966 SC(HL) 31, [1966] UKHL 3

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

Scotland

Citing:

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 . .

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: 09 December 2022; Ref: scu.214664

Bakhitar 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 the firm’s employee, and they had vicarious liability for his behaviour.

Judges:

Overend J

Citations:

[2003] EWHC 3084 (QB)

Statutes:

Partnership Act 1890 5

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

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 . .
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 . .
CitedArmagas Ltd v Mundogas SA (‘The Ocean Frost’) HL 22-May-1985
Ostensible authority creates estoppel
Apparent authority as agent can arise where an employer by words or conduct has represented that his employee, who has purported to act on behalf of the employer, is authorised to do what he is purporting to do. Ostensible authority depends on a . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Legal Professions, Torts – Other, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 09 December 2022; Ref: scu.193837

Brady v Giles: 1835

Citations:

(1835) 1 MOO and R 494

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedViasystems (Tyneside) Ltd v Thermal Transfer (Northern) Ltd and others CA 10-Oct-2005
Severe flood damage had been caused to a factory, where air-conditioning was being installed, by the negligence of a fitter’s mate; the fitter and his mate had been supplied on a labour only basis by the third defendant to the second defendant to . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability

Updated: 06 December 2022; Ref: scu.231002

Sykes v Millington: 1953

Prosecution for an offence under section 2(3) of the Road and Rail Traffic Act 1933.

Citations:

[1953] 1 All ER 1098

Statutes:

Road and Rail Traffic Act 1933 2(3)

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedViasystems (Tyneside) Ltd v Thermal Transfer (Northern) Ltd and others CA 10-Oct-2005
Severe flood damage had been caused to a factory, where air-conditioning was being installed, by the negligence of a fitter’s mate; the fitter and his mate had been supplied on a labour only basis by the third defendant to the second defendant to . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Road Traffic

Updated: 06 December 2022; Ref: scu.231006

St Aubyn v Smart: 1868

Citations:

(1868) LR 3 Ch App 646

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, Legal Professions

Updated: 06 December 2022; Ref: scu.193867

Brydges 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 other land; a fictitious sale of the tenant for life’s own lands to an associate of his; the application of the money in court in the purchase of the land from the associate at an excessive price; and the deliberate deception of the court to obtain an order under which part of the money in court was paid out to the tenant for life. He employed a firm of solicitors to act for him in obtaining the Act and the orders of the court and in every other proceeding under the Act. Brooks, the partner who acted in the transactions knew the circumstances of the transactions, but neither of his partners was aware that there was any fraud or irregularity in them.
Held: Though the partners were blameless, they were jointly and severally liable with Brooks to make good the loss to the trust estate. The court allowed a claim in Chancery for the vicarious liability of partners for his equitable wrongdoing.

Judges:

Sir Lancelot Shadwell VC

Citations:

(1842) 12 Sim 369

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.

Equity, Vicarious Liability, Legal Professions

Updated: 06 December 2022; Ref: scu.193866

McGowan and Co v Dyer: 1873

Story on Agency states the general rule that the principal is liable to third persons in a civil suit ‘for the frauds, deceits, concealments, misrepresentations, torts, negligences, and other malfeasances or misfeasances, and omissions of duty of his agent in the course of his employment, although the principal did not authorise, or justify, or participate in, or indeed know of such misconduct, or even if he forbade the acts, or disapproved of them. But although the principal is thus liable for the torts and negligences of his agent, yet we are to understand the doctrine with its just limitations, that the tort or negligence occurs in the course of the agency. For the principal is not liable for the torts or negligences of his agent in any matters beyond the scope of the agency, unless he has expressly authorised them to be done, or he has subsequently adopted them for his own use and benefit.

Judges:

Blackburn J

Citations:

(1873) LR 8 QB 141

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

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 . .
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 . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability

Updated: 06 December 2022; Ref: scu.183575

Murphey v Caralli: 22 Nov 1864

Citations:

(1864) 3 H and C 462, [1864] EngR 786, (1864) 3 H and C 462, (1864) 159 ER 611

Links:

Commonlii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedViasystems (Tyneside) Ltd v Thermal Transfer (Northern) Ltd and others CA 10-Oct-2005
Severe flood damage had been caused to a factory, where air-conditioning was being installed, by the negligence of a fitter’s mate; the fitter and his mate had been supplied on a labour only basis by the third defendant to the second defendant to . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability

Updated: 01 December 2022; Ref: scu.231005

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.’

Judges:

Slynn of Hadley, Nicholls of Birkenhead, Hutton, Hobhouse of Woodborough, and Millett LL

Citations:

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

Links:

House of Lords, Bailii

Statutes:

Civil Liability (Contributions) Act 1978 1(1), Partnership Act 1890 10, Limitation act 1980 9 21

Jurisdiction:

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 12-Feb-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 CA 17-Dec-1895
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 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 . .
CitedWM Morrison Supermarkets Plc v Various Claimants SC 1-Apr-2020
A disgruntled senior employee had divulged on the internet personal details of several thousand employees. The claimants alleged that that had been a breach of the 1998 Act, and that the appellants were vicariously liable for that wrong.
Held: . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Company, Vicarious Liability, Legal Professions, Limitation

Leading Case

Updated: 27 November 2022; Ref: scu.178327

Cercato-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.

Judges:

May LJ

Citations:

[2001] EWCA Civ 1203

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

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 . .

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.

Vicarious Liability

Updated: 26 November 2022; Ref: scu.201222

Meekins 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 acting in the course of his employment or as agent for him . . it equates the position of a partner in those respects with that of an employer or a principal.’

Judges:

Winn J

Citations:

[1964] 1 QB 472

Statutes:

Partnership Act 1890 10

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: 25 November 2022; Ref: scu.193869

Navarro 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.

Judges:

Denning LJ

Citations:

[1951] 2 TLR 674

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

Updated: 25 November 2022; Ref: scu.193890

Kilboy 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 political conditions’.

Judges:

Lord President (Cooper)

Citations:

1952 SC 280

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 . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability

Updated: 22 November 2022; Ref: scu.214671

ST 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 teacher on mentally disabled child whilst on school trip to Spain. Such an assault was not a case of an authorised act carried out in unauthorised manner: ‘it is useful to stand back and ask: applying general principles, in which category in the Salmond test would one expect these facts to fall? A deputy headmaster of a special school, charged with the responsibility of caring for a handicapped teenager on a foreign holiday, sexually assaults him. Is that in principle an improper mode of carrying out an authorised act on behalf of his employer, the council, or an independent act outside the course of his employment? His position of caring for the plaintiff by sharing a bedroom with him gave him the opportunity to carry out the sexual assaults. But availing himself of that opportunity seems to me to be far removed from an unauthorised mode of carrying out a teacher’s duties on behalf of his employer. Rather it is a negation of the duty of the council to look after children for whom it was responsible. Acts of physical assault may not be so easy to categorise, since they may range, for instance, from a brutal and unprovoked assault by a teacher to forceful attempts to defend another pupil or the teacher himself. But in the field of serious sexual misconduct, I find it difficult to visualise circumstances in which an act of the teacher can be an unauthorised mode of carrying out an authorised act, although I would not wish to close the door on the possibility.’

Judges:

Butler-Sloss LJ, Thorpe LJ Chadwick LJ

Citations:

Gazette 26-Aug-1998, [1999] LGR 584, [1998] EWCA Civ 1208, [1999] IRLR 98, [1998] ELR 625, (1998) 10 Admin LR 573, [1999] BLGR 584, [1999] Ed CR 353, (1999) 49 BMLR 150

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

OverruledLister 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 . .
CriticisedBazley 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 . .
CriticisedJacobi v Griffiths 17-Jun-1999
(Canadian Supreme Court) A children’s club was not vicariously liable for the acts of an employee which took place in the employee’s home outside working hours. It was not enough that his employment in the club gave him the opportunity to make . .
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 . .
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 . .
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 . .
CitedA v Hoare HL 30-Jan-2008
Each of six claimants sought to pursue claims for damages for sexual assaults which would otherwise be time barred under the 1980 Act after six years. They sought to have the House depart from Stubbings and allow a discretion to the court to extend . .
MentionedMaga 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 . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Torts – Other

Updated: 20 November 2022; Ref: scu.144687

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

Jurisdiction:

Scotland

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, Personal Injury

Updated: 17 November 2022; Ref: scu.241424

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

Jurisdiction:

Scotland

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.

Vicarious Liability

Updated: 17 November 2022; Ref: scu.241427

Hawley v Luminar Leisure Plc and Others: QBD 10 Jan 2005

The claimant had been assaulted by a doorman at a club operated by the defendants. The doorman was supplied by a security company, which was now in liquidation. The insolvent company’s insurers had declined indemnity.

Judges:

Wilkie J

Citations:

[2005] EWHC 5 (QB), HQ02X03984, [2005] Lloyds Rep IR 275

Links:

Bailii

Citing:

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 . .

Cited by:

Appeal fromHawley 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 . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability

Updated: 09 November 2022; Ref: scu.466288

Generale 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 liable to B as a joint tortfeasor with C in the tort of deceit practised by C on B on the basis that A and C have a common design to defraud B and A renders assistance to C pursuant to and in furtherance of the common design, does D, A’s employer, become vicariously liable to B, simply because the act of assistance, which is not itself the deceit, is in the course of A’s employment with D? An employer was not liable for the fraudulent acts of his employee during the employment but may be for purposes of fraud by third party.
Hobhouse LJ said: ‘Mere assistance, even knowing assistance, does not suffice to make the ‘secondary’ party liable as a joint tortfeasor with the primary party. What he does must go further. He must have conspired with the primary party or procured or induced his commission of the tort . . ; or he must have joined in the common design pursuant to which the tort was committed’

Judges:

Stuart-Smith LJ, Hobhouse LJ

Citations:

Times 04-Aug-1997, Gazette 10-Sep-1997, [1998] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 19, [1997] EWCA Civ 2165

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

Appeal fromGenerale 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. . .
CitedPLG Research Ltd and Another v Ardon International Ltd and Others ChD 25-Nov-1994
A patent infingement claim was met by the assertion that the material covered had been disclosed before the patent had been obtained. The court was asked as to the test of whether the information in a claim had been disclosed. Aldous J said: ‘Mr. . .

Cited by:

Appeal fromGenerale 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 . .
CitedAbouRahmah and Another v Abacha and others QBD 28-Nov-2005
Claims were made as to an alleged fraud by some of the respondents. . .
CitedBritish Telecommunications Plc; Virgin Enterprises Ltd; J Sainsbury Plc; Marks and Spencer Plc and Ladbroke Group Plc v One In a Million Ltd and others CA 23-Jul-1998
Registration of a distinctive Internet domain name using registered trade marks and company names could be an infringement of a registered Trade Mark, and also passing off. It was proper to grant quia timet injunctions where necessary to stop . .
CitedTotal Network Sl v Customs and Excise Commissioners CA 31-Jan-2007
The defendants suspected a carousel VAT fraud. The defendants appealed a finding that there was a viable cause of action alleging a ‘conspiracy where the unlawful means alleged is a common law offence of cheating the public revenue’. The defendants . .
CitedTwentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and Another v Newzbin Ltd ChD 29-Mar-2010
The defendant operated a web-site providing a search facility of the Usenet news system which allowed its users to locate copies of films online for downloading. The claimant said this was an infringement of its copyrights.
Held: The defendant . .
CitedThe Rugby Football Union v Viagogo Ltd QBD 30-Mar-2011
The claimant objected to the resale through the defendant of tickets to matches held at the Twickenham Stadium. The tickets contained terms disallowing resales at prices over the face value. They sought orders for the disclosure of the names of the . .
CitedFish and Fish Ltd v Sea Shepherd UK and Another AdCt 25-Jun-2012
The claimant company was engaged in tuna fish culture off shore to Malta. The defendant ship was owned by a charity which campaigned against breaches of animal preservation conventions. Fish were being transporting live blue fin tuna in towed . .
CitedFish and Fish Ltd v Sea Shepherd Uk and Others CA 16-May-2013
The claimant company sought damages after their transport of live tuna was attacked by a protest group. They now appealed against a decision that the company owning the attacking ship was not liable as a joint tortfeasor.
Held: The appeal was . .
CitedSea Shepherd UK v Fish and Fish Ltd SC 4-Mar-2015
Accessory Liability in Tort
The court considered the concept of accessory liability in tort. Activists had caused damage to vessels of the respondent which was transporting live tuna in cages, and had caused considerable damage. The appellant company owned the ship from which . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Employment, Vicarious Liability, Torts – Other, Banking

Updated: 09 November 2022; Ref: scu.80791

Barrett 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.

Judges:

The Master Of The Rolls (Lord Woolf) Lord Justice Evans Lord Justice Schiemann

Citations:

Times 22-Apr-1997, [1999] 3 WLR 79, [1997] EWCA Civ 1330

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

CitedX (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 . .

Cited by:

CitedJD, MAK and RK, RK and Another v East Berkshire Community Health, Dewsbury Health Care NHS Trust and Kirklees Metropolitan Council, Oldham NHS Trust and Dr Blumenthal CA 31-Jul-2003
Damages were sought by parents for psychological harm against health authorities for the wrongful diagnosis of differing forms of child abuse. They appealed dismissal of their awards on the grounds that it was not ‘fair just and reasonable’ to . .
CitedPhelps 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.
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 . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Professional Negligence, Local Government, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 06 November 2022; Ref: scu.141726

National Rivers Authority v Alfred McAlpine Homes East Ltd: QBD 3 Feb 1994

A company was criminally liable for the acts of its employees which had been carried out within the normal course of their employment.

Citations:

Times 03-Feb-1994, Independent 03-Feb-1994, [1994] 4 All ER 286

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Environment, Vicarious Liability, Company

Updated: 04 November 2022; Ref: scu.84187

A, 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 child. A person exercising a particular skill might owe a duty of care where its negligent performance might adversely affect others (Phelps). The local authority can be vicariously liable for any damages resulting. It was foreseeable that a child known to be violent to people and property might cause injury in the future.

Judges:

The Honourable Mr Justice Buckley

Citations:

Times 24-Jan-2003, [2002] EWHC 2707 (QB)

Links:

Bailii

Statutes:

Adoption Act 1976

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

CitedPhelps 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.

Cited by:

Appeal fromA 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 . .
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 . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Local Government, Professional Negligence, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 03 November 2022; Ref: scu.178521

Cornelius v Hackney London Borough Council: CA 25 Jul 2002

The applicant sought damages from the council for misfeasance in public office. Protracted litigation had followed his dismissal after he had attempted to bring allegations of misconduct within the authority to the attention of a council committee. He appealed an order striking out his claim.
Held: The distinction between a public officer exercising his power and one abusing his position as a public officer, did not defeat the claim. It was possible that a senior officer of the council could be liable to the claimant for abuse, and also that the Authority could be vicariously liable for such acts. The issues were of fact, and inappropriate for a strike out.

Judges:

Lord Justice Waller and Lord Justice Laws

Citations:

Times 27-Aug-2002, [2002] EWCA Civ 1073

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

CitedThree Rivers District Council and Others v Governor and Company of The Bank of England (No 3) HL 22-Mar-2001
Misfeasance in Public Office – Recklessness
The bank sought to strike out the claim alleging misfeasance in public office in having failed to regulate the failed bank, BCCI.
Held: Misfeasance in public office might occur not only when a company officer acted to injure a party, but also . .
CitedCalveley v Chief Constable of the Merseyside Police HL 1989
Police officers brought an action in negligence against a Chief Constable on the ground that disciplinary proceedings against them had been negligently conducted. They claimed that the investigating officers had negligently failed to conduct the . .
CitedElliott v Chief Constable of Wiltshire and Others ChD 20-Nov-1996
Vice-Chancellor was asked to consider whether to strike out a statement of claim based upon alleged misfeasance by a police officer in his public office. The allegation against the police officer was that he had deliberately and falsely supplied . .
See AlsoCornelius v London Borough of Hackney EAT 12-Jan-1996
. .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Local Government, Torts – Other, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 25 October 2022; Ref: scu.174750

SKX v Manchester City Council: QBD 31 Mar 2021

The claimant, SKX, sought damages against the defendant for personal injuries arising from childhood sexual abuse. The abuse was carried out in 1989 by the Chief Executive of the privately-run children’s home to which the claimant had been sent at the age of 15, whilst in the defendant’s care.

Judges:

Mr Justice Cavanagh

Citations:

[2021] EWHC 782 (QB)

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Personal Injury, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 25 October 2022; Ref: scu.660818

JG Williams (T/A Wiltrans International) v Harboard for the London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames: QBD 20 Feb 1996

The court considered the liability of an employer for a road traffic offence committed by his employee: ‘I am of the view that it is not appropriate to think in terms simply of basing this conviction on vicarious liability. That is a concept which is rarely invoked in the consideration of offences of this character and it is quite clear from the line of authority that the correct approach is to consider whether there is a user of the vehicle by either the driver or the owner of the vehicle or both.’

Judges:

Otton LJ, Newman J

Citations:

Unreported 20 February 1996

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedLondon Borough of Richmond Upon Thames v London Concrete Ltd Admn 13-Dec-2001
The respondent company was acquitted after its vehicle, exceeding the maximum weight, was driven on a restricted street in contravention of the regulations. No unrestricted street allowed access to the destination. The delivery was on the company’s . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Road Traffic

Updated: 21 October 2022; Ref: scu.183473

Lloyd v Jagpal and Another: ChD 21 Jul 2009

The claimant said that the defendant had, when transferring matters to a new phone bought from his employer the second defendant, taken copies of images which had been sold on to newspapers. The second defendant now sought summary dismissal of the claim against it saying that it was not vicariously liable for his torts.
Held: Substantial sums had already been spent in this matter, and it would be wholly inappropriate to grant the application: ‘The statement of case discloses reasonable grounds for bringing the claim, it is not an abuse of process and the images were provided immediately upon request.’

Judges:

Kitchin J

Citations:

[2009] EWHC 1977 (Ch)

Links:

Bailii

Statutes:

Data Protection Act 1984

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Information, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 19 October 2022; Ref: scu.375131

Monks v Warwick District Council: QBD 7 May 2009

The claimant sought damages in defamation in respect of a statement made by one of its planning officers.
Held: A source or contributor cannot be sued for a defamatory meaning which only arises from part of the media publication to which he has contributed.
Where a contributor’s words are included in a publication, and a claimant seeks to sue the contributor for publication of the article, the quote cannot be read in isolation to produce a more injurious meaning than the publication as a whole

Judges:

Sharp DBE J

Citations:

[2009] EWHC 959 (QB)

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedEconomou v De Freitas QBD 27-Jul-2016
Failed action for defamation on rape allegations
The claimant had been accused by the defendant’s daughter of rape. He was never charged but sought to prosecute her alleging intent to pervert the course of justice. She later killed herself. The defendant sought to have the inquest extended to . .
CitedTurley v Unite The Union and Another QBD 19-Dec-2019
Defamation of Labour MP by Unite and Blogger
The claimant now a former MP had alleged that a posting on a website supported by the first defendant was false and defamatory. The posting suggested that the claimant had acted dishonestly in applying online for a category of membership of the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 22 September 2022; Ref: scu.346750

Ward 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 a vicarious liability, but in the circumstances the employee was indulging in an unrelated and independent venture of his own.

Judges:

Lord Reed

Citations:

[1998] ScotCS 81, 1999 SC 255

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

Scotland

Citing:

CitedKhorasandjian v Bush CA 16-Feb-1993
The plaintiff was an eighteen year old girl who had had a friendship with the defendant, aged 28. The friendship broke down and the plaintiff said she would have no more to do with him, but the defendant did not accept this. There were many . .
CitedWalker v Northumberland County Council QBD 16-Nov-1994
The plaintiff was a manager within the social services department. He suffered a mental breakdown in 1986, and had four months off work. His employers had refused to provide the increased support he requested. He had returned to work, but again, did . .

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.

Scotland, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 16 September 2022; Ref: scu.169748

S v Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council: CA 1985

The court was asked whether local authorities are vicariously liable for torts committed by foster parents against children placed with them while in care.
Held: The claim was rejected. The critical question was whether the foster parents were acting as the agents of the local authority. The statutory scheme was ‘entirely inconsistent with the notion that the foster parents are in any way the agents of the local authority in carrying out their duties’. Vicarious liability was generally confined to particular legal relationships, such as employment and agency.

Judges:

Oliver LJ, Balcombe LJ

Citations:

[1985] 1 WLR 1150

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

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 . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Local Government, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 16 September 2022; Ref: scu.645792

Myton v Woods: CA 1980

A claim was made against a local education authority for the negligence of a taxi firm employed by the authority to drive children to and from school.
Held: The claim failed. The authority had no statutory duty to transport children, but only to arrange and pay for it.
Lord Denning MR said that the authority was not liable for an independent contractor ‘except he delegates to the contractor the very duty which he himself has to fulfil’.

Judges:

Lord Denning MR

Citations:

(1980) 79 LGR 28

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

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 . .
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 . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Local Government, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 16 September 2022; Ref: scu.645790

NA v Nottinghamshire County Council: CA 12 Nov 2015

Appeal against finding that a local authority was not responsible for the sexual abuse of the appellant whilst with foster carers as a child.
Held: As to whether the duty as non-delegable, such a duty must relate to a function which the local authority had assumed a duty to perform. Fostering was not a function which the local authority could perform: it must be entrusted to others. By placing the child with foster parents, the local authority discharged rather than delegated their duty under section 21 of the 1980 Act to provide accommodation and maintenance for a child in their care
In relation to vicarious liability, Tomlinson LJ considered that the local authority did not exercise sufficient control over the foster parents for vicarious liability to arise. The provision of family life could not be part of the activity of the local authority or of the enterprise upon which they were engaged, because inherent in it was a complete absence of external control over day to day family routine. The control retained by the local authority was at the ‘higher or macro level’, as opposed to ‘micro-management of the day to day family environment’. It was therefore ‘irrelevant to the risk of abuse occurring during the unregulated course of life in the foster home’.
Black LJ also rejected the imposition of vicarious liability, for reasons similar to those of Tomlinson LJ.
Burnett LJ agreed with both judgments as to vicarious liability.
Burnett LJ considered that the relevant duty was the duty of the local authority to care for the child: to promote her welfare and to protect her from harm, so far as reasonably practicable. If, applying the principles summarised in the Christian Brothers case, there was no vicarious liability for an assault upon a child in care, then in his view the common law should not impose liability via the route of a non-delegable duty. He also doubted whether a claim for breach of a non-delegable duty could arise in consequence of an intentional wrong
Black LJ broadly agreed with the judge. The local authority delegated to the foster parents the obligation to care for the claimant as a parent or guardian would, which was an integral part of the positive duty which they had assumed towards her. Like the judge, however, she also considered that it would not be fair, just or reasonable to impose a non-delegable duty on the local authority. In that regard, in addition to the resource implications of the imposition of strict liability for torts committed by foster parents, she also emphasised the risk that local authorities would be reluctant to place children in their care with foster parents, or with their own parents, if a non-delegable duty were imposed. Like Burnett LJ, she noted that the duties of local authorities were assimilated by section 10(2) of the 1980 Act to those of parents, and observed that parents were not subject to a non-delegable duty. Unlike Burnett LJ, she did not treat the absence of vicarious liability as bearing on the question whether there was a non-delegable duty, and she questioned the idea that a non-delegable duty could not be breached by deliberate wrongdoing

Judges:

Black, Tomlinson, Burnett LJJ

Citations:

[2015] EWCA Civ 1139, [2016] 2 WLR 1455, [2015] WLR(D) 457, [2016] PTSR 580, [2016] Fam Law 171, [2016] QB 739, [2016] 1 FCR 419, [2016] 2 FLR 1050

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

Appeal fromNA v Nottinghamshire County Council QBD 2-Dec-2014
The claimant said that as a child the defendant had failed in its duty to protect her from her abusive mother and later from foster parents.
Held: Males J, dealt with the issues of liability and limitation, leaving issues concerning causation . .
CitedNew South Wales v Lepore 6-Feb-2003
Austlii (High Court of Australia) 1. Appeal allowed in part
2. Paragraph 2 of the order of the Court of Appeal of New South Wales made on 23 April 2001 set aside, and in its place, order that the judgment . .
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 . .

Cited by:

See AlsoArmes v Nottinghamshire County Council QBD 15-Nov-2016
Application to set aside anonymity order granted in earlier proceedings alleging sexual abuse. . .
At CAArmes 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 . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Limitation

Updated: 16 September 2022; Ref: scu.554610

JGE v The English Province of Our Lady of Charity and Another: QBD 8 Nov 2011

The court was asked as a preliminary issue who should be the defendant where a claim was made of rape and other assaults by a priest who was a member of the diocese of the second defendant, but employed by the first defendant school.

Judges:

MacDuff J

Citations:

[2011] EWHC 2871 (QB), [2012] 2 WLR 709, [2012] 1 All ER 723, [2012] PTSR 633, [2012] PIQR P5, [2012] IRLR 301, [2013] QB 722

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

Appeal fromJGE 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. . .
At first instanceThe 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 . .
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 . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Torts – Other, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 16 September 2022; Ref: scu.448162

Morris 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 defendants were liable. Bailment includes as an element an assumption of responsibility by the bailee to keep the goods safe, that is to say to take reasonable care of the goods. In a bailment for reward the duty was non-delegable.
The employee had converted the fur in the course of his employment. Though the authorities were not straightforward, he had not commiteed the act while ‘on a frolic of his own’.
Diplock LJ said: ‘If the principle laid down in Lloyd v Grace, Smith and Co [1912] AC 716 is applied to the facts of the present case, the defendants cannot in my view escape liability for the conversion of the plaintiff’s fur by their servant Morrissey. They accepted the fur as bailees for reward in order to clean it. They put Morrissey as their agent in their place to clean the fur and to take charge of it while doing so. The manner in which he conducted himself in doing that work was to convert it. What he was doing, albeit dishonestly, he was doing in the scope or course of his employment in the technical sense of that infelicitous but time-honoured phrase. The defendants as his masters are responsible for his tortious act.’ and
‘ If the bailee in the present case had been a natural person and had converted the plaintiff’s fur by stealing it himself, no one would have argued that he was not liable to her for its loss. But the defendant bailees are a corporate person. They could not perform their duties to the plaintiffs to take reasonable care of the fur and not to convert it otherwise than vicariously by natural persons acting as their servants or agents. It was one of their servants to whom they had entrusted the care and custody of the fur for the purpose of doing work upon it who converted it by stealing it. Why should they not be vicariously liable for this breach of their duty by the vicar whom they had chosen to perform it? . . ‘ and
‘ . . Nor are we concerned with what would have been the liability of the defendants if the fur had been stolen by another servant of theirs who was not employed by them to clean the fur or to have the care and custody of it. The mere fact that his employment by the defendants gave him the opportunity to steal it would not suffice . . .. I base my decision in this case on the ground that the fur was stolen by the very servant whom the defendants as bailees for reward had employed to take care of it and clean it.’
Salmon LJ said: ‘the defendants are liable for what amounted to negligence and conversion by their servant in the course of his employment’. He emphasised the importance of the thief being the servant through whom the defendants had chosen to discharge their duty to take reasonable care of the fur.’ A bailee for reward is not answerable for a theft by any of his servants but only for a theft by such of them as are deputed by him to discharge some part of his duty of taking reasonable care . . So in this case, if someone employed by the defendants in another depot had broken in and stolen the fur, the defendants would not have been liable. Similarly . . if a clerk employed in the same depot had seized the opportunity of entering the room where the fur was kept and had stolen it, the defendants would not have been liable . .’
Lord Denning said: ‘Once a man has taken charge of goods as a bailee for reward, it is his duty to take reasonable care to keep them safe: and he cannot escape that duty by delegating it to his servant. If the goods are lost or damaged, whilst they are in his possession, he is liable unless he can show – and the burden is on him to show – that the loss or damage occurred without any neglect or default or misconduct of himself or of any of the servants to whom he delegated his duty.’

Judges:

Diplock LJ, Salmon LJ, Lord Denning MR

Citations:

[1966] 1 QB 716, [1965] 3 WLR 276, [1965] 2 Lloyds Rep 63, [1965] 2 All ER 725

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

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 . .
No longer good lawCheshire 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 . .

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 . .
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 . .
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 . .
ApprovedPort 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 . .
ExplainedPhoto 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 . .
ApprovedGilchrist 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: . .
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 . .
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 . .
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 . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Negligence, Agency

Updated: 16 September 2022; Ref: scu.214665

Port 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 very fine line, difficult to discern and impossible to define.’
‘When, a bailee puts goods which have been bailed to him in the care of his servants for safe custody, there can be no doubt that the bailee is responsible if the goods are lost through any failure of those servants to take proper care of the goods . . Cheshire v Bailey [1905] 1 KB 237 laid down the startling proposition of law that a master who was under a duty to guard another’s goods was liable if the servant he sent to perform the duty for him performed it so negligently as to enable thieves to steal the goods, but was not liable if that servant joined with the thieves in the very theft. This proposition is clearly contrary to principle and common sense, and to the law: Morris v C W Martin and Sons Ltd [1966] 1 QB 716,740. Their Lordships agree with the decision in Morris v C W Martin and Sons Ltd and consider that Cheshire v Bailey mis-stated the common law.’

Citations:

[1979] AC 580, [1978] UKPC 13, [1978] 3 WLR 530, [1979] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 11, [1978] 3 All ER 337

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

ApprovedMorris 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 . .

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 . .
CitedYearworth and others v North Bristol NHS Trust CA 4-Feb-2009
The defendant hospital had custody of sperm samples given by the claimants in the course of fertility treatment. The samples were effectively destroyed when the fridge malfunctioned. Each claimant was undergoing chemotherapy which would prevent them . .
CitedThakrar v The Secretary of State for Justice Misc 31-Dec-2015
County Court sitting at Milton Keynes. The claimant prisoner sought damages saying that his personal property had been damaged whilst in the care of the defendant.
Held: The claims succeeded in part. Some damage was deliberate. There was a . .
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 . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Agency, Transport

Updated: 16 September 2022; Ref: scu.214666

Fennelly 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 liable.
Held: The company’s appeal failed. Buxton LJ said: ‘His job was to deal with the public in relation to tickets and to interfere with their progress if they did not produce such a ticket; in other words to deal with the public in that way, none of that was Mr Sparrow able to do without the authority of his employer. His employer was not able to do that, or to have Mr Sparrow do it on his behalf, had he not had statutory authority under the Railway Managements Acts. Absent Mr Sparrow’s status as a ticket inspector he would have had no right at all to call after Mr Fennelly and to block him in this way or otherwise to impede his progress. Had an ordinary fellow passenger done what Mr Sparrow did in checking tickets it would have been an assault.
Against that background I consider it artificial to say that just because Mr Fennelly was walking on, what happened next – immediately next – was divorced from what Mr Sparrow was employed to do. The neck lock sprang directly out of the altercation. The altercation was being conducted by Mr Sparrow on behalf of his employer, dealing as he thought appropriate with a passenger who was not reacting as the employer would have wished; it would not have occurred without Mr Sparrow’s power to inspect tickets when he was on his employers’ premises. It is difficult to say in any realistic terms that this was not all one incident. That is underlined by the finding that the judge made about what Mr Sparrow said when he was actually putting Mr Fennelly into the neck lock. When he said, as the judge found and as I have already indicated, words to the effect of ‘I have had enough of this’, he was referring back to the aggravation and obstruction that Mr Fennelly had caused him when he was looking at his ticket.’

Judges:

Schiemann, Buxton LJJ

Citations:

[2000] EWCA Civ 5568, [2001] IRLR 186

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

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 . .
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 . .

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 . .
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: 31 August 2022; Ref: scu.428032

Various Claimants v The Catholic Child Welfare Society and Others: CA 26 Oct 2010

Child sexual abuse was alleged by 150 claimants against staff members of a community home with teachers supplied by the defendants. The court had asked whether they had vicarious liability for the acts of their staff, and now whether the board of trustees of the school itself had liability, and whether in the transfer to them under statute, they had liability for claims under the earlier ‘approved school’ (1933 Act) regime.
Held: The transfer was effective to transfer the liabilities even if their nature and extent was not then forseeable. The appeal failed.

Judges:

Pill, Hughes, Tomlinson LJJ

Citations:

[2010] EWCA Civ 1106

Links:

Bailii

Statutes:

Children Act 1908, Children and Young Persons Act 1933, Children and Young Persons Act 1969

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

CitedBolton v Stone HL 10-May-1951
The plaintiff was injured by a prodigious and unprecedented hit of a cricket ball over a distance of 100 yards. He claimed damages in negligence.
Held: When looking at the duty of care the court should ask whether the risk was not so remote . .
CitedLaunchbury v Morgans HL 9-May-1972
The owner of a car appealed against a ruling that she was responsible for injury suffered by the three respondents who had been passengers in the car when it crashed. The owner had not been with them. The care was driven by her husband with her . .
CitedMiller v Jackson CA 6-Apr-1977
The activities of a long established cricket club had been found to be a legal nuisance, because of the number of cricket balls landing in the gardens of neighbouring houses. An injunction had been granted to local householders who complained of . .
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 . .

Cited by:

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.

Torts – Other, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 25 August 2022; Ref: scu.425554

Mackay 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 narrow a sense would be opposed to justice and so a wider construction had been put on the words, and that it was difficult to define how far it went.

Judges:

Sir Montague Smith

Citations:

[1874] UKPC 20

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

Canada

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, Agency

Updated: 20 August 2022; Ref: scu.418905

Maga v The Trustees of The Birmingham Archdiocese of The Roman Catholic Church: QBD 22 Apr 2009

There was a sufficiently close connection between the employment of a priest at the church and the abuse which he inflicted on the claimant to render it fair and just to impose vicarious liability for the abuse on his employer, the Archdiocese.

Judges:

Jack J

Citations:

[2009] EWHC 780 (QB), [2010] 1 WLR 1441

Links:

Bailii

Cited by:

Appeal fromMaga 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 . .
CitedCoulson v Newsgroup Newspapers Ltd QBD 21-Dec-2011
The claimant had been employed by the defendant as editor of a newspaper. On leaving they entered into an agreement which the claimant said required the defendant to pay his legal costs in any action arising regarding his editorship. The defendant . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Torts – Other

Updated: 19 August 2022; Ref: scu.417129

WM Morrison Supermarkets Plc v Various Claimants: SC 1 Apr 2020

A disgruntled senior employee had divulged on the internet personal details of several thousand employees. The claimants alleged that that had been a breach of the 1998 Act, and that the appellants were vicariously liable for that wrong.
Held: The appeal by Morrisons was allowed. The close connection test was answered by looking at what functions or ‘field of activities’ the employer had entrusted to the employee, and then ‘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 CJ’. The online disclosure had not been part of the employee’s field of activities, and it was wrong to hold the company vicariously liable.

Judges:

Lady Hale, Lord Reed, Lord Kerr, Lord Hodge, Lord Lloyd-Jones

Citations:

[2020] UKSC 12, [2020] IRLR 472, [2021] 1 All ER (Comm) 189, 2020 Rep LR 80, [2020] 2 WLR 941, [2020] WLR(D) 204, [2020] 4 All ER 1, [2020] AC 989, [2020] EMLR 19, [2020] ICR 874, UKSC 2018/0213

Links:

Bailii, Bailii Summary, WLRD, SC, SC Summary, SC Summary Video, SC 06 Nov 2019 am Video, SC 06 Nov 2109 pm Video, SC 07 Nov 2019 am Video

Statutes:

Data Protection Act 1998 4(4)

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

At QBDVarious 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.
At CAWm Morrison Supermarkets Plc v Various Claimants CA 22-Oct-2018
Co vicariously liable for employee’s data breach
A member of the company’s staff had unlawfully disclosed personal details of many company employees. The data consisted of personal information of the defendant’s employees including their names, addresses, gender, dates of birth, phone numbers, . .
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 . .
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 . .
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 . .
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 . .

Cited by:

CitedBarclays Bank Plc v Various Claimants SC 1-Apr-2020
The Bank had employed a doctor to provide medical assessments as necessary. The doctor had used the opportunities presented to assault sexually many patients. The court was now asked whether the Bank was vicariously liable for the acts of this . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Information

Updated: 16 August 2022; Ref: scu.649486

Bernard 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 ‘police’ and demanded the phone. The man was in fact a police officer. The officer added that he wanted to make a long distance call and told the claimant to let go of the phone. The claimant refused. The officer slapped his hand and then pushed him. When the claimant still refused to let go of the phone the officer pulled out a service revolver and shot him in the head at point blank range. The claimant was rendered unconscious. When he awoke he found himself in a hospital bed surrounded by police officers including the officer who had shot him. The officer arrested him for assaulting a police officer and handcuffed him to the bed. The claimant sought to establish vicarious liability of the respondent who employed the officer.
Held: Vicarious liability is a principle of strict liability. It is a liability for a tort committed by an employee not based on any fault of the employer. It must be kept within clear limits. Nevertheless, the officer had purported to act as a polic officer and later to arrest the claimant. The trial judge was entitled to find vicarious liability established and that the Court of Appeal erred in allowing the appeal.
Lord Steyn: ‘The correct approach is to concentrate on the relative closeness of the connection between the nature of the employment and the particular tort, and to ask whether in looking at the matter in the round, it is just and reasonable to hold the employer vicariously liable.’

Judges:

Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Steyn, Lord Millett, Lord Scott of Foscote, Lord Carswell

Citations:

[2004] UKPC 47, No. 30 of 2003, [2005] IRLR 398

Links:

PC, Bailii, PC

Jurisdiction:

Commonwealth

Citing:

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 . .
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 . .
CitedWeir v Bettison CA 2003
. .
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 . .

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 . .
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 . .
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 . .
CitedVarious Claimants v The Catholic Child Welfare Society and Others CA 26-Oct-2010
Child sexual abuse was alleged by 150 claimants against staff members of a community home with teachers supplied by the defendants. The court had asked whether they had vicarious liability for the acts of their staff, and now whether the board of . .
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 . .
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 . .
CitedWM Morrison Supermarkets Plc v Various Claimants SC 1-Apr-2020
A disgruntled senior employee had divulged on the internet personal details of several thousand employees. The claimants alleged that that had been a breach of the 1998 Act, and that the appellants were vicariously liable for that wrong. . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Police

Leading Case

Updated: 08 August 2022; Ref: scu.215957

Various 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.
Held: The company were not directly liable, but were liable vicariously: ‘Adopting the broad and evaluative approach encouraged by Lord Toulson JSC in Mohamud’s case [2016] AC 677 I have therefore come to the conclusion that there is a sufficient connection between the position in which Skelton was employed and his wrongful conduct, put into the position of handling and disclosing the data as he was by Morrisons (albeit it was meant to be to KPMG alone), to make it right for Morrisons to be held liable ‘under the principle of social justice which goes back to Holt CJ’.’
The statutes and regulations did not impose direct liability on an employer.

Judges:

Langstaff J

Citations:

[2017] EWHC 3113 (QB), [2017] WLR(D) 806, [2018] IRLR 200, [2018] EMLR 12, [2018] 3 WLR 691

Links:

Bailii, WLRD

Statutes:

Data Protection Act 1998 55, Computer Misuse Act 1990, Parliament and Council Directive 95/46/EC

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

AppliedThe 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:

See AlsoVarious Claimants v Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc QBD 16-May-2018
. .
At QBDWm Morrison Supermarkets Plc v Various Claimants CA 22-Oct-2018
Co vicariously liable for employee’s data breach
A member of the company’s staff had unlawfully disclosed personal details of many company employees. The data consisted of personal information of the defendant’s employees including their names, addresses, gender, dates of birth, phone numbers, . .
At QBDWM Morrison Supermarkets Plc v Various Claimants SC 1-Apr-2020
A disgruntled senior employee had divulged on the internet personal details of several thousand employees. The claimants alleged that that had been a breach of the 1998 Act, and that the appellants were vicariously liable for that wrong. . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Employment, Information, Vicarious Liability, European

Updated: 08 August 2022; Ref: scu.601126

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 . .
CitedWM Morrison Supermarkets Plc v Various Claimants SC 1-Apr-2020
A disgruntled senior employee had divulged on the internet personal details of several thousand employees. The claimants alleged that that had been a breach of the 1998 Act, and that the appellants were vicariously liable for that wrong. . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Personal Injury

Updated: 08 August 2022; Ref: scu.560622

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.

Judges:

Lord Steyn, Lord Clyde, Lord Hutton, Lord Hobhouse of Woodborough, Lord Millett

Citations:

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

Links:

Bailii, House of Lords

Jurisdiction:

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) A children’s club was not vicariously liable for the acts of an employee which took place in the employee’s home outside working hours. It was not enough that his employment in the club gave him the opportunity to make . .
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 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 . .
CitedBarclays Bank Plc v Various Claimants SC 1-Apr-2020
The Bank had employed a doctor to provide medical assessments as necessary. The doctor had used the opportunities presented to assault sexually many patients. The court was now asked whether the Bank was vicariously liable for the acts of this . .
CitedWM Morrison Supermarkets Plc v Various Claimants SC 1-Apr-2020
A disgruntled senior employee had divulged on the internet personal details of several thousand employees. The claimants alleged that that had been a breach of the 1998 Act, and that the appellants were vicariously liable for that wrong. . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Education

Leading Case

Updated: 08 August 2022; Ref: scu.162910

The 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 some defendants (school management trust) not vicariously liable. The other defendants appealed.
Held: The appeals succeeded. It was fair and just and reasonable for the defendants to share liability.
The law of vicarious liability has been extended (Lord Phillips: ‘The law of vicarious liability is on the move’). Unincorporated associations might now be liable, such liability extended beyond the strict extent of the employee’s duties, and could include illegal activity, and such liability can be shared.

Judges:

Lord Phillips, Lady Hale, Lord Kerr, Lord Wilson, Lord Carnwath

Citations:

[2012] UKSC 56, UKSC 2010/0230, [2012] WLR(D) 335, [2013] 1 All ER 670, [2013] IRLR 219, [2013] PIQR P6, [2013] ELR 1, [2012] 3 WLR 1319, [2013] 2 AC 1

Links:

Bailii, Bailii Summary, SC, SC Summary

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

CitedDonovan v Laing, Wharton and Down Construction Syndicate Ltd CA 1893
The plaintiff was injured by the negligence of a crane driver. The defendants had contracted to lend the crane with its driver to a firm who were loading a ship.
Held: There are circumstances in which vicarious liability for the tortious act . .
Appeal fromJGE 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. . .
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 . .
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 . .
CitedVarious Claimants v The Catholic Child Welfare Society and Others CA 26-Oct-2010
Child sexual abuse was alleged by 150 claimants against staff members of a community home with teachers supplied by the defendants. The court had asked whether they had vicarious liability for the acts of their staff, and now whether the board of . .
CitedBiffa 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. . .
At first instanceJGE v The English Province of Our Lady of Charity and Another QBD 8-Nov-2011
The court was asked as a preliminary issue who should be the defendant where a claim was made of rape and other assaults by a priest who was a member of the diocese of the second defendant, but employed by the first defendant school. . .
CitedHeaton’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 . .
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 . .
CitedThomas v National Union of Mineworkers (South Wales Area) ChD 1985
Threats made by pickets to those miners who sought to go to work were not an assault because the pickets had no capacity to put into effect their threats of violence whilst they were held back from the vehicles which the working miners were within. . .
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 . .
CitedBrink’s Global Services Inc and Others v Igrox Ltd and Another CA 27-Oct-2010
There was a sufficiently close connection between an employee’s theft of silver from a customer’s container and the purpose of his employment to make it fair and just that his employer be held vicariously liable for his actions. Moore-Bick LJ said: . .
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 . .
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 . .
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 . .
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 . .
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 . .
CitedA v The Archbishop of Birmingham QBD 30-Jun-2005
Assessment of damages following child abuse by Catholic priest.
Held: General damages of andpound;50,000 were in line with Coxon and were approved. A had not been shown to be, and is not, incapable of managing his affairs. The court differed . .
CitedViasystems (Tyneside) Ltd v Thermal Transfer (Northern) Ltd and others CA 10-Oct-2005
Severe flood damage had been caused to a factory, where air-conditioning was being installed, by the negligence of a fitter’s mate; the fitter and his mate had been supplied on a labour only basis by the third defendant to the second defendant to . .
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 . .

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 . .
CitedCox 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 . .
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 . .
CitedNA v Nottinghamshire County Council QBD 2-Dec-2014
The claimant said that as a child the defendant had failed in its duty to protect her from her abusive mother and later from foster parents.
Held: Males J, dealt with the issues of liability and limitation, leaving issues concerning causation . .
CitedNA v Nottinghamshire County Council QBD 2-Dec-2014
The claimant said that as a child the defendant had failed in its duty to protect her from her abusive mother and later from foster parents.
Held: Males J, dealt with the issues of liability and limitation, leaving issues concerning causation . .
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 . .
CitedBarclays Bank Plc v Various Claimants SC 1-Apr-2020
The Bank had employed a doctor to provide medical assessments as necessary. The doctor had used the opportunities presented to assault sexually many patients. The court was now asked whether the Bank was vicariously liable for the acts of this . .
AppliedVarious 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.
CitedWM Morrison Supermarkets Plc v Various Claimants SC 1-Apr-2020
A disgruntled senior employee had divulged on the internet personal details of several thousand employees. The claimants alleged that that had been a breach of the 1998 Act, and that the appellants were vicariously liable for that wrong. . .
CitedWm Morrison Supermarkets Plc v Various Claimants CA 22-Oct-2018
Co vicariously liable for employee’s data breach
A member of the company’s staff had unlawfully disclosed personal details of many company employees. The data consisted of personal information of the defendant’s employees including their names, addresses, gender, dates of birth, phone numbers, . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Torts – Other

Leading Case

Updated: 08 August 2022; Ref: scu.465935

Jacobi v Griffiths: 17 Jun 1999

(Canadian Supreme Court) A children’s club was not vicariously liable for the acts of an employee which took place in the employee’s home outside working hours. It was not enough that his employment in the club gave him the opportunity to make friends with the children.
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 precedents which unambiguously determine on which side of the line between vicarious liability and no liability the case falls. 2. If prior cases do not clearly suggest a solution the next step is to determine whether vicarious liability should be imposed in light of the broader policy rationales behind strict liability. In this case that test was not satisfied.

Citations:

(1999) 174 DLR(4th) 71, [1999] 9 WWR 1, 44 CCEL (2d) 169, 63 BCLR (3d) 1

Links:

Canlii

Jurisdiction:

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 . .
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 . .
AppliedMaga 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 . .
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 . .
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 . .
CitedBarclays Bank Plc v Various Claimants SC 1-Apr-2020
The Bank had employed a doctor to provide medical assessments as necessary. The doctor had used the opportunities presented to assault sexually many patients. The court was now asked whether the Bank was vicariously liable for the acts of this . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability

Updated: 07 August 2022; Ref: scu.214670

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.’

Judges:

McLachlin J

Citations:

(1999) 174 DLR (4th) 45, [1999] 8 WWR 197, 43 CCEL (2d) 1, 62 BCLR (3d) 173, [1999] 2 SCR 534

Links:

Canlii

Jurisdiction:

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 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 . .
CitedBarclays Bank Plc v Various Claimants SC 1-Apr-2020
The Bank had employed a doctor to provide medical assessments as necessary. The doctor had used the opportunities presented to assault sexually many patients. The court was now asked whether the Bank was vicariously liable for the acts of this . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability

Updated: 07 August 2022; Ref: scu.214669

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 point whether the Bank was vicariously liable for his actions.
Held: The Bank was vicariously liable for the acts of the independent contractor.

Judges:

Nicola Davies DBE J

Citations:

[2017] EWHC 1929 (QB), [2017] IRLR 1103

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

At First InstanceBarclays Bank Plc v Various Claimants SC 1-Apr-2020
The Bank had employed a doctor to provide medical assessments as necessary. The doctor had used the opportunities presented to assault sexually many patients. The court was now asked whether the Bank was vicariously liable for the acts of this . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability

Updated: 07 August 2022; Ref: scu.591317

Kafagi v JBW Group Ltd: CA 18 May 2018

The defendant company had a contract with a local authority to collect their council tax debts. It sub-contracted the work to a registered bailiff, the alleged tortfeasor, who ran his own business and could pick and choose what work to do, had his own insurance and could work for other clients. Their relationship was not ‘akin to employment’
Held: Singh LJ stated that the development from employment to ‘something akin to employment’ had not undermined the conventional distinction between a contract of employment and a contract for services

Judges:

Underhill, Irwin, Singh LJJ

Citations:

[2018] EWCA Civ 1157, [2018] WLR(D) 309

Links:

Bailii, WLRD

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedBarclays Bank Plc v Various Claimants SC 1-Apr-2020
The Bank had employed a doctor to provide medical assessments as necessary. The doctor had used the opportunities presented to assault sexually many patients. The court was now asked whether the Bank was vicariously liable for the acts of this . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability

Updated: 07 August 2022; Ref: scu.616328

Quarman v Burnett: 1840

Judges:

Baron Parke

Citations:

(1840) 6 M and W 499, [1840] EngR 182, (1840) 151 ER 509

Links:

Commonlii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedViasystems (Tyneside) Ltd v Thermal Transfer (Northern) Ltd and others CA 10-Oct-2005
Severe flood damage had been caused to a factory, where air-conditioning was being installed, by the negligence of a fitter’s mate; the fitter and his mate had been supplied on a labour only basis by the third defendant to the second defendant to . .
CitedBarclays Bank Plc v Various Claimants SC 1-Apr-2020
The Bank had employed a doctor to provide medical assessments as necessary. The doctor had used the opportunities presented to assault sexually many patients. The court was now asked whether the Bank was vicariously liable for the acts of this . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability

Updated: 07 August 2022; Ref: scu.231001

Barclays Bank Plc v Various Claimants: CA 17 Jul 2018

126 claimants alleged sexual assaults by an independently contracted doctor, 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.
Held: It was.

Judges:

The President of the Queens Bench Division
(Sir Brian Leveson)
Lord Justice Mccombe
And
Lord Justice Irwin

Citations:

[2018] EWCA Civ 1670, [2018] IRLR 947

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedBarclays Bank Plc v Various Claimants SC 1-Apr-2020
The Bank had employed a doctor to provide medical assessments as necessary. The doctor had used the opportunities presented to assault sexually many patients. The court was now asked whether the Bank was vicariously liable for the acts of this . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Torts – Other, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 07 August 2022; Ref: scu.619875

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.’

Judges:

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

Citations:

[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

Links:

Bailii, Bailii Summary, SC, SC Summary, WLRD

Statutes:

Health and Safety Act 1974 48(3), Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 5(1)

Jurisdiction:

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
Severe flood damage had been caused to a factory, where air-conditioning was being installed, by the negligence of a fitter’s mate; the fitter and his mate had been supplied on a labour only basis by the third defendant to the second defendant to . .
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 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 . .
CitedBarclays Bank Plc v Various Claimants SC 1-Apr-2020
The Bank had employed a doctor to provide medical assessments as necessary. The doctor had used the opportunities presented to assault sexually many patients. The court was now asked whether the Bank was vicariously liable for the acts of this . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Prisons

Updated: 07 August 2022; Ref: scu.560621

JGE 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.
Held: The Diocesan Trust could be vicariously liable for acts of sexual abuse committed by a parish priest in the diocese. The court considered the status in employment of a Catholic priest.
Ward L said that because English law did not recognise the Catholic Church as a legal entity in its own right but saw it as an unincorporated association with no legal personality, the diocese usually established a charitable trust to enable it to own and manage property and otherwise conduct its financial affairs in accordance with domestic law. Though there had been understandable confusion as to whom to sue and the case had proceeded effectively against the Bishop, it was the trustees who would be covered by the relevant insurance should liability be established. Intuitively one would think that, as a priest is always said to be ‘a servant of god’, the Roman Catholic Church itself would be the responsible defendant, but the Roman Catholic Church could not be a party as it had no legal personality. The Bishop was the person whose vicarious liability was in issue.
‘I can conclude that the time has come emphatically to announce that the law of vicarious liability has moved beyond the confines of a contract of service. The test that I have set myself is whether the relationship . . [in question] . . is so close in character to one of employer and employee that it is just and fair to hold the employer vicariously liable.’

Judges:

Ward, Tomlinson, Davies LJJ

Citations:

[2012] EWCA Civ 938, [2012] WLR(D) 204, [2012] 4 All ER 1152, [2013] 2 WLR 958, [2013] 1 QB 722, [2013] PTSR 565, [2012] IRLR 846, [2012] PIQR P19, [2013] Ch 722

Links:

Bailii, WLRD

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

CitedDonovan v Laing, Wharton and Down Construction Syndicate Ltd CA 1893
The plaintiff was injured by the negligence of a crane driver. The defendants had contracted to lend the crane with its driver to a firm who were loading a ship.
Held: There are circumstances in which vicarious liability for the tortious act . .
Appeal fromJGE v The English Province of Our Lady of Charity and Another QBD 8-Nov-2011
The court was asked as a preliminary issue who should be the defendant where a claim was made of rape and other assaults by a priest who was a member of the diocese of the second defendant, but employed by the first defendant school. . .
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 . .
CitedBiffa 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. . .
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 . .

Cited by:

Appeal fromThe 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 . .
CitedCox 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 . .
CitedBarclays Bank Plc v Various Claimants SC 1-Apr-2020
The Bank had employed a doctor to provide medical assessments as necessary. The doctor had used the opportunities presented to assault sexually many patients. The court was now asked whether the Bank was vicariously liable for the acts of this . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Torts – Other, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 07 August 2022; Ref: scu.462536

Armes 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 with accompanying vicarious liability?
Held: The appeal succeeded (Lord Hughes dissenting). The local authority was vicariously liable for the torts committed by the foster parents in this case. However, the proposition that a local authority is under a duty to ensure that reasonable care is taken for the safety of children in care, while they are in the care and control of foster parents, is too broad, and that the responsibility with which it fixes local authorities is too demanding.

Judges:

Lady Hale, Lord Kerr, Lord Clarke, Lord Reed, Lord Hughes

Citations:

[2017] UKSC 60, [2018] PIQR P4, [2017] PTSR 1382, [2018] AC 355, [2017] 3 WLR 1000, [2018] 1 FLR 329, (2017) 20 CCL Rep 417, [2018] 1 All ER 1, UKSC 2016/0004

Links:

Bailii, Bailii Summary, SC, SC Summary, SC Summary Video, SC Video 20170208 am, SC Video 20170208 pm, SC Video 20170209 pm, SC Video 20170209 am

Statutes:

Children and Young Persons Act 1969, Child Care Act 1980, Boarding-Out of Children Regulations 1955

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

CitedCaparo Industries Plc v Dickman and others HL 8-Feb-1990
Limitation of Loss from Negligent Mis-statement
The plaintiffs sought damages from accountants for negligence. They had acquired shares in a target company and, relying upon the published and audited accounts which overstated the company’s earnings, they purchased further shares.
Held: The . .
CitedKLB v British Columbia 2-Oct-2003
Canlii (Supreme Court of Canada) Torts – Liability – Intentional torts – Abuse of children by foster parents – Whether government can be held liable for harm children suffered in foster care – Whether government . .
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 . .
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 . .
Appeal fromNA v Nottinghamshire County Council QBD 2-Dec-2014
The claimant said that as a child the defendant had failed in its duty to protect her from her abusive mother and later from foster parents.
Held: Males J, dealt with the issues of liability and limitation, leaving issues concerning causation . .
At CANA v Nottinghamshire County Council CA 12-Nov-2015
Appeal against finding that a local authority was not responsible for the sexual abuse of the appellant whilst with foster carers as a child.
Held: As to whether the duty as non-delegable, such a duty must relate to a function which the local . .
Removal of AnonymityArmes v Nottinghamshire County Council QBD 15-Nov-2016
Application to set aside anonymity order granted in earlier proceedings alleging sexual abuse. . .
CitedNew South Wales v Lepore 6-Feb-2003
Austlii (High Court of Australia) 1. Appeal allowed in part
2. Paragraph 2 of the order of the Court of Appeal of New South Wales made on 23 April 2001 set aside, and in its place, order that the judgment . .
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 . .
CitedS v Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council CA 1985
The court was asked whether local authorities are vicariously liable for torts committed by foster parents against children placed with them while in care.
Held: The claim was rejected. The critical question was whether the foster parents were . .
CitedCarmarthenshire County Council v Lewis HL 17-Feb-1955
The House considered the unexplained fact that in the temporary absence of the teacher (who, on the evidence, was not negligent) it was possible for a child of four to wander from the school premises onto the highway, through a gate which was either . .
CitedPerry and Another v Harris (A Minor) CA 31-Jul-2008
The defendant had organised a children’s party. The claimant (11) was injured when a bigger boy was allowed to use the bouncy castle at the same time. The defendants appealed the award of damages.
Held: The appeal succeeded. The relevant . .
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 . .
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 . .
CitedMyton v Woods CA 1980
A claim was made against a local education authority for the negligence of a taxi firm employed by the authority to drive children to and from school.
Held: The claim failed. The authority had no statutory duty to transport children, but only . .
CitedSurtees v Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames CA 27-Mar-1991
Because children can injure themselves in so many ways, someone caring for them is not universally liable for injury to a child in their care.
A duty owed in respect of a parent’s own child may be lower. . .
CitedJGE v The English Province of Our Lady of Charity and Another QBD 8-Nov-2011
The court was asked as a preliminary issue who should be the defendant where a claim was made of rape and other assaults by a priest who was a member of the diocese of the second defendant, but employed by the first defendant school. . .
CitedBarrett v London Borough of Enfield HL 17-Jun-1999
The claimant had spent his childhood in foster care, and now claimed damages against a local authority for decisions made and not made during that period. The judge’s decision to strike out the claim had been upheld by the Court of Appeal.
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 . .

Cited by:

CitedBarclays Bank Plc v Various Claimants SC 1-Apr-2020
The Bank had employed a doctor to provide medical assessments as necessary. The doctor had used the opportunities presented to assault sexually many patients. The court was now asked whether the Bank was vicariously liable for the acts of this . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Local Government, Negligence, Children

Updated: 07 August 2022; Ref: scu.597257

Barclays Bank Plc v Various Claimants: SC 1 Apr 2020

The Bank had employed a doctor to provide medical assessments as necessary. The doctor had used the opportunities presented to assault sexually many patients. The court was now asked whether the Bank was vicariously liable for the acts of this independent contractor.
Held: The appeal was allowed. The Doctor was not employed by the bank in such a way as to make them vicariously liable for his actions: ‘Clearly, although Dr Bates was a part-time employee of the health service, he was not at any time an employee of the Bank. Nor, viewed objectively, was he anything close to an employee. He did, of course, do work for the Bank. The Bank made the arrangements for the examinations and sent him the forms to fill in. It therefore chose the questions to which it wanted answers. But the same would be true of many other people who did work for the Bank but were clearly independent contractors, ranging from the company hired to clean its windows to the auditors hired to audit its books. Dr Bates was not paid a retainer which might have obliged him to accept a certain number of referrals from the Bank. He was paid a fee for each report. He was free to refuse an offered examination should he wish to do so. He no doubt carried his own medical liability insurance, although this may not have covered him from liability for deliberate wrongdoing. He was in business on his own account as a medical practitioner with a portfolio of patients and clients. One of those clients was the Bank.2

Judges:

Lady Hale, Lord Reed, Lord Kerr, Lord Hodge, Lord Lloyd-Jone

Citations:

[2020] UKSC 13, 2020 Rep LR 74, [2020] IRLR 481, [2020] Med LR 155, [2020] 2 WLR 960, [2020] 4 All ER 19, (2020) 175 BMLR 1, [2020] AC 973, [2020] PIQR P11, [2020] ICR 893, [2020] WLR(D) 205, [2020] PNLR 22, UKSC 2018/0164

Links:

Bailii, Bailii Summary, WLRD, SC, SC Summary, SC Video Summary, SC 28 Nov 2019 am Video, SC 28 Nov 2019 pm Video

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

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 . .
CitedWM Morrison Supermarkets Plc v Various Claimants SC 1-Apr-2020
. .
CitedQuarman v Burnett 1840
. .
CitedBarclays Bank Plc v Various Claimants CA 17-Jul-2018
126 claimants alleged sexual assaults by an independently contracted doctor, 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.
Held: It . .
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 . .
CitedSalsbury v Woodland CA 1970
The defendant had instructed independent contractors to remove a large tree in his garden. When they did so, the plaintiff was injured when the car he was in was fouled in a wire brought down by the tree. The defendant householder appealed against a . .
CitedD and F Estates v Church Commissioners for England HL 14-Jul-1988
The House considered the liability of main contractors on a construction site for the negligence of it sub-contractors.
Lord Bridge said: ‘It is trite law that the employer of an independent contractor is, in general, not liable for the . .
At First InstanceVarious 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 point whether the Bank was vicariously liable for . .
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 . .
CitedJacobi v Griffiths 17-Jun-1999
(Canadian Supreme Court) A children’s club was not vicariously liable for the acts of an employee which took place in the employee’s home outside working hours. It was not enough that his employment in the club gave him the opportunity to make . .
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 . .
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. . .
CitedViasystems (Tyneside) Ltd v Thermal Transfer (Northern) Ltd and others CA 10-Oct-2005
Severe flood damage had been caused to a factory, where air-conditioning was being installed, by the negligence of a fitter’s mate; the fitter and his mate had been supplied on a labour only basis by the third defendant to the second defendant 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 . .
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 . .
CitedClyde and Co LLP and Another v van Winkelhof SC 21-May-2014
Solicitor Firm Member was a Protected Worker
The solicitor appellant had been a member of the firm, a limited liability partnership. She disclosed criminal misbehaviour by a partner in a branch in Africa. On dismissal she sought protection as a whistleblower. This was rejected, it being found . .
CitedPimlico Plumbers Ltd and Another v Smith SC 13-Jun-2018
The parties disputed whether Mr Smith had been an employee of or worker with the company so as to bring associated rights into play. The contract required the worker to provide an alternate worker to cover if necessary.
Held: The company’s . .
CitedKafagi v JBW Group Ltd CA 18-May-2018
The defendant company had a contract with a local authority to collect their council tax debts. It sub-contracted the work to a registered bailiff, the alleged tortfeasor, who ran his own business and could pick and choose what work to do, had his . .
CitedNg Huat Seng v Mohammad 26-Sep-2017
(Singapore Court of Appeal) The owners of a property had engaged the tortfeasor as an independent contractor to carry out demolition works at their premises. It was argued that the recent decisions had undermined the distinction between employees . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability

Updated: 07 August 2022; Ref: scu.649484

Viasystems (Tyneside) Ltd v Thermal Transfer (Northern) Ltd and others: CA 10 Oct 2005

Severe flood damage had been caused to a factory, where air-conditioning was being installed, by the negligence of a fitter’s mate; the fitter and his mate had been supplied on a labour only basis by the third defendant to the second defendant to whom some of the work had been sub-contracted.
Held: Both the second and third defendants were jointly vicariously liable.
The court reviewed the law of vicarious liability. The assumption that dual vicarious liability was a legal impossibility was wrong. Depending on the facts of the case, a judge may be entitled to find more than one set of employers liable. Both the employer of the negligent employee and the contractor who had contracted with the employer for the supply of that employee on a labour-only basis were vicariously liable for the damage caused by the negligence of the employee.
May LJ said: ‘there has been a long-standing assumption, technically unsupported by authority binding this court, that a finding of dual vicarious liability is not legally permissible. An assumption of such antiquity should not lightly be brushed aside, but the contrary has scarcely been argued and never considered in depth . . in considering contribution that, if the relevant relationships yield dual control, it is highly likely at least that the measure of control will be equal. An equal measure of control will not often arise. Dual vicarious liability is most unlikely to be a possibility if one of the candidates for such liability is also personally at fault. It would be entirely redundant, if both were.’ and ‘If, on the facts of a particular case, the core question is who was entitled, and in theory obliged, to control the employee’s relevant negligent act so as to prevent it, there will be some cases in which the sensible answer would be each of two ’employers’. The present is such a case.’
Rix LJ doubted that the doctrine of vicarious liability should depend solely on the question of control and suggested a broader test of ‘whether or not the employee in question is so much part of the work business or organisation of both employers that it is just to make both employers answer for his negligence’. Vicarious liability was imposed because the employer was treated as picking up the burden of an organisational or business relationship which he had undertaken for his own benefit. Accordingly, what one was looking for was ‘a situation where the employee in question, at any rate for relevant purposes, is so much a part of the work, business or organisation of both employers that it is just to make both employers answer for his negligence’.

Judges:

May, Rix LJJ

Citations:

[2005] EWCA Civ 1151, [2005] IRLR 983, [2006] 2 WLR 428, [2006] QB 510, [2006] ICR 327, [2005] 42 EG 235, [2005] NPC 114, [2005] 4 All ER 1181

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

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 . .
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 . .
CitedLaugher 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 . .
CitedBrady v Giles 1835
. .
CitedQuarman v Burnett 1840
. .
CitedMurphey v Caralli 22-Nov-1864
. .
CitedRourke 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 . .
CitedSykes v Millington 1953
Prosecution for an offence under section 2(3) of the Road and Rail Traffic Act 1933. . .
CitedDonovan v Laing, Wharton and Down Construction Syndicate Ltd CA 1893
The plaintiff was injured by the negligence of a crane driver. The defendants had contracted to lend the crane with its driver to a firm who were loading a ship.
Held: There are circumstances in which vicarious liability for the tortious act . .
CitedJones 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. . .

Cited by:

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 . .
CitedBiffa 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. . .
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 . .
CitedCox 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 . .
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 . .
CitedBarclays Bank Plc v Various Claimants SC 1-Apr-2020
The Bank had employed a doctor to provide medical assessments as necessary. The doctor had used the opportunities presented to assault sexually many patients. The court was now asked whether the Bank was vicariously liable for the acts of this . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability

Leading Case

Updated: 07 August 2022; Ref: scu.230992

Tower 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 discrimination.
Waite LJ said: ‘a statute is to be construed according to its legislative purpose, with due regard to the result which it is the stated or presumed intention of Parliament to achieve and the means provided for achieving it (‘the purposive construction’) and the second is that words in a statute are to be given their normal meaning according to general use in the English language unless the context indicates that such words have to be given a special or technical meaning as a term of art (‘the linguistic construction’)’ and ‘The application of the phrase will be a question of fact for each industrial tribunal to resolve, in the light of the circumstances presented to it, with a mind unclouded by any parallels sought to be drawn from the law of vicarious liability in tort.’

Judges:

Waite LJ

Citations:

Times 16-Dec-1996, [1996] EWCA Civ 1185, [1997] ICR 254, [1997] IRLR 168, [1997] 2 All ER 406,

Links:

Bailii

Statutes:

Race Relations Act 1976 32(1) 33

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

Appeal fromTower Boot Company Ltd v Jones EAT 27-Mar-1995
The company appealed against a finding of race discrimination.
Held: As a matter of law the concept of vicarious liability provided for in Section 41(1) of the Act, identical to that under Section 32(1) of the Race Relations Act 1976. . .

Cited by:

Cited1 Pump Court Chambers v Horton EAT 2-Dec-2003
The chambers appealed a finding of discrimination, saying that a pupil was not a member of the set so as to qualify under the Act.
Held: The barristers set or chambers was a trade organisation, but the position of a pupil barrister was not . .
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 . .
CitedAnyanwu and Another v South Bank Student Union and Another HL 24-May-2001
The university had imposed a new constitution on its students union, which resulted in the dismissal of the claimant. He sought to assert racial discrimination.
Held: The concept of ‘aiding’ somebody in committing discriminatory behaviour . .
CitedBNP Paribas v A Mezzotero EAT 30-Mar-2004
EAT Appeal from ET’s decision, at directions hearing, permitting evidence to be adduced, at the forthcoming hearing of a direct sex discrimination and victimisation complaint, of the Applicant’s allegation that, . .
CitedClark v TDG Limited (Trading As Novacold) CA 25-Mar-1999
The applicant had soft tissue injuries around the spine as a consequence of a back injury at work. He was absent from work for a long time as a result of his injuries, and he was eventually dismissed when his medical advisers could provide no clear . .
CitedAB 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 . .
CitedChief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills v The Interim Executive Board of Al-Hijrah School CA 13-Oct-2017
Single Sex Schooling failed to prepare for life
The Chief Inspector appealed from a decision that it was discriminatory under the 2010 Act to educate girls and boys in the same school but under a system providing effective complete separation of the sexes.
Held: The action was . .
CitedBungay and Others v Saini and Others EAT 27-Sep-2011
EAT RACE DISCRIMINATION
Vicarious liability
Post employment
The Appellants were members of the board of a Centre. As a result of decisions of the Employment Tribunal and the Employment Appeal . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Discrimination, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 06 August 2022; Ref: scu.141053

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

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 . .
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: 05 August 2022; Ref: scu.220484

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

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

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: 05 August 2022; Ref: scu.197041

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)

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 . .
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: 31 July 2022; Ref: scu.214708

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

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

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: 31 July 2022; Ref: scu.214872

Ministry of Defence v Radclyffe: CA 30 Jun 2009

The court held the appellant Ministry liable for a soldier’s injuries incurred when jumping from a high bridge. A senior officer had earlier ‘assumed responsibility to prevent the junior soldiers from taking undue risks of which he was or ought to have been aware’. Sir Anthony May pointed out that the senior officer had been asked if the men might jump, concluding that ‘the very fact that they asked predicates reliance sufficient for a duty of care and their assumption that he had authority to order them not to jump.’

Judges:

Sir Anthony May P QBD, Hooper, Sullivan LJJ

Citations:

[2009] EWCA Civ 635

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedGeary v JD Wetherspoon Plc QBD 14-Jun-2011
The claimant, attempting to slide down the banisters at the defendants’ premises, fell 4 metres suffering severe injury. She claimed in negligence and occupiers’ liability. The local council had waived a requirement that the balustrade meet 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 . .
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 . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Personal Injury, Armed Forces

Updated: 28 July 2022; Ref: scu.347295

Generale 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 approach to vicarious liability that an employer or principal should not be liable for acts of the servant or agent which are not performed within this limitation. The case asks whether, in a joint tort, it is sufficient to make the master liable if the acts of his servant for which he is responsible, do not in themselves amount to a tort but only amount to a tort when linked to other acts which were not performed in the course of the employee’s employment. An employer’s responsibility for his employees acts does not extend to acts which were of themselves within his employment but lawful even if those acts were associated with the unlawful acts of a third party.

Judges:

Lord Slynn of Hadley, Lord Woolf, Lord Steyn, Lord Clyde, Lord Millett

Citations:

Gazette 10-Mar-1999, Times 19-Feb-1999, [1999] UKHL 9, [2000] 1 AC 486, [1999] 1 All ER 929, [1999] 2 WLR 540

Links:

House of Lords, Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

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 . .
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 . .
CitedLumley v Gye 1853
Inducing breach of contract is a Tort
An opera singer (Miss Wagner) and the defendant theatre owner were joint wrongdoers. They had a common design that the opera singer should break her contract with the plaintiff theatre owner, refuse to sing in the plaintiff’s theatre and instead . .
CitedMcGowan and Co v Dyer 1873
Story on Agency states the general rule that the principal is liable to third persons in a civil suit ‘for the frauds, deceits, concealments, misrepresentations, torts, negligences, and other malfeasances or misfeasances, and omissions of duty of . .
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 . .
CitedSmith v Pywell 29-Apr-1959
There is no separate tort of procuring a third person to commit a tort, but the procurer was a joint tortfeasor with the person who actually committed it. . .
CitedJohn Hudson v Oaten CA 19-Jun-1980
The plaintiff sought to avoid the 1828 Act (Lord Tenterden’s Act). Lakeview, had agreed to buy a substantial quantity of oil from them but was never in a position to do so. The plaintiffs sought their loss from the defendant, Mr. Oaten, and not . .
CitedThe Koursk CA 1924
The navigators of two ships had committed two separate torts or one tort in which they were both tortfeasors.
Held: Three situations were identified where A might be jointly liable with B for B’s tortious act. Where A was master and B servant; . .
CitedAmstrad Consumer Electronics Plc v British Phonographic Industry Limited CA 29-Oct-1985
Amstrad sought a declaration that their retailing of equipment with two cassette decks was not unlawful. A declaration was not granted because Amstrad might be guilty of a criminal offence. However in the absence of any evidence that Amstrad was . .
CitedCBS Songs Ltd v Amstrad Consumer Electronics Plc HL 12-May-1988
The plaintiffs as representatives sought to restrain Amstrad selling equipment with two cassette decks without taking precautions which would reasonably ensure that their copyrights would not be infringed by its users.
Held: Amstrad could only . .

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, Employment, Torts – Other

Updated: 28 July 2022; Ref: scu.80794

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

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

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: 28 July 2022; Ref: scu.198910

SO v Hsbc Bank Plc and Another: CA 3 Apr 2009

Etherton LJ held that ultimately the decision as to whether there is vicarious liability ‘is a conclusion of law based on primary facts rather than a simple question of fact’.

Judges:

Sir Anthony Clarke MR, Keene, Etherton LJJ

Citations:

[2009] EWCA Civ 296, [2009] 1 CLC 503, [2009] Lloyds Rep FC 338

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

At ComCHSBC Bank Plc v 5th Avenue Partners Ltd and Others ComC 7-Dec-2007
The claimants sought damages from the defendant bank, saying that they had been induced by a fraudster to pay money into accounts at the bank, and claimed in dishonest assistance. . .
See AlsoHSBC Bank Plc v 5th Avenue Partners Ltd and others ComC 21-Feb-2008
. .
LeaveHSBC Bank Plc v 5th Avenue Partners Ltd and others CA 6-Jun-2008
Renewed application for leave to appeal. . .

Cited by:

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 . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Torts – Other, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 24 July 2022; Ref: scu.341243

Roe v Ministry of Health: CA 1954

The plaintiff complained that he had developed a spastic paraplegia following a lumbar puncture.
Held: An inference of negligence was rebutted. However the hospital authority was held to be vicariously liable for the acts or omissions of the professional staff at its hospital who had the care of one of its patients at the material time.
Denning LJ pointed out that questions of duty, causation and remoteness were intimately linked and all directed to the same fundamental question: ‘Is the consequence fairly to be regarded as within the risk?’

Judges:

Denning LJ, Somervell LJ, Morris LJ

Citations:

[1954] 2 QB 66, [1954] 2 All ER 131, [1954] 2 WLR 915, [1954] EWCA Civ 7

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

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 . .
CitedIman Abouzaid v Mothercare (Uk) Ltd CA 21-Dec-2000
The defendant appealed a finding of liability under the Act. The plaintiff had hurt his eye assisting with a pushchair sold by the defendant. An elastic strap had rebounded into his eye. It was argued that the English Act went wider than the . .
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, . .
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, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 21 July 2022; Ref: scu.197042

John Hudson v Oaten: CA 19 Jun 1980

The plaintiff sought to avoid the 1828 Act (Lord Tenterden’s Act). Lakeview, had agreed to buy a substantial quantity of oil from them but was never in a position to do so. The plaintiffs sought their loss from the defendant, Mr. Oaten, and not Lakeview.
Held: The mere fact of entering into a contract imports an implied representation of a genuine intention to pay the contract price and, secondly the entry into the contract having been procured by the defendant, he is liable for the representation thus employed. Both propositions are true. The second proposition, while it may be an adequate description of the consequences of procurement, contains in itself no analysis of the grounds upon which the assumed liability rests. Apart from the tort of conspiracy–and there is no question of that in this case–there is no separate tort of procuring as such. A man who procures the commission by another person of a tortious act becomes liable because he then becomes a principal in the commission of the act. It is his tort but once one gets to that it seems to me that the fallacy of Mr. Crawford’s argument becomes apparent. The tort alleged here is the implied false representation of Lakeview’s intention to pay, and when one seeks to fasten that onto the defendant as a principal it is at once clear that it is not, so far as he is concerned, a representation as to his own intention, for he made none. The representation for which he is assumed to be liable is the representation of Lakeview’s intention.
Oliver LJ: ‘Every promisor impliedly represents that he has at the moment of making the promise the intention of fulfilling the obligations that he has undertaken and if it can be shown that no such intention existed in his mind, at that moment he is guilty of a misrepresentation.’

Judges:

Oliver LJ

Citations:

Unreported, 19 June 1980

Statutes:

Statute of Frauds (Amendment) Act 1828 6

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

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 . .
CitedContex Drouzhba Ltd v Wiseman and Another CA 20-Nov-2007
The defendant was a director of a company. He signed a letter for the company promising to pay for goods ordered. The representation was found to have been made fraudulently because he knew the company was insolvent, and unable to pay. He now . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contract, Vicarious Liability, Torts – Other

Updated: 17 July 2022; Ref: scu.183577

Clark v The Chief Constable of Essex Police: QBD 18 Sep 2006

The officer had retired on ill health grounds, and now sought damages from his chief constable saying that the duties imposed on him had been excessive, and had caused his injury by negligence, and that he had been bullied by co-workers and had not been given appropriate support by the defendant.
Held: The allegations of bullying and harassment were made out. A meeting described as a management meeting was in fact clearly a disciplinary one, but proper procedures had not been followed. This level of stress was not properly part of a policeman’s role and the psychological injury followed. The claim of contributory negligence was not supported. The claimant had done what he could to complain of his treatment. Damages were awarded accordingly.

Judges:

Tugendhat J

Citations:

[2006] EWHC 2290 (QB)

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

CitedWaters v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis HL 27-Jul-2000
A policewoman, having made a complaint of serious sexual assault against a fellow officer complained again that the Commissioner had failed to protect her against retaliatory assaults. Her claim was struck out, but restored on appeal.
Held: . .
CitedSutherland v Hatton; Barber v Somerset County Council and similar CA 5-Feb-2002
Defendant employers appealed findings of liability for personal injuries consisting of an employee’s psychiatric illness caused by stress at work.
Held: Employers have a duty to take reasonable care for the safety of their employees. There are . .
CitedGarrett v Camden London Borough Council CA 16-Mar-2001
The court considered a claim for work related stress. The claimant asserted that he had been harassed, intimidated and systematically undermined: ‘Many, alas, suffer breakdowns and depressive illnesses and a significant proportion could doubtless . .
CitedRorrison v West Lothian College and Lothian Regional Council OHCS 21-Jul-1999
The pursuer, a nurse, claimed that she suffered psychological injuries as a result of her treatment at work by two superiors.
Held: The court could find nothing in the pleadings: ‘which, if proved, could establish that Andrews and Henning . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Personal Injury, Police, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 15 July 2022; Ref: scu.245094

N v Chief Constable of Merseyside Police: QBD 29 Nov 2006

The claimant was raped and assaulted by a police officer. She sought damages from the Chief Constable saying he was vicariously liable, saying that the rapist had been wearing his uniform though in fact off duty.

Judges:

Nelson J

Citations:

[2006] EWHC 3041 (QB)

Links:

Bailii

Statutes:

Police Act 1996 88(1)

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Torts – Other, Vicarious Liability, Police

Updated: 14 July 2022; Ref: scu.247983

Biffa Waste Services Ltd and Another v Maschinenfabrik Ernst Hese Gmbh and others: TCC 11 Jan 2008

Judges:

Ramsey J

Citations:

[2008] EWHC 6 (TCC)

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedBiffa 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. . .
See AlsoBiffa Waste Services Ltd and Another v Maschinenfabrik Ernst Hese Gmbh and others TCC 31-Oct-2008
. .
Appeal fromBiffa 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. . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contract, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 13 July 2022; Ref: scu.264013

London County Council v Cattermoles (Garages) Ltd: CA 20 Apr 1953

An employer is vicariously liable for employees’ torts committed in the course of employment, in spite of prohibitions dealing with conduct within its course. The defendants were held liable for the negligence of their servant whilst driving, even though the servant, a garage hand had no driving licence and had been expressly prohibited from driving.

Judges:

Sir Raymond Evershed MR, Birkett, Romer LJJ

Citations:

[1953] EWCA Civ 3, [1953] 1 WLR 997, [1953] 2 All ER 582

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Torts – Other, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 12 July 2022; Ref: scu.262852

McE v Hendron and de La Salle Brothers: SCS 11 Apr 2007

(Opinion of Lord Osborne) The claimant sought damages saying that he had suffered abuse while a pupil at the approved school managed by the respondents. The claim was a test case as there were pending some 150 additional cases where abuse was alleged at the hands of brothers at that school.
Held: There was no basis upon which the allegation of vicarious liability on the part of the Institute could succeed and the claim was accordingly dismissed.

Judges:

Lord Osborne, Lord Clarke, Lord Marnoch

Citations:

2007 SCLR 360, [2007] ScotCS CSIH – 27, 2007 GWD 16-301, 2007 SC 556

Links:

ScotC, Bailii

Citing:

See AlsoAM v Reverend Joseph Hendron and others OHCS 13-Sep-2005
Serious abuse was said to have been inflicted by monks of the De La Salle order on those in their charge at an approved school in Scotland. The former pupil claimant contended that the SED owed him a non-delegable duty which entitled him to . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Scotland, Torts – Other, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 10 July 2022; Ref: scu.251054

North East London Strategic Health Authority v Nassir-Deen: EAT 18 Dec 2006

EAT Race Discrimination – Inferring discrimination; Victimisation; Vicarious liability
The Employment Tribunal appear to have found that a non-discriminatory, unreasonable, treatment of the Claimant was prima facie on the grounds of his race. The Employment Tribunal had failed to adequately consider evidence of non-discriminatory factors that may have explained the Respondent’s conduct, as not being discriminatory.

Citations:

[2006] UKEAT 0114 – 06 – 1812

Links:

Bailii

Citing:

CitedDr Anya v University of Oxford and Another CA 22-Mar-2001
Discrimination – History of interactions relevant
When a tribunal considered whether the motive for an act was discriminatory, it should look not just at the act, but should make allowance for earlier acts which might throw more light on the act in question. The Tribunal should assess the totality . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Employment, Discrimination, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 09 July 2022; Ref: scu.247874

KR 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 appeal was allowed in part. Liability had been found not directly on vicarious liability for the acts of the individual staff members, but rather on the negligence in the system of running the homes. The court had to look at each allegation of abuse to see whether the exemption in the policy applied: ‘If possible the exception clause should be given its natural meaning. The policy covers bodily injury to persons other than employees caused in the course of business. The exception focuses on injury or damage resulting from a deliberate act or omission of the insured. ‘ The insurer was not liable for the deliberate acts of abuse from the time after the policy successfully excluded such liability.

Citations:

Times 08-Nov-2006, [2006] EWCA Civ 1454

Links:

Bailii

Statutes:

Third Parties (Rights against Insurers) Act 1930 1

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

CitedKR and others v Bryn Alyn Community (Holdings) Ltd and Another CA 10-Jun-2003
The court considered an extension of the time for claiming damages for personal injuries after the claimants said they had been sexually abused as children in the care of the defendants.
Held: The test to be applied under section 14(2) was . .
CitedA v Hoare; H v Suffolk County Council, Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs intervening; X and Y v London Borough of Wandsworth CA 12-Apr-2006
Each claimant sought damages for a criminal assault for which the defendant was said to be responsible. Each claim was to be out of the six year limitation period. In the first claim, the proposed defendant had since won a substantial sum from the . .
CitedStubbings v Webb and Another HL 10-Feb-1993
Sexual Assault is not an Act of Negligence
In claims for damages for child abuse at a children’s home made out of the six year time limit time were effectively time barred, with no discretion for the court to extend that limit. The damage occurred at the time when the child left the home. A . .
CitedWayne Tank and Pump Company Ltd v Employers Liability Assurance Corporation Ltd CA 1973
The court discussed the effect of an exception clause in an insurance policy: ‘The effect of an exception is to save the insurer from liability for a loss which but for the exception would be covered. The effect of the cover is not to impose on the . .
MentionedJ J Lloyd Instruments Limited v Northern Star Insurance Co Ltd; The Miss Jay Jay CA 1987
The insurers insured against an adverse sea but not against defective manufacture or design. Both were found to be proximate causes of the loss.
Held: The Court of Appeal upheld the first instance judge that the owners could claim under the . .
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 . .
MentionedThe Aliza Glazial CA 2002
. .
CitedLennard’s Carrying Company Limited v Asiatic Petroleum Company Limited HL 1915
The House was asked as to when the acts of an individual became those of his employer under section 502 (‘any loss or damage happening without (the ship owner’s) actual fault or privity’).
Held: Viscount Haldane LC said: ‘It must be upon the . .
CitedHL Bolton (Engineering) Co Ltd v TJ Graham and Sons Ltd CA 1957
The landlord asserted that a tenancy should not be renewed and claimed to have held the freehold for more than 5 years.
Held: The Landlord had only become the reversioner to the lease after accepting a surrender of the head lease. The Act . .
CitedMeridian 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 . .
CitedTesco Supermarkets Ltd v Nattrass HL 31-Mar-1971
Identification of Company’s Directing Mind
In a prosecution under the 1968 Act, the court discussed how to identify the directing mind and will of a company, and whether employees remained liable when proper instructions had been given to those in charge of a local store.
Held: ‘In the . .
CitedBeresford v Royal Insurance Co Ltd HL 1938
The forfeiture rule was to be applied in a case involving suicide. An insured may not recover under a policy of insurance in respect of loss intentionally caused by his own criminal or tortious act, however clearly the wording of the policy may . .
CitedEl Ajou v Dollar Land Holdings Ltd CA 2-Dec-1993
The court was asked whether, for the purposes of establishing a company’s liability under the knowing receipt head of constructive trust, the knowledge of one of its directors can be treated as having been the knowledge of the company.
Held: . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Insurance, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 08 July 2022; Ref: scu.245841

Hutchinson 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 threatened the claimant with arrest and had then attempted to carry out the threat or to use excessive force. She was acting in the course of her duties even though off duty. The Commissioner asked the judge to revise his draft judgment challenging the finding that the first defendant had been acting in the course of her police duties. However: ‘the right to indemnity arises because Miss Morgan has incurred costs as a result of carrying out the functions assigned to her by the Commissioner’.

Citations:

[2005] EWHC 1660 (QB)

Links:

Bailii

Statutes:

Police Act 1996 88(1), Police Reform Act 2002 102

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

CitedRobinson v Fernsby, Scott-Kilvert CA 19-Dec-2003
The judge had drafted his judgment and sent the drafts to the parties for comment. He then received additional written representations from one party, from which he realised that he had made an error, and issued a corrected judgment which a . .
DistinguishedMakanjuola 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 . .
CitedGravgaard v Aldridge and Brownlee (A Firm) CA 9-Dec-2004
After the court had sent its draft judgment to the parties, counsel on each side had written to the court making fresh submissions.
Held: Contentious matters should only be allowed to be re-opened in very limited circumstances once a draft . .
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 . .
CitedWeir v Chief Constable of Merseyside Police CA 29-Jan-2003
An off duty police officer had borrowed a marked police van without permission to help his girlfriend move house. The claimant appeared to be rummaging through his girlfriend’s belongings. The claimant refused to obey officer who was employed by the . .
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 . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Personal Injury, Vicarious Liability, Police

Updated: 03 July 2022; Ref: scu.229283

Cambridgeshire 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 its driver.
Held: The offence involved use by the employer when he caused or mermitted the use. It was in effect a joint enterprise by the employer and employee.

Judges:

Kennedy LJ, Walker J

Citations:

[2005] EWHC 1627 (Admin)

Links:

Bailii

Statutes:

Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

CitedAlphacell Ltd v Woodward HL 3-May-1972
The defendant operated a paper manufacturing plant which involved maintaining tanks of polluting liquid near the river, so that pollution would occur if they overflowed. There were pumps which ought normally to have drawn off the liquid and . .
CitedRoss 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. . .
CitedWest Yorkshire Trading Standards Service v Lex Vehicle Leasing Ltd QBD 9-Feb-1995
It was alleged that the maximum permitted front axle weight of the vehicle in question was exceeded. The court was asked what were the circimstances defing a ‘user’ of a motor vehicle in prosecutions for use of the vehicle.
Held: ‘The . .
CitedRegina v Director of Public Prosecutions, ex parte Jones CA 2000
A company Managing Director had arranged for a dockside crane to be adapted, so that with the jaws of the grab bucket open bags could be attached to hooks fitted within the bucket. Jones was in the hold of a ship loading bags onto the hooks when the . .
CitedVehicle Inspectorate v Nuttall HL 18-Mar-1999
An operator accused of permitting contraventions of the drivers hours need only be shown to have failed to take reasonable steps to prevent contraventions by his drivers. A willful failure to inspect tachograph charts can amount to prima facie . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Road Traffic, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 01 July 2022; Ref: scu.229011

Keppel 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 plaintiff remonstrated with him. An altercation followed in which each tried to hit the other. They were separated by the passengers, but the conductor struck the plaintiff in the eye with his ticket punch, causing loss of sight in the eye. The trial judge and the Singapore Court of Appeal held that the bus company was vicariously liable.
Held: The employer was not liable, since the conductor struck the passenger at a time when he was not exercising his responsibility to maintain order on the bus. The conductor’s conduct could not be described as a wrong mode of performing the work which he was expressly or impliedly authorised to do. He could not be described as maintaining order in the bus; if anyone was keeping order in the bus, it was the passengers. The Board rejected the argument that his job could be described as ‘managing the bus’ and that his conduct arose out of his power and duty to do so.

Judges:

Cross, Kilbrandon LL, Sir Harry Gibbs

Citations:

[1974] 1 WLR 1082, [1974] UKPC 15, [1974] RTR 504, [1974] 2 All ER 700, 17 KIR 90

Links:

Bailii, Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

CitedPoland 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, . .

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 . .
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 . .
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: 27 June 2022; Ref: scu.220485

Naylor (T/A Mainstreet) v Payling: CA 7 May 2004

The claimant was injured by a door attendant employed as an independent contractor by the defendant.
Held: The defendant’s duty in selecting an independent contractor was limited to assessing the competence of the contractor. The duties of minding the door were not non-delegable, and therefore there was no additional duty to carry insurance against liability. Here the subcontractor employed doormen who were licensed by the local authority, and the club owner had no duty to enquire further save in exceptional circumstances.

Judges:

Waller, Latham and Neuberger LJJ

Citations:

[2004] EWCA Civ 560, Times 02-Jun-2004

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

CitedGwilliam v West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust and Others CA 24-Jul-2002
The claimant sought damages. She had been injured after the negligent erection of a stand which was known to be potentially hazardous. The contractor was uninsured, and the claimant sought damages from the Hospital which had arranged the fair in its . .
CitedBottomley v Todmorden Cricket Club CA 7-Nov-2003
The claimant was very badly injured at a bonfire organised by the defendants. He had been asked to help with a part of the display, organised by sub-contractors, which exploded as he was filling it.
Held: The nature of the activity to be . .

Cited by:

CitedGlaister and Others v Appelby-In-Westmorland Town Council CA 9-Dec-2009
The claimant was injured when at a horse fair. A loose horse kicked him causing injury. They claimed in negligence against the council for licensing the fair without ensuring that public liability insurance. The Council now appealed agaiinst a . .
CitedGlaister and Others v Appelby-In-Westmorland Town Council CA 9-Dec-2009
The claimant was injured when at a horse fair. A loose horse kicked him causing injury. They claimed in negligence against the council for licensing the fair without ensuring that public liability insurance. The Council now appealed agaiinst a . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Torts – Other, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 10 June 2022; Ref: scu.196769

Weir v Chief Constable of Merseyside Police: CA 29 Jan 2003

An off duty police officer had borrowed a marked police van without permission to help his girlfriend move house. The claimant appeared to be rummaging through his girlfriend’s belongings. The claimant refused to obey officer who was employed by the respondent. He was assaulted, and placed in the rear of a police van. He appealed dismissal of his claim against the Chief Constable.
Held: The officer had identified himself as a constable, and was using a police van: ‘when taking hold of Mr Weir, throwing him down the stairs, assaulting him and locking him in the police van saying he was taking him to the police station …PC Dudley was apparently acting as a constable, albeit one who was behaving very badly. It is clearly fair that Mr Weir should recover for the assault and the injuries caused and for the time he was forcibly confined in the van.’ The nature of an officer’s duties meant that the responsibility of a chief constable would be wider than might apply for other employments. Though the officer had acted unlawfully, his behaviour was not so far outside the nature of his work, and the Chief Constable had vicarious liability.

Judges:

Tuckey, Latham, LJJ, Sir Denis Henry

Citations:

Times 04-Feb-2003, [2003] ICR 708

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

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 . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Police

Updated: 10 June 2022; Ref: scu.178852

Lister 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 the rights inter se of A and B, the fact that one them is insured is to be disregarded. A term will not be implied into a contract at common law unless it satisfies the requirement of certainty, under ‘the general principle that an implication must be precise and obvious’.
Viscount Simonds said: ‘as a general proposition it has not, I think, been questioned for nearly 200 years that in determining the rights inter se of A and B the fact that one or other of them is insured is to be disregarded’.

Judges:

Viscount Simonds, Lord Tucker

Citations:

[1957] 1 All ER 125, [1956] UKHL 6, [1957] AC 555

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

Appeal fromLister 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 . .

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 . .
CitedWestminster (Duke of) and others v Guild CA 30-Mar-1983
The landlord brought an action for non-payment of rent. The tenant sought to set off a failure by the landlord to repair the building of which his flat was part and which failure had caused him loss. The landlord said that it had no express duty to . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Contract

Updated: 08 June 2022; Ref: scu.190003

Century 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.

Citations:

[1942] AC 509, [1942] UKHL 2

Links:

Bailii

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.

Insurance, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 08 June 2022; Ref: scu.188808

Kooragang 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 was not liable for his wrongful acts. The House rejected the broad proposition that so long as the employee is doing acts of the same kind as those it is within his authority to do, the employer is liable and he is not entitled to show the employee had no authority to do them. Lord Wilberforce said: ‘the underlying principle remains that a servant, even while performing acts of the class which he was authorised, or employed, to do, may so clearly depart from the scope of his employment that his master will not be liable for his wrongful acts.’

Judges:

Lord Wilberforce

Citations:

[1982] AC 471, [1981] UKPC 30

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

Commonwealth

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, . .
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 . .
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 . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability

Updated: 08 June 2022; Ref: scu.186090

Mattis 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 what had happened in the nightclub, and that vicarious liability was therefore established. The owner had chosen to employ the doorman, knowing and approving of his aggressive tendencies, which he had encouraged rather than curbed. The court considered closely the effect of the decision in Lister v Hesley Hall. However, ‘even if it were not necessary to be able to point to some duty owed by Mr. Pollock to Mr. Mattis which was current at the time of Mr. Cranston’s attack, there was not a sufficiently close connection between the employment of Mr. Cranston by Mr. Pollock and the assault on Mr. Mattis for it to be fair and just for Mr. Pollock to be vicariously liable to Mr. Mattis for the consequences of that attack. ‘

Judges:

Richard Seymour QC J

Citations:

[2002] EWHC 2177 (QB), [2003] 1 WLR 2158, [2004] 4 All ER 85, [2003] All ER (D) 10, [2004] PIQR P3, [2003] IRLR 603, [2003] ICR 1335

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

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 . .
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 . .
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 . .
CitedHeasmans 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 . .
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 . .
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. . .
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 . .
CitedBalfron 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 . .

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 . .
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 . .
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.

Personal Injury, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 07 June 2022; Ref: scu.178900

Priestley v Fowler: 1837

Priestley was a butcher’s man who was injured when a van overloaded by fellow employees collapsed, injuring him. His lawsuit was founded on the principle of a master’s vicarious liability for his servant’s negligence.

Citations:

[1837] EngR 202, (1837) 3 M and W 1, (1837) 150 ER 1030

Links:

Commonlii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

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, . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Personal Injury, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 04 June 2022; Ref: scu.313319

Reynolds 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 had said that helmets were available, and recommended. The claimant said there had been no mention of helmets in the introduction to the race, though he was experienced as a cyclist.
Held: The activity could not fairly be described as having been within the claimant’s course of employment. Nevertheless one could not simply ignore the employment relationship, and a comparable duty of care arose. No sufficient risk assessment had been carried out.
The course providers would have insisted than any member of the public contracting with them should wear a helmet. Moreover: ‘It was argued that, because the claimant was an experienced cyclist, he could, had he wished, have chosen to use a helmet, and the fact that he did not supports a conclusion that he would not have complied with any requirement. I do not accept that argument. If the defendant had required the wearing of helmets and some of the staff refused to wear them, then they would, quite simply, and in accordance with the assessment they should have made, have excluded them from the bicycle racing activity.’
Nevertheless the claimant was contributorily negligent. Other riders wore helmets, they were clearly on view, and he could have requested one.
As to the apportionment of liability: ‘, it is not simply a matter of assessing the comparative blameworthiness of the parties, but of their respective responsibility for the damage, particularly bearing in mind the defendant’s duty of care involved, on my findings, taking precautions against the claimant’s own negligence. That needs to be weighed against the fact that the claimant’s fault was causative of the injury he suffered. In the final analysis, I need to assess both relative blameworthiness and causative potency of the parties’ respective faults. In my judgment, given my findings as to the claimant’s responsibility for the collision, he must accept the greater proportion of blame. In these circumstances, in my judgment, a fair apportionment of liability is two thirds/one third in favour of the defendant.’

Judges:

Oliver-Jones QC

Citations:

[2011] EWHC 2263 (Ch)

Links:

Bailii

Statutes:

Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 52, Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 3(2)(e)

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

CitedFroom v Butcher CA 21-Jul-1975
The court asked what reduction if any should be made to a plaintiff’s damages where injuries were caused not only by the defendant’s negligent driving but also by the failure of the plaintiff to wear a seat belt. It had been submitted that, since . .
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 . .
CitedSO v Hsbc Bank Plc and Another CA 3-Apr-2009
Etherton LJ held that ultimately the decision as to whether there is vicarious liability ‘is a conclusion of law based on primary facts rather than a simple question of fact’. . .
CitedSmith v Finch QBD 22-Jan-2009
The claimant cyclist was severely injured in an accident when hit by a motorcyclist, the defendant. He was not wearing a cycle helmet, and the injuries were to his head. He was slowing down to turn right, and was hit a heavy glancing blow by 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. . .
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 . .
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. . .
CitedMinistry of Defence v Radclyffe CA 30-Jun-2009
The court held the appellant Ministry liable for a soldier’s injuries incurred when jumping from a high bridge. A senior officer had earlier ‘assumed responsibility to prevent the junior soldiers from taking undue risks of which he was or ought to . .
CitedUren v Corporate Leisure (UK) Ltd CA 2-Feb-2011
The claimant suffered injury at a competitive fun day organised by his employers, the RAF at a facility of the respondents. He struck his head diving into a very shallow inflatable pool. He appealed against dismissal of his claim.
Held: The . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, Health and Safety, Vicarious Liability, Employment

Updated: 02 June 2022; Ref: scu.464218

Waters v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis: HL 27 Jul 2000

A policewoman, having made a complaint of serious sexual assault against a fellow officer complained again that the Commissioner had failed to protect her against retaliatory assaults. Her claim was struck out, but restored on appeal.
Held: Her claim was arguable. It was possible that the Commissioner owed to her a similar duty as would any other employer by virtue of the section. The protection given to the police against owing a duty of care did not apply here. She was not suing as a member of the public. ‘it is clear, or at the least arguable, that duties analogous to those owed to an employee are owed to officers in the police service’. And ‘If an employer knows that acts being done by employees during their employment may cause physical or mental harm to a particular fellow employee and he does nothing to supervise or prevent such acts, when it is in his power to do so, it is clearly arguable that he may be in breach of his duty to that employee. It seems to me that he may also be in breach of that duty if he can foresee that such acts may happen and, if they do, that physical or mental harm may be caused to an individual.’

Judges:

Lord Slynn of Hadley Lord Jauncey of Tullichettle Lord Clyde Lord Hutton Lord Millett

Citations:

Times 01-Aug-2000, Gazette 12-Oct-2000, [2000] 1 WLR 1607, [2000] UKHL 50, [2000] IRLR 720

Links:

House of Lords, Bailii

Statutes:

Police Act 1996 88(1)

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

At EATWaters v Commissioner of Police of Metropolis EAT 17-Nov-1994
. .
Appeal fromWaters v Commissioner of Police for Metropolis CA 3-Jul-1997
. .
CitedKnightley v Johns and others CA 27-Mar-1981
There had been an accident in a tunnel, blocking it. The defendant inspector ordered a traffic constable to ride into the tunnel on his motorcycle against the flow of traffic. The constable crashed and sought damages for negligence against the . .
CitedWhite, Frost and others v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire and others HL 3-Dec-1998
No damages for Psychiatric Harm Alone
The House considered claims by police officers who had suffered psychiatric injury after tending the victims of the Hillsborough tragedy.
Held: The general rules restricting the recovery of damages for pure psychiatric harm applied to the . .
CitedChief Constable of Northumbria v Costello CA 3-Dec-1998
A woman police officer was attacked by a prisoner in a cell. She sought damages for the failure of a senior officer nearby not to come to her aid, and from the chief constable under his vicarious liability.
Held: The chief constable’s appeal . .
CitedVeness v Dyson Bell and Co 25-May-1965
The claimant sought damages against her employer saying they had failed to meet their duty of care to prevent bullying.
Held: The court refused to strike out the claim that ‘[the plaintiff] was so bullied and belittled by her colleagues that . .
CitedElguzouli-Daf v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis and Another CA 16-Nov-1994
The Court upheld decisions striking out actions for negligence brought by claimants who had been arrested and held in custody during criminal investigations which were later discontinued. The Crown Prosecution Service owes no general duty of care to . .
CitedSpring v Guardian Assurance Plc and Others HL 7-Jul-1994
The plaintiff, who worked in financial services, complained of the terms of the reference given by his former employer. Having spoken of his behaviour towards members of the team, it went on: ‘his former superior has further stated he is a man of . .
CitedPetch v Customs and Excise Commissioners CA 29-Mar-1993
A former employer has no duty of care regarding the accuracy of information provided to the trustees of a pension fund regarding the work record of that employee. . .
CitedCaparo Industries Plc v Dickman and others HL 8-Feb-1990
Limitation of Loss from Negligent Mis-statement
The plaintiffs sought damages from accountants for negligence. They had acquired shares in a target company and, relying upon the published and audited accounts which overstated the company’s earnings, they purchased further shares.
Held: The . .
CitedWigan Borough Council v Davies EAT 1979
The court considered that an employer owed a duty of care and under the contract of employment to employees to protect them against ill treatment or bullying. The plaintiff sued for breach of contract.
Arnold J said: ‘We do not think that it is . .
CitedWetherall (Bond Street W1) Ltd v Lynn 1978
The court considered a claim of constructive dismissal against a claim by an employee that the employer had failed to meet its duty of care to protect an employee against bullying or ill treatment by other members of staff. If the respondent had not . .

Cited by:

CitedMullaney v Chief Constable of West Midlands Police CA 15-May-2001
The claimant police officer was severely injured making an arrest. He claimed damages from the respondent for contributory negligence of other officers in failing to come to his assistance.
Held: If a police officer owes a duty of care to . .
CitedBanks v Ablex Ltd CA 24-Feb-2005
The claimant appealed denial of her claim for damages for psychological injury. She complained that her employer had failed to prevent her and other female employees being bullied by a co-worker, and they committed a breach of statutory duty in . .
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 . .
CitedBrooks v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis and others HL 21-Apr-2005
The claimant was with Stephen Lawrence when they were both attacked and Mr Lawrence killed. He claimed damages for the negligent way the police had dealt with his case, and particularly said that they had failed to assess him as a victim of crime, . .
CitedFrench and others v Chief Constable of Sussex Police CA 28-Mar-2006
The claimants sought damages for psychiatric injury. They were police officers who had been subject to unsuccessful proceedings following a shooting of a member of the public by their force.
Held: The claim failed: ‘these claimants have no . .
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 . .
CitedClark v The Chief Constable of Essex Police QBD 18-Sep-2006
The officer had retired on ill health grounds, and now sought damages from his chief constable saying that the duties imposed on him had been excessive, and had caused his injury by negligence, and that he had been bullied by co-workers and had not . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Discrimination, Vicarious Liability, Police, Negligence

Updated: 31 May 2022; Ref: scu.159084

John Flynn v Robin Thompson and Partners (a Firm): CA 24 Aug 1999

A partner in a firm of solicitors had been accused of two assaults by a lay representative of a claimant against the firm. The first related to an attempt to wrest papers from the claimant, and the second an assault outside the court. They were both wrongly categorised as a claim in vicarious liability. The defendant was a partner, and the liability of the firm lay in the Act. The second assault was clearly outside the scope of Acts within the partnership, and the first did not warrant the proceedings.

Citations:

Gazette 10-Feb-2000, Times 14-Mar-2000, [1999] EWCA Civ 2106

Links:

Bailii

Statutes:

Partnership Act 1890 10

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Vicarious Liability, Company, Torts – Other

Updated: 31 May 2022; Ref: scu.147021