Allen and Others v Hampshire Constabulary: CA 30 Jul 2013

Appeal against striking out of claim against the respondent. She had been married to a police officer of the respondent, and she alleged that another police officer with whom her husband was having an affair began a campaign of harressment against her.
Held: The claim had been dismissed not o the law but on the facts. The appeal was dismissed.

Gross LJ
[2013] EWCA Civ 967
Bailii
Police Act 1996 88
England and Wales

Vicarious Liability, Human Rights, Police

Updated: 18 November 2021; Ref: scu.514234

Cassidy 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 (dissenting) said that: ‘whenever they accept a patient for treatment, they must use reasonable care and skill to cure him of his ailment. The hospital authorities cannot, of course, do it by themselves: they have no ears to listen through the stethoscope, and no hands to hold the surgeon’s knife. They must do it by the staff which they employ; and if their staff are negligent in giving the treatment, they are just as liable for that negligence as is anyone else who employs others to do his duties for him.’ and ‘where a person is himself under a duty to use care, he cannot get rid of his responsibility by delegating the performance of it to someone else, no matter whether the delegation be to a servant under a contract of service or to an independent contractor under a contract for services.’

Denning LJ, Somervell LJ, Singleton LJ
[1951] 2 KB 343
England and Wales
Citing:
AppliedGold 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 . .

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, . .
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.

Professional Negligence, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 14 November 2021; Ref: scu.188806

Limpus v London General Omnibus Company: CExC 23 Jun 1862

Vicarious Liability – Act on Employers Business

The driver of an omnibus, seeking to disturb the omnibus of another company, drove his own across the path of another. His employers had furnished him and other drivers with a card saying they ‘must not on any account race with or obstruct another omnibus.’ Baron Martin had directed the jury that, if the defendant’s driver did it for the purposes of his employer, the defendants were liable: but if it was an act of his own, and in order to effect a purpose of his own, the defendants were not responsible. The jury found for the plaintiff.
Held: The employer was liable for the ensuing accident despite written instructions to the driver to exercsie care. The employer was liable because the injury resulted from an act done by the driver in the course of his service and for his master’s purposes; it was not done by the servant for his own purposes, but for his master’s purposes.
Lord Blackburn said: ‘A footman might think it for the interest of his master to drive the coach, but no one could say that it was within the scope of the footman’s employment, and that the master would be liable for damage resulting from the wilful act of the footman in taking charge of the horses.’

Wiles J, Blackburn J
(1862) 1 H and C 526, [1862] EngR 839, (1862) 158 ER 993
Commonlii
England and Wales
Citing:
See AlsoLimpus v The London General Omnibus Company 1861
. .

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

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Personal Injury

Leading Case

Updated: 14 November 2021; Ref: scu.190002

Twine v Bean’s Express Ltd: CA 1946

A driver was engaged to drive his employers’ van, his employers having a contract with the Post Office. When so doing, he gave Mr. Twine a lift from A to B, both offices of the Post Office. The driver had been expressly forbidden to give lifts.
Held: The express prohibition upon giving lifts was not only a prohibition but was also a limiting factor on the scope of the employment. The driver was not acting in the course of his employment. Lord Greene said: ‘He (the driver) was employed to drive the van. That does not mean . . that because the deceased man was in the van it was within the scope of the driver’s employment to be driving the deceased man. He was in fact doing two things at once. He was driving his van from one place to another by a route which he was properly taking when he ran into the omnibus, and in driving the van he was acting within the scope of his employment. The other thing which he was doing simultaneously was something totally outside the scope of his employment – namely, giving a lift to a person who had no right whatsoever to be there.’

Lord Greene MR, Uthwatt J
(1946) 62 TLR 155, [1946] 1 KB 202, [1946] 1 All ER 202, (1946) 175 LT 131
England and Wales
Cited by:
Not FollowedRose v Plenty CA 7-Jul-1975
Contrary to his employers orders, a milkman allowed children to assist him in his milkround. One was injured, and sued the milkman’s employer.
Held: The milkman had not gone so far outside the activities for which he was employed for the . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability

Updated: 14 November 2021; Ref: scu.278317

Hawley 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 insurance policy of the security company for an ‘accidental bodily injury’.
Held: Viasystems had decided that dual responsibility was sometimes possible, but this case was not such: ‘it would not be appropriate to attribute vicarious liability to both ASE and Luminar. In this case, there has been effectively and substantially a transfer of control and responsibility from ASE to Luminar.’ Liability under a policy has to be viewed from the perspective of the insured. The appeals were dismissed, and the club were responsible.

Latham, Neuberger, Hallett LJJ
[2006] EWCA Civ 18, [2006] IRLR 817, [2006] PIQR P17, [2006] Lloyd’s Rep IR 307
Bailii
Civil Liability (Contribution Act) 1978 81(1)
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 . .
CitedViasystems (Tyneside) Ltd v Thermal Transfer (Northern) Ltd and others CA 10-Oct-2005
The defendants had subcontracted work installing air conditioning to the second defendants, who in turn bought in fitters from the third defendants. A fitter caused a flood acting irresponsibly.
Held: The court reviewed the law of vicarious . .
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 . .
CitedGray v Barr CA 1971
A husband had accidentally shot and killed his wife’s lover after threatening him with a shotgun.
Held: The court confirmed the decision at first instance. He was not liable to be indemnified by his insurers for the losses claimed against him . .
CitedDhak v Insurance Company of North America (Uk) Ltd CA 8-Feb-1996
A death which occurred after inhaling vomit whilst drunk is not a ‘bodily injury; and there was no liability under the relative insurance policy. . .
CitedChurchill Insurance v Charlton CA 2-Feb-2001
The victim of an unlawful act of a driver off-road sought damages from another driver and his insurers. The insurers refused to pay.
Held: There is a balance to be found between the statutory purpose of compulsory motor insurance and the . .
CitedTrim Joint District School Board of Management v Kelly HL 1914
Viscount Haldane LC said: ‘the construction of the Act ought to be more liberal as regards the claims of the workman than would be the case if the Act were construed with the closeness which distinguishes the construction of words in a contract such . .
Appeal fromHawley 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. . .

Cited by:
See AlsoHawley v Luminar Leisure Plc Ase Security Services Limited, Mann CA 1-Feb-2006
The defendant had made a part 36 offer of settlement. The claimant did not accept it, but then tried to accept it after the trial had begun.
Held: The risks of litigation were such that situations would often alter when a case came on for . .
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. . .
CitedJGE v The Portsmouth Roman Catholic Diocesan Trust CA 12-Jul-2012
The claimant suffered physical and serious sexual abuse whilst a child at a children’s home run by the defendant. A parish priest committed some of the abuse, and she claimed that the defendants were vicariously liable. They denied such liability. . .
CitedThe Catholic Child Welfare Society and Others v Various Claimants and The Institute of The Brothers of The Christian Schools and Others SC 21-Nov-2012
Law of vicarious liability is on the move
Former children at the children’s homes had sought damages for sexual and physical abuse. The court heard arguments as to the vicarious liability of the Society for abuse caused by a parish priest visiting the school. The Court of Appeal had found . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability

Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.237856

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.’

Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Steyn, Lord Millett, Lord Scott of Foscote, Lord Carswell
[2004] UKPC 47, No. 30 of 2003, [2005] IRLR 398
PC, Bailii, PC
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 . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Police

Leading Case

Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.215957

Wilson v Exel UK Ltd: SCS 29 Apr 2010

A supervisor in a depot was entrusted to implement the employers’ health and safety policies. In a prank, he forcefully pulled an employee’s head back by her hair.
Held: The pursuer’s appeal against rejection of the claim based upon vicarious liability failed.
Lord Carloway said: ‘A broad approach should be adopted. Time and place were always relevant, but may not be conclusive and the fact that the employment provides the opportunity for the act to occur at a particular time and place is not necessarily enough.’ He went on to consider the English authorities including Majrowski v Guy’s and St Thomas’s NHS Trust [2005] QB 848, where Auld LJ stated that ‘in the field of employment law, the reasonably incidental risk criterion may be of particular value’. He rejected the suggestion that the test could depend on whether ‘the assailant [was] further up the hierarchical tree’. Lord Reed’s classification in Ward v Scott Railways Ltd [1998] SC 255 was cited. Lord Reed had referred to: ‘an unrelated and independent venture of his own, a personal matter, rather than a matter connected to his authorised duties.’ Lord Carloway considered cases, in which vicarious liability had been established, concluding: ‘The cases are all consistent with the dictum of McLachlin J in Bazley v Curry . . that: ‘an incidental or random attack by an employee that merely happens to take place on the employer’s premises during working hours will scarcely justify holding the employer liable. Such an attack is unlikely to be related to the business the employer is conducting or what the employee was asked to do . ‘ That is the position here. It is clear from the pursuer’s averments that Mr Reid’s actions in pulling her pony tail were unconnected with his employment. The defenders’ business was frozen food storage. Mr Reid was employed as part of that business, albeit that he had a supervisory role over certain staff and duties in relation to health and safety. It was not part of the defenders’ business, or Mr Reid’s employment, to care for, look after or protect the pursuer in the manner which ultimately rendered the defendants in Lister v Hesley Hall (supra) vicariously liable. Equally, in pulling the pursuer’s ponytail, Mr Reid was not purporting to do anything connected with his duties relating to health and safety in the Portacabin or in relation to his supervision of the staff.’

Lord Carloway
Lord Carloway
[2010] ScotCS CSIH – 35, [2010] CSIH 35, 2010 Rep LR 68, 2010 GWD 18-365, 2010 SLT 671, 2010 SCLR 486
Bailii
Scotland
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 . .
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 . .
CitedGraham v Commercial Bodyworks Ltd CA 5-Feb-2015
The claimant had been very badly burned. He was covered in flammable liquid when a co-worker lit a cigarette.
Held: The claimant’s appeal failed. ‘although the defendant employers did create a risk by requiring their employees to work with . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability

Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.414916

Joel v Morison: CEC 3 Jul 1834

Liability for Servant Only While on Duty

Where a servant is undergoing a journey with a cart on behalf of his master, and makes a diversion for his own purposes, during which an injury is caused to a third party, the master is not liable, but if the servant remains on his master’s business but causes injury because of the way he manages the cart, his master is liable.

Parke B
(1834) 6 C and P 501, [1834] EWHC KB J39, (1834) 172 ER 1338
Bailii
England and Wales

Vicarious Liability

Leading Case

Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.189978

Gravil 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 contract required him not to engage in such behaviour.
Held: The appeal was allowed. The judge had correctly stated the question as being whether the tort was so closely connected with the employment that it would be fair and just to hold the employers vicariously liable: ‘it is not appropriate to ask a broader question, namely whether in all the circumstances of the case it would be fair and just to hold the club liable. The critical factor is the nature of the employment and the closeness (or otherwise) of the connection between the employment and the tort. The question what is fair and reasonable must be answered in the context of the closeness or otherwise of that connection. The answer to the question in each case depends upon its particular facts, ‘However, in this case here was just that close connection between what was done and the defendant’s employment.’

Sir Anthony Clarke MR, Smith LJ, Richards LJ
[2008] EWCA Civ 689, Times 22-Jul-2008, [2008] ICR 1222, [2008] IRLR 829
Bailii
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 . .
CitedJacobi v Griffiths 17-Jun-1999
(Canadian Supreme Court) The process for determining when a non-authorised act by an employee is so connected to the employer’s enterprise that liability should be imposed involved two steps: 1. Firstly a court should determine whether there are . .
CitedBazley v Curry 17-Jun-1999
(Canadian Supreme Court) The court considerd the doctrine of vicarious liability: ‘The policy purposes underlying the imposition of vicarious liability on employers are served only where the wrong is so connected with the employment that it can be . .
CitedLister and Others v Hesley Hall Ltd HL 3-May-2001
A school board employed staff to manage a residential school for vulnerable children. The staff committed sexual abuse of the children. The school denied vicarious liability for the acts of the teachers.
Held: ‘Vicarious liability is legal . .
CitedMattis v Pollock (T/A Flamingo’s Nightclub) 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 . .
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 . .
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 . .
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 . .
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 . .
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 . .

Cited by:
CitedFosse Motor Engineers Ltd and others v Conde Nast and National Magazine Distributors Ltd and Another TCC 20-Aug-2008
The claimant said that the defendant’s employees had negligently started a fire which burned down the claimant’s warehouse. There was limited evidence to establish the cause.
Held: The claim failed. The scientific evidence did not point to any . .
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.

Torts – Other, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.269976

Lloyd 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 employment or within the scope of the apparent authority, albeit by an employee or a partner conducting the business of a type which he had a right to conduct. The principal was liable for the fraud of the agent because conveyancing is part of the ordinary business of solicitors. The client had been invited by the firm to deal with their managing clerk. It was irrelevant that the agent acted with a dishonest purpose for his own ends. His act was of the class or kind of acts which fall within the ordinary business of solicitors.

Lord Macnaghten, Earl Loreburn LC
[1912] AC 716, [1912] UKHL 1
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
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 . .

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 . .
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 . .
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 . .
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 . .
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 . .
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 . .
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 . .
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 . .
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, Legal Professions

Leading Case

Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.183574

Rex v Huggins and Barnes: KBD 1730

Gaoler – Murder of Prisoner by Lack of Care

The defendant Huggins was warden of the Fleet Prison. A prisoner, Arne, died in 1725. Barnes, a gaoler had put him in a room ‘without fire, chamber-pot or close-stool, the walls being damp and unwholesome, and the room built over the common sewer’. Thus confined, Arne ‘by reason of his imprisonment in the said room sickened, and by duress thereof died’ 44 days later. Huggins was indicted and tried at the Old Bailey for his murder, under an allegation that as warden of the Fleet he ‘had the care and custody of the prisoners committed thither’, that ‘Barnes was his servant, employed by him in taking care of the prisoners’, that at the time of Arne’s imprisonment Barnes and Huggins knew the room to be as before described and that Huggins was ‘aiding and abetting Barnes in committing the said felony and murder.’ The jury had returned a special verdict finding that Barnes was in fact the servant of Huggins’ deputy, Gibbon, and that Huggins had visited the cell only once, some 15 days before Arne died.
Held: In a certiorari in the Kings Bench, the judges concluded that Barnes, if indicted, would, on the facts as found by the jury, have been guilty of murder, but that Huggins was not guilty.
Lord Raymond LCJ said: ‘Though he was warden, yet it being found, that there was a deputy; he is not, as warden, guilty of the facts committed under the authority of his deputy. He shall answer as superior for his deputy civilly, but not criminally. It has been settled, that though a sheriff must answer for the offences of his gaoler civilly, that is, he is subject in an action, to make satisfaction to the party injured; yet he is not to answer criminally for the offences of his under-officer. He only is criminally punishable, who immediately does the act, or permits it to be done. Hale’s P. C. 114. So that if an act be done by an under-officer, unless it is done by the command or direction, or with the consent of the principal, the principal is not criminally punishable for it. In this case the fact was done by Barnes; and it no where appears in the special verdict, that the prisoner at the Bar ever commanded, or directed, or consented to this duress of imprisonment, which was the cause of Arne’s death.’
In Strange’s report: ‘It is a point not to be disputed, but that in criminal cases the principal is not answerable for the act of the deputy, as he is in civil cases: they must each answer for their own acts, and stand or fall by their own behaviour. All the authors that treat of criminal proceedings, proceed on the foundation of this distinction; that to affect the superior by the act of the deputy, there must be the command of the superior, which is not found in this case.’
Fitz-Gibbons reported: ‘The act of the deputy cannot criminally affect the principal; so that unless the act be by command, consent, or privity of the principal, so as to make him an abettor, he cannot be guilty.’

Lord Raymond LCJ, Lord Chief Justice
(1730) 2 Str 883, (1730) 2 Ld Raym 1574, (1730) Fitz 177
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedCraik, Chief Constable of Northumbria Police, Regina (on The Application of) v Newcastle Upon Tyne Magistrates’ Court Admn 30-Apr-2010
The claimant a retired Chief Constable sought judicial review of a decision to commit him for trial on a charge of unlawful imprisonment. The suspect and now prosecutor had been arrested and held in custody, but without the necessary timely review . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Prisons, Crime, Vicarious Liability

Leading Case

Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.408854

Vaickuviene 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 co-employee objected to Mr Romasov sharing his table and a further argument in the toilets. Later the co-employee picked up a kitchen knife from the kitchenware section of the supermarket and stabbed Mr Romasov in one of the aisles.
Held: The action failed. Mo matter how broadly the context of the stabber’s employment was looked at, it was not possible to hold that Sainsbury’s retail business in general or their engagement of persons to stack shelves in supermarkets in particular carried any special or additional risk that persons such as the deceased would either be harassed or otherwise come to harm as a result of deliberate violence from fellow employees.
Lord Carloway referred to his previous judgment in Wilson v Exel saying: ‘the decision in Wilson (supra) is not to be interpreted so narrowly as to be applicable only to conduct in the nature of ‘pranks. The use of the expression ‘frolic’ in that case. . is, as already noted, not indicative of triviality with respect to the wrongful acts in question. The principles set out in that case may be taken to be of general application in cases of intentional wrongdoing. Whilst the pursuers have sought to distance themselves from the ‘random attack’ by characterising the deceased’s murder as part of a course of conduct amounting to harassment, there is no basis for departing from the court’s analysis of the law in Wilson (supra). Referring as a whole to Mr McCulloch’s conduct from 13 to 15 April, being the period over which the harassment is alleged to have occurred, does not remedy the fact that there is no connection between the harassment and what McCulloch was employed to do. Rather, McCulloch’s employment simply provided him with the opportunity to carry out his own personal campaign of harassment with tragic consequences.’

Lord Carloway, Lord Brodie, Lord McGhie
[2013] ScotCS CSIH – 67, [2012] CSIH 67, 2013 SC 178, 2013 GWD 25-512, 2013 Rep LR 106, 2013 SLT 1032, [2013] RA 67, [2013] IRLR 792, 2012 GWD 30-624, 2014 SC 147
Bailii
Scotland
Citing:
CitedWilson v Exel UK Ltd SCS 29-Apr-2010
A supervisor in a depot was entrusted to implement the employers’ health and safety policies. In a prank, he forcefully pulled an employee’s head back by her hair.
Held: The pursuer’s appeal against rejection of the claim based upon vicarious . .

Cited by:
CitedGraham v Commercial Bodyworks Ltd CA 5-Feb-2015
The claimant had been very badly burned. He was covered in flammable liquid when a co-worker lit a cigarette.
Held: The claimant’s appeal failed. ‘although the defendant employers did create a risk by requiring their employees to work with . .
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: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.513808

Stapley v Gypsum Mines Ltd: HL 25 Jun 1953

Plaintiff to take own responsibility for damage

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

Reid L, Porter L, Oaksey L, Tucker L
[1953] AC 663, [1953] UKHL 4, [1953] 2 All ER 478, [1953] 3 WLR 279
Bailii
Law Reform (Contributory Negligence) Act 1945 1(1)
England and Wales
Citing:
ApprovedDavies v Swan Motor Co (Swansea) Ltd CA 1949
A plaintiff brought an action for damages for personal injury against the drivers of two cars.
Held: There are two aspects to apportioning responsibility between a plaintiff and defendant in an action for negligence, the respective causative . .

Cited by:
CitedEagle v Chambers CA 24-Jul-2003
The claimant was severely injured when run down by the defendant driving his car. She was in Blackpool, and drunk and wandering in the highway. The defendant was himself at or near the drink driving limit. She appealed against a finding that she was . .
CitedExel Logistics Ltd v Curran and others CA 30-Sep-2004
The claimants sought damages for personal injuries after a crash in a Land Rover maintained by the defendants. The defendants appealed findings of negligence in failing properly to inflate the rear tyres, in continuing despite the danger, and poor . .
CitedChester v Afshar HL 14-Oct-2004
The claimant suffered back pain for which she required neurosurgery. The operation was associated with a 1-2% risk of the cauda equina syndrome, of which she was not warned. She went ahead with the surgery, and suffered that complication. The . .
CitedCommissioner of Police for the Metropolis v Reeves (Joint Administratix of The Estate of Martin Lynch, Deceased) HL 11-Feb-1999
The deceased was a prisoner known to be at risk of committing suicide. Whilst in police custody he hanged himself in his prison cell. The Commissioner accepted that he was in breach of his duty of care to the deceased, but not that that breach was . .
CitedBadger v The Ministry of Defence QBD 16-Dec-2005
The widow of the deceased sought damages after his exposure to asbestos whilst working for the defendant. He had contracted lung cancer. The defendant argued that the deceased had continued to smoke knowing of the risks, and that he had made a . .
CitedNational Coal Board v England HL 1954
The plaintiff sought damages after being injured when a co-worker fired a shot. The employee however had himself coupled the detonator to the cable rather than leaving it to the shotfirer, and had his cimmitted a criminal offence. He had been found . .
CitedVellino v Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police CA 31-Jul-2001
The police were not under any duty to protect someone who had been arrested from injuring himself in an attempt to escape. The claimant had a history of seeking to avoid capture by jumping from his flat window. On this occasion he injured himself in . .
CitedCorr v IBC Vehicles Ltd HL 27-Feb-2008
The claimant’s husband had committed suicide. She sought damages for financial loss from his former employers under the 1976 Act. He had suffered a severe and debilitating injury working for them leading to his depression and suicide. The employers . .
CitedSt George v The Home Office CA 8-Oct-2008
The claimant was taken into prison. He was known to be subject to epilepsy, with high risks on withdrawal from drugs, but was allocated a high bunk. He had a seizure and fell, suffering head injuries. He sought damages in negligence. The defendant . .
CitedSmith v Skanska Construction Services Ltd QBD 29-Jul-2008
The court considered whether the driver of a vehicle involved in a fatal road accident in Thailand was driving within the authority of the UK employers. The driver was not an employee but had authority to use company vehicles for tasks for the . .
AppliedClay v AJ Crump and Sons Ltd CA 1964
An architect, a demolition contractor and a building contractor were each held liable to an employee of building contractors for the collapse of a wall which, with the architect’s approval, demolition contractors had left standing.
Held: As . .
CitedJackson v Murray and Another SC 18-Feb-2015
Child not entirely free of responsibility
The claimant child, left a school bus and stepped out from behind it into the path of the respondent’s car. She appealed against a finding of 70% contributory negligence.
Held: Her appeal succeeded (Majority, Lord Hodge and Lord Wilson . .
CitedBPE Solicitors and Another v Hughes-Holland (In Substitution for Gabriel) SC 22-Mar-2017
The court was asked what damages are recoverable in a case where (i) but for the negligence of a professional adviser his client would not have embarked on some course of action, but (ii) part or all of the loss which he suffered by doing so arose . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, Damages, Vicarious Liability

Leading Case

Updated: 10 November 2021; Ref: scu.185853

Launchbury v Morgans: CA 1971

The wife owned the car. The husband who had drunk to excess drove the car with her permission, causing severe injury to the passengers and his own death. She was not present.
Held: From considerations of policy, as the owner of the family car was insured, she should bear the loss. Lord Denning MR said: ‘The reason behind this principle is at bottom the principle which lies behind all vicarious liability. It is to put the responsibility onto the person who ought in justice to bear it. Now the owner or hirer of the vehicle is in most cases the person who ought to bear the responsibility.’
Megaw LJ said: ‘[I]f one were to bring in questions of insurance, one might speculate . . [b]ut this court may not, in accordance with its judicial duty, indulge in such speculation. [Counsel] was doing no more than carrying out his duty to the court in refraining from discussing the insurance position.’

Lord Denning MR, Megaw LJ
[1971] 2 QB 245
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedDutton v Bognor Regis Urban District Council CA 1972
The court considered the liability in negligence of a Council whose inspector had approved a building which later proved defective.
Held: The Council had control of the work and with such control came a responsibility to take care in . .
Appeal fromLaunchbury 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 . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Damages, Vicarious Liability

Leading Case

Updated: 10 November 2021; Ref: scu.186895

Maga 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 pursue the investigation of the reports received by them at the time. The respondent appealed saying that the judge had incorrectly found the claimant to lack capacity.
Held: The judge had misdescribed the test for capacity, however, ‘on the question of whether section 28(1) applied . . the issue is certainly not one of discretion; nor is it an issue of primary fact. It is a matter of judgment, and one which is primarily for the first instance tribunal. There may, in an Aristotelian sense, be only one right answer to the question whether a claimant was able to conduct the litigation, but in this imperfect world, it must, in some cases, be an issue on which reasonable and fully informed Judges could differ. In such cases, and this is, in my view, such a one, an appellate court should not interfere with the Judge’s conclusion unless he has relied on irrelevant evidence, ignored relevant evidence, or misunderstood some evidence.’ The claimant was correctly found to lack capacity.
As to the vicarious liability of the archdiocese, the priest had not sought to draw the claimant within his ‘priestly activities’. This issue ‘although very much fact-dependant, is ultimately one of law rather than of inference from facts . .’ and ‘there are a number of factors, which, when taken together, persuade me that there was a sufficiently close connection between Father Clonan’s employment as 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.’ Nevertheless, it was part of his duty to evangelise and befriend non-catholics. The claimant being 12, and the position of the priest in charge of youth activities also gave him special responsibilities. The claimant’s appeal succeeded.
As to the church’s duty to take the investigation further, the initial response was in accordance with standards and expectations at the time. The allegation whilst gross was not of the most serious, and it had been put to the priest who had denied it. However, having once been warned, the senior priest came under a duty to keep a closer eye on the priest. Had he done so further assaults would not have taken place. The church was liable for the acts of its senior priest. Applying the test from Caparo, the judge had been wrong to find no duty of care in the Archdiocese.

Lord Neuberger MR, Longmore LJ, Smith LJ
[2010] EWCA Civ 256, [2010] PTSR 1618, [2010] 1 WLR 1441
Bailii, Times
Limitation Act 1980 28(1)
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedKirby v Leather CA 1965
The plaintiff crashed into a van whilst riding his moped and suffered serious brain damage. An inquiry as to a party’s competence to conduct a case had to focus on his capacity to conduct the proceedings. In this case the plaintiff ‘was not capable . .
MentionedST 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 . .
AuthoritativeLister 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 . .
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 . .
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 . .
CitedLindsay v Wood QBD 16-Nov-2006
The claimant suffered severe brain injury in a crash. The parties sought guidance form the court as to his legal capacity.
Held: The fact that a party may be particularly susceptible to exploitation was a relevant element when considering his . .
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 . .
AppliedJacobi v Griffiths 17-Jun-1999
(Canadian Supreme Court) The process for determining when a non-authorised act by an employee is so connected to the employer’s enterprise that liability should be imposed involved two steps: 1. Firstly a court should determine whether there are . .
CitedMasterman-Lister v Brutton and Co and Another (2) CA 16-Jan-2003
The claimant had been funded for a personal injury claim under legal aid. He appealed against a decision that he was not a ‘patient’ and that he had been fully capable of managing and administering his affairs for many years. He lost. The . .
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 . .
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 . .
Appeal fromMaga 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. . .

Cited by:
CitedCoulson v Newsgroup Newspapers Ltd QBD 21-Dec-2011
coulson_NIQBD2011
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 . .
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, Limitation

Updated: 10 November 2021; Ref: scu.402951

The 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; where A was principal and B agent; and where the two were concerned in a joint act done in pursuance of a common purpose: ‘Certain classes of persons seem clearly to be ‘joint tortfeasors’: The agent who commits a tort within the scope of his employment for his principal, and the principal; the servant who commits a tort in the course of his employment, and his master; two persons who agree on common action, in the course of, and to further which, one of them commits a tort. These seem clearly joint tortfeasors; there is one tort committed by one of them on behalf of, or in concert with another.’ and ‘I am of the opinion that the definition in Clerk and Lindsell on Torts, 7th ed., p59, is much nearer the correct view : ‘Persons are said to be joint tortfeasors when their respective shares in the commission of the tort are done in furtherance of a common design’ . . ‘but mere similarity of design on the part of independent actors, causing independent damage, is not enough; there must be concerted action to a common end.’

Scrutton LJ
[1924] P 140
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 . .
CitedBrooke v Bool 1928
Volunteer Was Joint Tortfeasor
A and B set out together to investigate the source of a gas leak which was B’s direct concern alone. A had come with him to help. Because B was too old to carry out a particular task, A carried it out instead. The means of investigation was . .
CitedUnilever Plc v Gillette (UK) Limited CA 1989
Unilever claimed infringement of its patent. The court was asked whether there was a good arguable case against the United States parent company of the existing defendant sufficient to justify the parent company to be joined as a defendant and to . .
CitedMCA Records Inc and Another v Charly Records Ltd and others (No 5) CA 5-Oct-2001
The court discussed the personal liability of a director for torts committed by his company: ‘i) a director will not be treated as liable with the company as a joint tortfeasor if he does no more than carry out his constitutional role in the . .
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 . .
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 . .
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 . .
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 . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Torts – Other

Leading Case

Updated: 10 November 2021; Ref: scu.183581

Brown 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 decisions of the House of Lords and Privy Council. The essential test remains that of close connection with the acts which the worker was employed to do. When one applies this test the employer was vicariously liable for the shooting and the judge was quite justified in so holding. The appeal was allowed, but the damages award was adjusted

Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Clyde, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Carswell, Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood
[2004] UKPC 56
Bailii, PC
Commonwealth
Citing:
CitedRadley v London Council 1909
. .
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 . .
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, . .
CitedDaniels v Whetstone Entertainments Ltd 1962
Allender, a steward at a dance hall, and employed to keep order, assaulted a customer inside the hall in the mistaken belief that he had previously been himself assaulted by the customer. Allender explicitly rejected his employer’s instructions to . .
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 . .
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 . .
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 . .
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 . .
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 . .
CitedMcCann v Sheppard CA 1973
The injured plaintiff succeeded in his action for damages for personal injury. The defendants appealed the quantum of damage but before the appeal was heard the plaintiff died. The court was now asked to reduce the award because of the death.
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 . .

Cited by:
CitedSubiah v The Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago PC 3-Nov-2008
(Trinidad and Tobago) The Board considered the extent of damages for infringement of the claimant’s constitutional rights. He had been on board a bus. He complained when a policeman was allowed not to buy a ticket. The same constable arrested him as . .
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 . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Personal Injury, Damages

Updated: 09 November 2021; Ref: scu.220293

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

The defendants had subcontracted work installing air conditioning to the second defendants, who in turn bought in fitters from the third defendants. A fitter caused a flood acting irresponsibly.
Held: The court reviewed the law of vicarious 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’.

May, Rix LJJ
[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
Bailii
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 . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability

Leading Case

Updated: 09 November 2021; Ref: scu.230992

The 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 negligent in failing to dismiss the officer for earlier misbehaviour.
Held: The officer’s activities once off duty and having left the island had nothing to do with his duties as a police officer. ‘Negligence as a basis of liability is founded on the impersonal (‘objective’) standard of how a reasonable person should have acted in the circumstances. ‘ and ‘one of the necessary prerequisites for the existence of a duty of care is foresight that carelessness on the part of the defendant may cause damage of a particular kind to the plaintiff. ‘ In this case the gun and ammunition were available to the officer, though his use was unlawful. A duty of care existed ‘when entrusting a police officer with a gun the police authorities owe to the public at large a duty to take reasonable care to see the officer is a suitable person to be entrusted with such a dangerous weapon lest by any misuse of it he inflicts personal injury, whether accidentally or intentionally, on other persons. For this purpose no distinction is to be drawn between personal injuries inflicted in the course of police duties and personal injuries inflicted by a police officer using a police gun for his own ends. If this duty seems far-reaching in its scope it must be remembered that guns are dangerous weapons. The wide reach of the duty is proportionate to the gravity of the risks. ‘ Given the eariler compliants about the officers dishonesty and his carrying of knives and guns, that duty had been breached.

[2004] UKPC 12, Times 27-Feb-2004, Gazette 25-Mar-2004, [2004] 1 WLR 1273, [2004] PIQR 27
PC, Bailii, PC
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 . .
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 . .
CitedOverseas Tankship (UK) Ltd v Miller Steamship Co Pty (The Wagon Mound) (No 2) PC 25-May-1966
(New South Wales) When considering the need to take steps to avoid injury, the court looked to the nature of defendant’s activity. There was no social value or cost saving in this defendant’s activity. ‘In the present case there was no justification . .
CitedDorset Yacht Co Ltd v Home Office HL 6-May-1970
A yacht was damaged by boys who had escaped from the supervision of prison officers in a nearby Borstal institution. The boat owners sued the Home Office alleging negligence by the prison officers.
Held: Any duty of a borstal officer to use . .
CitedJolley v Sutton London Borough Council HL 24-May-2000
An abandoned boat had been left on its land and not removed by the council. Children tried to repair it, jacked it up, and a child was injured when it fell. It was argued for the boy, who now appealed dismissal of his claim by the Court of Appeal, . .
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 . .
CitedSmith v Littlewoods Organisation Limited (Chief Constable, Fife Constabulary, third party); Maloco v Littlewoods Organisation Ltd HL 1987
The defendant acquired a semi derelict cinema with a view to later development of the site. A fire started by others spread to the pursuer’s adjoining property.
Held: The defendants were not liable in negligence. The intervention of a third . .
DoubtedDoughty v Turner Ltd CA 1964
The cover on a cauldron of exceedingly hot molten sodium cyanide was accidentally knocked into the cauldron and the plaintiff was damaged by the resultant explosion.
Held: The plaintiff’s claim failed. The defendant employer owed a duty of . .
CitedHughes v Lord Advocate HL 21-Feb-1963
The defendants had left a manhole uncovered and protected only by a tent and paraffin lamp. A child climbed down the hole. When he came out he kicked over one of the lamps. It fell into the hole and caused an explosion. The child was burned. The . .
CitedHill v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire HL 28-Apr-1987
No General ty of Care Owed by Police
The mother of a victim of the Yorkshire Ripper claimed in negligence against the police alleging that they had failed to satisfy their duty to exercise all reasonable care and skill to apprehend the perpetrator of the murders and to protect members . .
CitedDominion Natural Gas Co Ltd v Collins 1909
The defendants had installed a gas apparatus to provide natural gas on the premises of a railway company. They had installed a regulator to control the pressure and their men negligently made an escape-valve discharge into the building instead of . .
CitedDonoghue (or M’Alister) v Stevenson HL 26-May-1932
Decomposed Snail in Ginger Beer Bottle – Liability
The appellant drank from a bottle of ginger beer manufactured by the defendant. She suffered injury when she found a half decomposed snail in the liquid. The glass was opaque and the snail could not be seen. The drink had been bought for her by a . .
CitedBurfitt v A and E Kille 1939
A shopkeeper in Minehead sold a ‘blank cartridge pistol’ to a twelve year old boy. Later, when the boy fired the pistol in the air, the plaintiff was injured by a tiny piece of copper going into his eye.
Held: The duty of care was owed not . .

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 . .
CitedCorr v IBC Vehicles Ltd CA 31-Mar-2006
The deceased had suffered a head injury whilst working for the defendant. In addition to severe physical consequences he suffered post-traumatic stress, became more and more depressed, and then committed suicide six years later. The claimant . .
CitedMitchell and Another v Glasgow City Council HL 18-Feb-2009
(Scotland) The pursuers were the widow and daughter of a tenant of the respondent who had been violently killed by his neighbour. They said that the respondent, knowing of the neighbour’s violent behaviours had a duty of care to the deceased and . .
CitedRobinson v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police SC 8-Feb-2018
Limits to Police Exemption from Liability
The claimant, an elderly lady was bowled over and injured when police were chasing a suspect through the streets. As they arrested him they fell over on top of her. She appealed against refusal of her claim in negligence.
Held: Her appeal . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Torts – Other, Police, Vicarious Liability, Negligence

Leading Case

Updated: 09 November 2021; Ref: scu.193879

Ormrod v Crosville Motor Services Ltd: CA 2 Jan 1953

A friend drove the owner’s car from Birkenhead to Monte Carlo, carrying with him a suitcase belonging to the car owner, so that the two of them could go on holiday with the car in Switzerland. The basis of the finding of vicarious liability on the part of the car owner for the friend’s negligent driving was that the friend was driving the car partly for the owner’s purposes.
Denning LJ said: ‘The owner only escapes liability when he lends it or hires it to a third person to be used for purposes in which the owner has no interest or concern’.

Denning LJ
[1953] 1 WLR 1120, [1953] 2 All ER 753
England and Wales
Citing:
Appeal fromOrmrod v Crosville Motor Services Ltd QBD 1953
. .

Cited by:
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 . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability

Updated: 09 November 2021; Ref: scu.278324

Racz 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 intention. Lord Jauncey said: ‘My Lords, in my view, striking out paragraph 6 of this claim could only be justified if the inevitable result of proof of the averments therein was that the unauthorised acts of the prison officers was so unconnected with their authorised duties as to be quite independent of and outside those duties’.
And ‘ the Court of Appeal were dealing with the question of mode of trial upon the basis that the claim in respect of misfeasance in public office would not proceed. However, the facts relevant to that claim are likely to be identical to those which will be considered under the remaining heads of claim and the issue of exemplary damages also falls to be considered under those heads of claim.’ However, there can be no false imprisonment of a prisoner who is lawfully confined under section 12(1) of the 1952 Act, and a restraint upon movement which is not in accordance with the Prison Rules 1964 does not give rise to a cause of action for either false imprisonment or breach of statutory duty.

Lord Jauncey of Tullichettle
Times 17-Dec-1993, Independent 17-Dec-1993, [1994] 2 WLR 23, [1994] 1 All ER 97, [1994] 2 AC 45
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 . .

Cited by:
CitedThree Rivers District Council and Others v Governor and Company of The Bank of England HL 18-May-2000
The applicants alleged misfeasance against the Bank of England in respect of the regulation of a bank.
Held: The Bank could not be sued in negligence, but the tort of misfeasance required clear evidence of misdeeds. The action was now properly . .
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 . .
CitedHouchin v Lincolnshire Probation Trust QBD 9-Apr-2013
houchin_lincsPSQBD2013
The defendant sought to have the claim struck out. The prisoner said that the defendant’s probation officer had through misfeasance in public office arranged for his transfer back to secure conditions from open ones. The parole board panel had found . .
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 . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Prisons, Torts – Other

Leading Case

Updated: 09 November 2021; Ref: scu.85636

Mersey 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 contract made the driver the employee of the defendant stevedores.
Held: The House upheld decisions that the Board, as the crane driver’s general employer, retained responsibility for his negligence.
Decisions of this kind depend on the particular facts and many factors may bear on the result. Considerations include: (a) the burden of showing that responsibility does not remain with the general employer is on the general employer and is a heavy one (b) by whom is the negligent employee engaged? Who pays him? Who has power to dismiss him? (c) who has the immediate direction and control of the relevant work? Who is entitled to tell the employee the way in which he is to do the work upon which he is engaged? ‘The proper test is whether or not the hirer had authority to control the manner of execution of the act in question. Given the existence of that authority its exercise or non-exercise on the occasion of the doing the act is irrelevant’. (d) the inquiry should concentrate on the relevant negligent act, and then ask whose responsibility it was to prevent it. In the Mersey Docks case, the stevedores had no responsibility for the way in which the crane driver drove his crane, and it was this which caused the accident. The ultimate question may be, not what specific orders or whether any specific orders were given, but who is entitled to give the orders as to how the work should be done. (e) a transfer of services can only be effected with the employee’s consent. (f) responsibility should lie with the master in whose act some degree of fault, though remote, may be found
Viscount Simon said that a heavy burden of proof lay on the general or permanent employer to shift responsibility for the negligence of servants engaged and paid by such employer to the hirer for the time being who had the benefit of the services rendered. This could only be achieved where the hirer enjoyed the right to ‘control the way in which the act involving negligence was done.’

Lord Porter, Lord Simon, Lord MacMillan, Lord Uthwatt
[1946] 2 All ER 345, [1946] UKHL 1, [1947] AC 1
Bailii
England and Wales
Cited by:
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 . .
CitedViasystems (Tyneside) Ltd v Thermal Transfer (Northern) Ltd and others CA 10-Oct-2005
The defendants had subcontracted work installing air conditioning to the second defendants, who in turn bought in fitters from the third defendants. A fitter caused a flood acting irresponsibly.
Held: The court reviewed the law of vicarious . .
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 . .
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. . .
CitedHawley 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. . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Personal Injury, Health and Safety

Leading Case

Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.190029

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

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

Lord Justice May, Lord Justice Rimer and Lord Justice Stanley Burnton
[2008] EWCA Civ 1257
Bailii, Times
England and Wales
Citing:
Appeal fromBiffa Waste Services Ltd and Another v Maschinenfabrik Ernst Hese Gmbh and others TCC 11-Jan-2008
. .
CitedMersey Docks and Harbour Board v Coggins and Griffith (Liverpool) Ltd HL 1946
Employers Liability for Worker’s Negligence
A worker was injured by a negligently driven crane. The crane and Board’s driver were hired out to stevedores for loading work. The stevedores controlled the crane’s operations, but did not direct how the driver controlled the crane. The hire . .
CitedNokes v Doncaster Amalgamated Collieries Ltd HL 1948
A Contract of Service is not a form of property
The employee coal miner was prosecuted for absenting himself from work. He was found liable by the justices and appealed. The basis of the appeal was that he had formerly been employed by the Hickleton Mining Company Limited. That had become . .
CitedDenham v Midland Employers’ Mutual Assurance Limited CA 1955
The court was asked which of two mutually exclusive liability insurance policies covered damages which an employer was liable to pay to the widow of an employee, who was killed while he was working under the specific direction of engineers engaged . .
CitedSmith and another v Blandford Gee Cementation Co Ltd 1970
The court considered a finding by a tribunal that a contract of services had been transferred. Bridge J said: ‘To my mind, it runs counter to a fundamental principle that a man’s contractual position, particularly in such a vital matter as the . .
See AlsoBiffa Waste Services Ltd and Another v Maschinenfabrik Ernst Hese Gmbh and others TCC 31-Oct-2008
. .
See AlsoBiffa Waste Services Ltd and Another v Maschinenfabrik Ernst Hese Gmbh and others TCC 19-Sep-2008
Claim for damages after fire occuring during construction of waste plant. . .
CitedHawley v Luminar Leisure Ltd and others CA 24-Jan-2006
The claimant was assaulted and severely injured at a night club by a doorman supplied to the club by a third party company now in liquidation. He claimed the club was the ‘temporary deemed employer’ of the doorman. He also sought to claim under the . .
CitedViasystems (Tyneside) Ltd v Thermal Transfer (Northern) Ltd and others CA 10-Oct-2005
The defendants had subcontracted work installing air conditioning to the second defendants, who in turn bought in fitters from the third defendants. A fitter caused a flood acting irresponsibly.
Held: The court reviewed the law of vicarious . .
RestrictedHoneywill v Larkin CA 1934
The plaintiffs wanted photographs inside a cinema on which they had worked, and asked the defendants to take them. The photographer used a chemical flashlight using magnesium which gave off intense heat. The negligent photographer caused a fire. The . .

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

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.277774

Majrowski 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 that the intention of the Act was to protect against stalkers, and that this was not such a situation, and that an unnecessarily large burden would face employers if liability was accepted.
Held: The employer was liable. The Act created rights, including a right to damages, and despite setting out other features of the tort, did not exclude vicarious liability. The fact that other defences might be available to other complaints was of little assistance in interpreting these provisions. That the corresponding provision for Scotland imposed explicit vicarious liability by section 10 was a clearer indication of Parliament’s intent. Baroness Hale said: ‘floodgates arguments may assist the courts in deciding how to develop the principles of the common law. They are of little help to us in construing the language which Parliament has used.’
Lord Nicholls said: ‘A precondition of vicarious liability is that the wrong must be committed in the course of his employment’, that ‘A wrong is committed in the course of employment only if the conduct is so closely connected with acts the employee is authorised to do that for the purposes of the liability of the employer to third parties the wrongful conduct may fairly and properly be regarded as done by the employee while acting in the course of his employment’, and that ‘The rationale underlying the principle holds good for a wrong comprising a breach of statutory duty or prohibition which gives rise to civil liability provided always that the statute does not expressly or impliedly indicate otherwise’.

Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead, Lord Hope of Craighead, Baroness Hale of Richmond, Lord Carswell, Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood
[2006] UKHL 34, Times 13-Jul-2006, [2006] 4 All ER 395, (2006) 91 BMLR 85, [2006] ICR 1199, [2006] 3 WLR 125, [2007] 1 AC 224, [2006] IRLR 695
Bailii
Protection from Harassment Act 1997 3
England and Wales
Citing:
Appeal fromMajrowski 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 . .
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 . .
CitedDubai Aluminium Company Limited v Salaam and Others HL 5-Dec-2002
Partners Liable for Dishonest Act of Solicitor
A solicitor had been alleged to have acted dishonestly, having assisted in a fraudulent breach of trust by drafting certain documents. Contributions to the damages were sought from his partners.
Held: The acts complained of were so close to . .
CitedLister and Others v Hesley Hall Ltd HL 3-May-2001
A school board employed staff to manage a residential school for vulnerable children. The staff committed sexual abuse of the children. The school denied vicarious liability for the acts of the teachers.
Held: ‘Vicarious liability is legal . .
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 . .
CitedDarling Island Stevedoring and Lighterage Co v Long 1957
(High Court of Australia) An employer was not responsible vicariously for a breach of a duty at common law between one emplyee and another. There could be no vicarious liability on an employer under regulations providing precautions to be observed . .
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 . .
CitedNicol 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 . .
CitedMacMillan v Wimpey Offshore Engineers and Constructors Ltd 1991
. .
CitedNational Coal Board v England HL 1954
The plaintiff sought damages after being injured when a co-worker fired a shot. The employee however had himself coupled the detonator to the cable rather than leaving it to the shotfirer, and had his cimmitted a criminal offence. He had been found . .
CitedMatuszczyk 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 . .
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 . .
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 . .
CitedMcGlennan v McKinnon 1998
. .
CitedMccann Or Mcgurran Known As Mccann v Mcgurran SCS 14-Mar-2002
. .
CitedMcGuire v Kidston ScSf 2002
. .

Cited by:
CitedCumbria County Council v Carlisle-Morgan EAT 29-Jan-2007
EAT A employed R as a support worker. R made a number of protected disclosures relating to a fellow worker’s conduct towards a client. The ET held various detriments were suffered by R on the ground of the . .
CitedVeakins v Kier Islington Ltd CA 2-Dec-2009
The claimant alleged that her manager at work had harassed her. The court, applying Conn, had found that none of the acts complained of were sufficiently serious to amount to criminal conduct, and had rejected the claim.
Held: The claimant’s . .
CitedRayment v Ministry of Defence QBD 18-Feb-2010
The claimant sought damages alleging harassment by officers employed by the defendant. An internal investigation had revealed considerable poor behaviour by the senior officers, and that was followed by hostile behaviour. The defendant had put up . .
CitedFerguson v British Gas Trading Ltd CA 10-Feb-2009
Harassment to Criminal Level needed to Convict
The claimant had been a customer of the defendant, but had moved to another supplier. She was then subjected to a constant stream of threatening letters which she could not stop despite re-assurances and complaints. The defendant now appealed . .
CitedFecitt and Others v NHS Manchester EAT 23-Nov-2010
EAT VICTIMISATION DISCRIMINATION – Protected disclosure
S.47B of the Employment Rights Act 1996 provides that ‘A worker has the right not to be subjected to any detriment by any act, or any deliberate . .
CitedIqbal v Dean Manson Solicitors CA 15-Feb-2011
The claimant sought protection under the Act from his former employers’ behaviour in making repeated allegations against him. He appealed against the striking out of his claim.
Held: The appeal suceeded. The matter should go to trial. The . .
CitedJones and Another v Ruth and Another CA 12-Jul-2011
The parties were neighbours. The claimants succeeded in their assertion of trespass and nuisance in building works carried out by the defendant. The claimant appealed against the judge’s failure to award damages for harassment, saying that though . .
CitedHayes v Willoughby CA 13-Dec-2011
Harassment Occurs on the Result, not the Intention
The claimant said that over several years, the respondent had pursued him in many ways challenging his management of a company’s affairs. Complaints had been investigated by the insolvency service and by the police who had discovered nothing to . .
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 . .
CitedHayes v Willoughby SC 20-Mar-2013
The claimant and appellant had been employer and employee who had fallen out, with a settlement in 2005. The appellant then began an unpleasant and obsessive personal vendetta against Mr Hayes, complaining to public bodies with allegations of tax . .
CitedNHS Manchester v Fecitt and Others CA 25-Oct-2011
The appellant challenged reversal by the EAT of a finding that it had not unlawfully victimised the respondents for the making of a protected disclosure. The claimant had reported a co-worker exaggerating his qualifications. After repeated . .
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 . .
CitedBoylin v The Christie NHS Foundation QBD 17-Oct-2014
The claimant a senior employee manager complained of harassment and common law negligence causing her injury.
Held: The claim failed. Behaviour of the level required to found a claim under the 1997 Act was established, but only on one occaion . .
CitedEvans v Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust QBD 8-Oct-2014
The court was asked whether a party who requires the court’s permission to withdraw a Part 36 offer may be granted such permission on the basis of information and for reasons not disclosed to the party to whom the offer was made.
Held: The . .
CitedCalland v Financial Conduct Authority CA 13-Mar-2015
The claimant appealed against the striking out of his claim of harassment against the Authority who had contacted him in an intended review of pensions mis-selling. They had contacted him once by letter, once by telephone and once by e-mail.
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 . .
CitedGerrard and Another v Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation Ltd and Another QBD 27-Nov-2020
The claimants, a solicitor and his wife, sought damages in harassment and data protection, against a party to proceedings in which he was acting professionally, and against the investigative firm instructed by them. The defendants now requested the . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Torts – Other, Vicarious Liability

Leading Case

Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.243081

Brink’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: ‘Whatever may have been the position in the past, the decisions in Lister v Hesley Hall, Dubai Aluminium v Salaam and the cases which have followed them have established that the test involves evaluating the closeness of the connection between the tort and the purposes for which the tortfeasor was employed. While all the circumstances have to be taken into account, the authorities support the view that when making that evaluation it is appropriate to consider whether the wrongful act can fairly be regarded as a risk reasonably incidental to the purpose for which the tortfeasor was employed.’

Longmore, Moore-Bick, Wilson LJJ
[2010] EWCA Civ 1207, [2011] IRLR 343
Bailii
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedCoulson v Newsgroup Newspapers Ltd QBD 21-Dec-2011
coulson_NIQBD2011
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 . .
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 . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contract, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.425583

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

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

Lord Slynn of Hadley Lord Jauncey of Tullichettle Lord Lloyd of Berwick Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead Lord Clyde Lord Hutton Lord Millett
Times 28-Jul-2000, Gazette 31-Aug-2000, [2000] UKHL 47, [2001] 2 AC 619, [2000] 3 WLR 776, [2000] 4 All ER 504, (2000) 150 NLJ 1198
House of Lords, Bailii
Education Act 1996
England and Wales
Citing:
Appeal fromPhelps v Mayor and Burgesses London Borough of Hillingdon CA 4-Nov-1998
The plaintiff claimed damages for the negligent failure of an educational psychologist employed by a local authority to identify that the plaintiff was dyslexic.
Held: An educational psychologist has no duty of care to a child, as opposed to . .
ApprovedX (Minors) v Bedfordshire County Council; M (A Minor) and Another v Newham London Borough Council; Etc HL 29-Jun-1995
Liability in Damages on Statute Breach to be Clear
Damages were to be awarded against a Local Authority for breach of statutory duty in a care case only if the statute was clear that damages were capable of being awarded. in the ordinary case a breach of statutory duty does not, by itself, give rise . .
Appeal fromJarvis v Hampshire County Council CA 23-Nov-1999
A child who did not receive sufficient education appropriate to his disability (dyslexia), did not acquire a right to claim in damages against the education authority. This applies both to claims of misfeasance in public office and in negligence. . .
CitedBarrett v London Borough of Enfield CA 25-Mar-1997
A Local Authority is only vicariously liable for the negligence of a social worker to a child in care. . .
CitedW v Essex County Council and Another HL 17-Mar-2000
A foster child was placed with a family. The child had a history of abusing other children, but the foster parents, who had other children were not told. The foster child caused psychiatric damage to the carers.
Held: It was wrong to strike . .

Cited by:
CitedBradford-Smart v West Sussex County Council CA 23-Jan-2002
The claimant sought damages from the school for failing to prevent injuries arising from bullying, which was taking place on the way to and from school, but not at school.
Held: A school has no general obligation to prevent such bullying, but . .
CitedA, B v Essex County Council QBD 18-Dec-2002
The applicants sought damages after they had had placed with them for adoption a child who proved to be destructively hyperactive.
Held: The authority might be liable where they failed to disclose to adoptive parents known characteristics of a . .
AppliedLiennard v Slough Borough Council QBD 15-Mar-2002
The claimant sought damages from the respondents who had been responsible for his education, for having failed to diagnose his learning difficulties. The school had recognised that he was underachieving, but diagnosis as to the reason was not easy. . .
CitedChagos Islanders v The Attorney General, Her Majesty’s British Indian Ocean Territory Commissioner QBD 9-Oct-2003
The Chagos Islands had been a British dependent territory since 1814. The British government repatriated the islanders in the 1960s, and the Ilois now sought damages for their wrongful displacement, misfeasance, deceit, negligence and to establish a . .
CitedA and Another v Essex County Council CA 17-Dec-2003
The claimant sought damages. The respondent had acted as an adoption agency but had failed to disclose all relevant information about the child.
Held: Any such duty extended only during the period where the child was with the prospective . .
CitedGorringe v Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council HL 1-Apr-2004
Statutory Duty Not Extended by Common Law
The claimant sought damages after a road accident. The driver came over the crest of a hill and hit a bus. The road was not marked with any warning as to the need to slow down.
Held: The claim failed. The duty could not be extended to include . .
Appealed toJarvis v Hampshire County Council CA 23-Nov-1999
A child who did not receive sufficient education appropriate to his disability (dyslexia), did not acquire a right to claim in damages against the education authority. This applies both to claims of misfeasance in public office and in negligence. . .
CitedDavid Lannigan v Glasgow City Council OHCS 12-Aug-2004
The pursuer said the teachers employed by the defendant had failed to identify that was dyslexic, leading him to suffer damage. The defenders said the claim was time barred, which the pursuer admitted, but then said that the claim ought to go ahead . .
CitedSingh v Entry Clearance Officer New Delhi CA 30-Jul-2004
The applicant, an 8 year old boy, became part of his Indian family who lived in England, through an adoption recognised in Indian Law, but not in English Law. Though the adoption was genuine, his family ties had not been broken in India. The family . .
CitedAdams v Bracknell Forest Borough Council HL 17-Jun-2004
A attended the defendant’s schools between 1977 and 1988. He had always experienced difficulties with reading and writing and as an adult found those difficulties to be an impediment in his employment. He believed them to be the cause of the . .
CitedKearn-Price v Kent County Council CA 30-Oct-2002
The claimant was injured, being hit in the face by a football in a school playground. It was before school started. There had been accidents, and there were rules which had not been enforced. The school appealed a finding of negligence.
Held: . .
CitedJane Marianne Sandhar, John Stuart Murray v Department of Transport, Environment and the Regions CA 5-Nov-2004
The claimant’s husband died when his car skidded on hoar frost. She claimed the respondent was liable under the Act and at common law for failing to keep it safe.
Held: The respondent had not assumed a general responsibility to all road users . .
CitedCustoms and Excise v Barclays Bank Plc CA 22-Nov-2004
The claimant had obtained judgment against customers of the defendant, and then freezing orders for the accounts. The defendants inadvertently or negligently allowed sums to be transferred from the accounts. The claimants sought repayment by the . .
CitedCarty v London Borough of Croydon CA 27-Jan-2005
The claimant sought damages in negligence from education officers employed by the respondent. He appealed refusal of his claim. A statement of special education needs had been made which he said did not address his learning difficulties. The . .
CitedJD v East Berkshire Community Health NHS Trust and others HL 21-Apr-2005
Parents of children had falsely and negligently been accused of abusing their children. The children sought damages for negligence against the doctors or social workers who had made the statements supporting the actions taken. The House was asked if . .
CitedWest Bromwich Albion Football Club Ltd v El-Safty QBD 14-Dec-2005
The claimant sought damages from the defendant surgeon alleging negligent care of a footballer. The defendant argued that he had no duty to the club as employer of his patient who was being treated through his BUPA membership. It would have created . .
CitedHM Customs and Excise v Barclays Bank Plc HL 21-Jun-2006
The claimant had served an asset freezing order on the bank in respect of one of its customers. The bank paid out on a cheque inadvertently as to the order. The Commissioners claimed against the bank in negligence. The bank denied any duty of care. . .
See AlsoRhiannon Anderton v Clwyd County Council (2) QBD 25-Jul-2001
The claim form had been issued only just before the limitation period expired. Under the rules it would have been deemed to have been served on a Sunday, the day before the expiry of the period, but evidence suggested it was not received until after . .
See AlsoAnderton v Clwyd County Council (No 2); Bryant v Pech and Another Dorgan v Home Office; Chambers v Southern Domestic Electrical Services Ltd; Cummins v Shell International Manning Services Ltd CA 3-Jul-2002
In each case, the applicant sought to argue that documents which had actually been received on a certain date should not be deemed to have been served on a different day because of the rule.
Held: The coming into force of the Human Rights Act . .
CitedBowden and Another v Lancashire County Council CA 16-Apr-2002
The claimant had succeeded in her appeal against the cancellation of her registration as a child minder, and now sought damages for negligence in using unnecessarily the emergency procedure leading to damage to the claimant’s reputation and . .
CitedJain and Another v Trent Strategic Health Authority CA 22-Nov-2007
The claimant argued that the defendant owed him a duty of care as proprietor of a registered nursing home in cancelling the registration of the home under the 1984 Act. The authority appealed a finding that it owed such a duty.
Held: The . .
CitedK v Central and North West London Mental Health NHS Trust and Another QBD 30-May-2008
k_centralQBD2008
The claimant appealed against an order striking out his claim in negligence. He had leaped from a window in a suicide attempt. The accommodation was provided by the defendant whilst caring for him under the 1983 Act.
Held: The case should be . .
CitedConnor v Surrey County Council CA 18-Mar-2010
The claimant teacher said that she suffered personal injury from stress after the board of governors improperly failed to protect her from from false complaints. The Council now appealed against an award of substantial damages.
Held: The . .
CitedHome Office v Mohammed and Others CA 29-Mar-2011
The claimants sought damages saying that after a decision had been made that they should receive indefinite leave to remain in 2001 (latest), the leave was not issued until 2007 (earliest) thus causing them severe losses. The defendant now appealed . .
CitedSiddiqui v University of Oxford QBD 5-Dec-2016
The University applied to have struck out the claim by the claimant for damages alleging negligence in its teaching leading to a lower class degree than he said he should have been awarded.
Held: Strike out on the basis that the claim was . .
CitedRobinson v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police SC 8-Feb-2018
Limits to Police Exemption from Liability
The claimant, an elderly lady was bowled over and injured when police were chasing a suspect through the streets. As they arrested him they fell over on top of her. She appealed against refusal of her claim in negligence.
Held: Her appeal . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Local Government, Education, Vicarious Liability, Professional Negligence

Leading Case

Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.84699

Rose 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 employer to escape liability. Lord Scarman said: ‘In words which have frequently been quoted both in the courts and in the universities, Salmond on Torts, 16th ed (1973), p 462, refers to the basis of vicarious liability for accidental damage as being one of public policy. That view is supported by quotations (dated no doubt, but still full of life) of a dictum of Lord Brougham and of another, 100 years or more earlier, of Sir John Holt. That it is ‘socially convenient and rough justice’ to make an employer liable for the torts of his servant in the cases to which the principle applies, was recognised in Limpus v London General Omnibus Co, 1 H and C 526; see the judgment of Willes J at p 539. I think it important to realise that the principle of vicarious liability is one of public policy. It is not a principle which derives from a critical or refined consideration of other concepts in the common law, for example, the concept of trespass or indeed the concept of agency. No doubt in particular cases it may be relevant to consider whether a particular plaintiff was or was not a trespasser. Similarly, when, as I shall indicate, it is important that one should determine the course of employment of the servant, the law of agency may have some marginal relevance. But basically, as I understand it, the employer is made vicariously liable for the tort of his employee not because the plaintiff is an invitee, nor because of the authority possessed by the servant, but because it is a case in which the employer, having put matters into motion, should be liable if the motion which he has originated leads to damage to another. What is the approach which the cases identify as the correct approach in order to determine this question of public policy? First, . . one looks to see whether the servant has committed a tort upon the plaintiff . . The next question . . is whether the employer should shoulder the liability for compensating the person injured by the tort . . [I]t does appear to me to be clear, since the decision of Limpus v London General Omnibus Co, 1 H and C 526, that that question has to be answered by directing attention to what the servant was employed to do when he committed the tort that has caused damage to the plaintiff. The servant was, of course, employed at the time of the accident to do a whole number of operations. He was certainly not employed to give the boy a lift, and if one confines one’s analysis of the facts to the incident of injury to the plaintiff, then no doubt one would say that carrying the boy on the float – giving him a lift – was not in the course of the servant’s employment.’ After referring to Ilkiw. ‘he was employed as a roundsman to drive his float round his round and to deliver milk, to collect empties and to obtain payment. That was his job. . . He chose to disregard the prohibition and to enlist the assistance of the plaintiff. As a matter of common sense, that does seem to me to be a mode, albeit a prohibited mode, of doing the job with which he was entrusted. Why was the plaintiff being carried on the float when the accident occurred? Because it was necessary to take him from point to point so that he could assist in delivering milk, collecting empties and, on occasions obtaining payment.’
(Lawton LJ dissenting)

Scarman LJ, Lord Denning MR,
[1976] 1 WLR 141, [1975] EWCA Civ 5, [1976] 1 All ER 97, [1975] ICR 430
Bailii
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 . .
CitedLimpus v London General Omnibus Company CExC 23-Jun-1862
Vicarious Liability – Act on Employers Business
The driver of an omnibus, seeking to disturb the omnibus of another company, drove his own across the path of another. His employers had furnished him and other drivers with a card saying they ‘must not on any account race with or obstruct another . .
Not FollowedTwine v Bean’s Eypress Ltd CA 1946
A driver was engaged to drive his employers’ van, his employers having a contract with the Post Office. When so doing, he gave Mr. Twine a lift from A to B, both offices of the Post Office. The driver had been expressly forbidden to give lifts.
Not FollowedConway v George Wimpey and Co Ltd CA 1951
A number of contractors were employed in work at the Heathrow Airport. The defendant company had instituted a bus service for their own employees and the driver was prohibited by the defendant company from giving lifts to anyone other than their own . .
CitedHarris v Birkenhead Corporation CA 12-Nov-1975
A four year old child had fallen from a second-story window in a derelict house owned by the defendant, and suffered serious injury. The house and others had been purchased by compulsion for intended clearance. The Corporation appealed against a . .
CitedYoung v Edward Box and Co Ltd CA 1951
A lorry driver employed by a firm of contractors on a site where many other contractors were working, contrary to his express instructions, gave an employee of another firm of contractors a lift in his lorry. The passenger was injured and sought to . .
CitedSouthern Portland Cement Ltd v Cooper PC 1974
Since the duty of an occupier towards a trespasser was based not on the relationship forced upon him but on consideration of humanity, the occupier’s duty only arose if he had knowledge of or had created the danger on his land; that no unreasonable . .
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. . .
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 . .
CitedIqbal v London Transport Executive CA 6-Jun-1973
The court was asked whether the London Transport Executive was liable for the action of a bus conductor in driving contrary to his express instructions a motor bus a short distance in a garage.
Held: The instruction acted as a prohibition . .
CitedHilton v Thomas Burton (Rhodes) Ltd 1961
. .
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 . .

Cited by:
CitedLister and Others v Hesley Hall Ltd HL 3-May-2001
A school board employed staff to manage a residential school for vulnerable children. The staff committed sexual abuse of the children. The school denied vicarious liability for the acts of the teachers.
Held: ‘Vicarious liability is legal . .
CitedMattis v Pollock (T/A Flamingo’s Nightclub) QBD 24-Oct-2002
The claimant sought damages after being assaulted by a doorman employed by the defendant.
Held: The responsibility of the nightclub owner for the actions of his aggressive doorman was not extinguished by the separation in time and place from . .
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 . .
CitedHunter v Department for Regional Development for Northern Ireland QBNI 5-Sep-2008
. .
CitedBarings Plc and Another v Coopers and Lybrand (A Firm) and Others ChD 11-Jun-2003
Evans-Lombe J expressed an unwillingness to accept any all-embracing test for what may constitute the breaking of the chain of causation, saying: ‘It seems to me that what will constitute such conduct is so fact-sensitive to the facts of any case . .
CitedBirmingham City Council, Regina (on the Application of) v The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister Admn 17-Jun-2005
. .
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 . .
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

Leading Case

Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.214667

Harrison 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 by their workers to the regulations.
Lord MacDermott (obiter) said: ‘The fireman in doing his work as a shot-firer was acting in the course of his employment by the defenders. In the performance of his work he was required by the regulations to adopt certain precautions which Parliament had prescribed for the safety of those employed in coal mines. But it is not correct to say that he was not acting for his master. The firing of the shots was the work which he was employed by the defenders to do. His failure to take the precautions which Parliament has required of him did not take him outwith the scope of his employment. Accordingly, his acts were still within the area in which the vicarious responsibility of a master operates.’
Vicarious liability was not confined to common law negligence: ‘It arises from the servant’s tortious act in the scope of his employment and there can be no doubt that [the servant] in breaking the shot-firing regulations committed a tort.’
Lord MacDermott: ‘Vicarious liability is not confined to common law negligence. It arises from the servant’s tortious act in the scope of his employment and there can now be no doubt that [the employee] breaking the shot-firing regulations committed a tort.’
Lord Porter said that the Factories Act is ‘a remedial measure passed for the protection of the workmen [which] must, therefore, be read so as to effect its object so far as the wording fairly and reasonably permits’.

Lord MacDermott, Lord Porter
[1951] AC 639, [1951] 1 TLR 1079, [1951] 95 Sol Jo 413, [1951] 1 All ER 1102
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedNicol 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 . .
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 . .
CitedMcDonald v National Grid Electricity Transmission Plc SC 22-Oct-2014
Contact visiting plants supported asbestos claim
The deceased had worked as a lorry driver regularly collecting pulverized fuel ash from a power station. On his visits he was at areas with asbestos dust. He came to die from mesothelioma. His widow now pursued his claim that the respondent had . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Utilities, Vicarious Liability, Health and Safety

Leading Case

Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.241425

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.

Lord Phillips, Lady Hale, Lord Kerr, Lord Wilson, Lord Carnwath
[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
Bailii, Bailii Summary, SC, SC Summary
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
The defendants had subcontracted work installing air conditioning to the second defendants, who in turn bought in fitters from the third defendants. A fitter caused a flood acting irresponsibly.
Held: The court reviewed the law of vicarious . .
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 . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Torts – Other

Leading Case

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.465935

General Engineering Services v Kingston and Saint Andrew Corporation: PC 21 Nov 1988

There was a fire at the petitioner’s premises. The firemen, employed by the respondent, were in an industrial dispute and drove to the fire slowly. One was said to have commented: ‘we are on a go-slow and even if my mother was in there, it would have to burn down. I want my raise of pay’. The company claimed damages.
Held: The plaintiff’s appeal was dismissed. The respondent was not vicariously liable. The actions of the firemen were not a way of perfuming an authorised act.

Lord Bridge of Harwich, Lord Templeman, Lord Ackner, Lord Oliver of Aylmerton, Sir John Stephenson
[1988] 3 All ER 867, [1988] UKPC 26, [1988] UKPC 2, [1989] IRLR 35, [1989] 1 WLR 69, [1989] ICR 88
Bailii, Bailii
England and Wales

Employment, Vicarious Liability

Leading Case

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.188843

Woodland 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 during school time. The pool supervision wasthrough employees of a company sub-contracting to the local authority providing the lessons.
Held: The claim failed. There were fundamental differences between vicarious liability and the finding of a non-delegable duty. Such duties had been found in a hospital situation, but not otherwise. Whilst a non-delegable duty on a school might arise in certain circumstances, one did not arise in this case. ‘To recognise a duty as arguable in the present case would thus be that marked extension of the common law which policy tends against. Even greater caution should apply to recognition of new categories of non-delegable duty than does to an expansion of negligence liability, since to recognise an intermediate category between strict insurance against injury and negligence itself is to suggest that the scope of the latter, though augmented by the principles of vicarious liability, is insufficient, even if gently extended, to meet the demands of that which is fair just and reasonable in the circumstances.’

Langstaff J
[2011] EWHC 2631 (QB), [2012] PIQR P3, [2012] ELR 76
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedDavie v New Merton Board Mills Ltd HL 1959
The employer provided an employee with a simple metal tool, a drift, with no apparent defect, which had, in fact, been manufactured to excessive hardness, as the result of negligent heat treatment by the otherwise reputable manufacturer. That was a . .
CitedWilson v Tyneside Window Cleaning Co CA 24-Apr-1958
Pearce LJ said that if an employer sends an employee to work, ‘for instance in a respectable private house’, he could not be held negligent for not visiting the house himself ‘to see if the carpet in the hall created a trap’. . .
CitedBrown v Nelson and others 1971
A pupil at an approved school went on an Outward Bound course including riding on a cable and pulley slung between two trees. From the cable hung a knotted rope. When the pupil got onto the rope the cable snapped, and he fell with it. He suffered . .
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 . .
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 . .
CitedA v Ministry of Defence; Re A (A Child) CA 7-May-2004
The wife of a British Army soldier serving in Germany delivered a premature baby, ‘A’, with a German obstetrician in a German hospital. A suffered brain damage in the birth as a result of the obstetrician’s negligence. The mother claimed against the . .
CitedWilsons and Clyde Coal Co Ltd v English HL 19-Jul-1937
The employer had entrusted the task of organising a safe system of work to an employee as a result of whose negligence another employee was injured. The employer could not have been held liable for its own negligence, since it had taken all . .
CitedGold 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 . .
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, . .
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 . .
CitedCommonwealth v Introvigne 1982
(High Court of Australia) A pupil was injured when he swung, whilst skylarking unsupervised, from a halyard attached to a flagpole in the school quadrangle. The halyard was in turn connected to a pulley which was part of a truck attached to the top . .
DoubtedM v Calderdale and Kirklees Health Authority 1998
(Huddersfield County Court) . .
MentionedCaparo 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 . .
CitedEllis v Wallsend District Hospital 1989
(Court of Appeal of New South Wales) Samuels JA discussed the circumstances in which a non-delegable duty of care arises: ‘It arises from a relationship which combines the dependence of A upon the reasonable care, skill and judgment of B with the . .
CitedCamkin v Bishop CA 1941
The Court heard an appeal by the school from a finding of liability where boys from the school were allowed to help a farmer by working in a field, unsupervised, and one of them was struck so badly in the eye by a clod of earth thrown amongst them . .
CitedFitzgerald v Hill 16-Sep-2008
(Supreme Court of Queensland – Court of Appeal) TORTS – NEGLIGENCE – ESSENTIALS OF ACTION FOR NEGLIGENCE – DUTY OF CARE – SPECIAL RELATIONSHIPS AND DUTIES – OTHER CASES – plaintiff child was a member of a tae kwon do academy in Townsville – class . .
CitedAM 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 . .
CitedKondis v State Transport Authority 16-Oct-1984
(High Court of Australia) Mason J discussed the concept of the personal duty which Lord Wright expounded in Wilson and said that it made it impossible to draw a convincing distinction between the delegation of performance of the employer’s duty to . .
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 . .
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 . .

Cited by:
Appeal fromWoodland 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. . .
At QBDWoodland v Essex County Council SC 23-Oct-2013
The claimant had been seriously injured in an accident during a swimming lesson. She sought to claim against the local authority, and now appealed against a finding that it was not responsible, having contracted out the provision of swimming . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Personal Injury, Vicarious Liability, Negligence, Education

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.445490

Smith v Skanska Construction Services Ltd: QBD 29 Jul 2008

The court considered whether the driver of a vehicle involved in a fatal road accident in Thailand was driving within the authority of the UK employers. The driver was not an employee but had authority to use company vehicles for tasks for the company. He had previously been banned from driving such vehicles but that ban had been relaxed subject to conditions preventing him driving alone or at night. The accident occurred when the driver took people home from the christmas staff party.
Held: The Thai civil code required two elements for vicarious liability each of which was satisfied. In this respect the Thai law did not differ from UK law. It had not been shown that the driver had taken the car with the authority of the company, and it was not vicariously liable. Nor could the company be said to have given retrospective authority by the way it had handled its insurance claim, or to have ratified the tort. The claimant was solely responsible for authorising the driver to take the car and the defendant was not liable.

Ouseley J
[2008] EWHC 1776 (QB)
Bailii
Private International Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1995
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedCrouch v Hooper 1852
Sir John Romilly MR discussed the possibility of a witness being honest but mistaken: ‘it must always be borne in mind . . how extremely prone persons are to believe what they wish. And where persons are once persuaded of the truth of such a fact, . .
CitedBanque des Marchands de Moscou (Koupetschesky) v Kindersley CA 1951
Sir Raymond Evershed MR discussed the need to keep the doctrine against approbation and reprobation within limits. . .
CitedExpress Newspapers v News (UK) plc 1990
If summary judgment is given to one party on his claim, it must also be given on a counterclaim made on the same basis by the defendant. The principle that a party to litigation cannot ‘approbate and reprobate’ (or ‘blow hot and cold’) can curtail a . .
CitedStapley v Gypsum Mines Ltd HL 25-Jun-1953
Plaintiff to take own responsibility for damage
The question was whether the fault of the deceased’s fellow workman, they both having disobeyed their foreman’s instructions, was to be regarded as having contributed to the accident.
Held: A plaintiff must ‘share in the responsibility for the . .
CitedFirst National Bank Plc v Walker and Another CA 23-Nov-2000
A claim that a bank’s charge should be set aside as having been obtained by the undue influence of a co-mortgagee was parasitic upon a claim as between the co-mortgagors in family proceedings. The wife sought as against the bank to challenge the . .
CitedPW and Co v Milton Gate Investments Ltd (BT Property Ltd and another, Part 20 defendants) ChD 8-Aug-2003
The parties, head lessor and sub-lessess, had assumed that following Brown -v- Wilson the sub-lease would continue upon the determination of the head lease, and had overlooked Pennell which overruled Brown v Wilson. However the lease made express . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Road Traffic, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.271313

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

Partners Liable for Dishonest Act of Solicitor

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

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

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

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Company, Vicarious Liability, Legal Professions, Limitation

Leading Case

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.178327

Mattis 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 sufficient connection as to the time location and nature of his acts to create liability.

[2003] EWCA Civ 887, [2003] 1 WLR 2158, [2003] IRLR 603, [2004] PIQR P3, [2003] ICR 1335, [2004] 4 All ER 85
Bailii
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 . .
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:
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 . .
CitedGraham v Commercial Bodyworks Ltd CA 5-Feb-2015
The claimant had been very badly burned. He was covered in flammable liquid when a co-worker lit a cigarette.
Held: The claimant’s appeal failed. ‘although the defendant employers did create a risk by requiring their employees to work with . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Employment, Torts – Other, Vicarious Liability

Leading Case

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.184262

Imperial Chemical Industries Ltd v Shatwell: HL 6 Jul 1964

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

Lord Pearce, Lord Hodson, Viscount Radcliffe
[1964] 2 All ER 999, [1964] UKHL 2, [1965] AC 656
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedYarmouth v France CA 11-Aug-1887
The plaintiff was employed by the defendant to drive carts. He objected that the horse had a vicious nature, but was obliged to drive it in any event. The horse kicked him.
Held: For the purposes of the 1880 Act, the plaintiff was an employee, . .

Cited by:
CitedLister and Others v Hesley Hall Ltd HL 3-May-2001
A school board employed staff to manage a residential school for vulnerable children. The staff committed sexual abuse of the children. The school denied vicarious liability for the acts of the teachers.
Held: ‘Vicarious liability is legal . .
CitedMcTear v Imperial Tobacco Ltd OHCS 31-May-2005
The pursuer sought damages after her husband’s death from lung cancer. She said that the defenders were negligent in having continued to sell him cigarettes knowing that they would cause this.
Held: The action failed. The plaintiff had not . .
CitedCommissioner of Police for the Metropolis v Reeves (Joint Administratix of The Estate of Martin Lynch, Deceased) HL 11-Feb-1999
The deceased was a prisoner known to be at risk of committing suicide. Whilst in police custody he hanged himself in his prison cell. The Commissioner accepted that he was in breach of his duty of care to the deceased, but not that that breach was . .
CitedMajrowski v Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust CA 16-Mar-2005
The claimant had sought damages against his employer, saying that they had failed in their duty to him under the 1997 Act in failing to prevent harassment by a manager. He appealed a strike out of his claim.
Held: The appeal succeeded. The . .
CitedMajrowski v Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust CA 16-Mar-2005
The claimant had sought damages against his employer, saying that they had failed in their duty to him under the 1997 Act in failing to prevent harassment by a manager. He appealed a strike out of his claim.
Held: The appeal succeeded. The . .
CitedMajrowski v Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust HL 12-Jul-2006
Employer can be liable for Managers Harassment
The claimant employee sought damages, saying that he had been bullied by his manager and that bullying amounting to harassment under the 1997 Act. The employer now appealed a finding that it was responsible for a tort committed by a manager, saying . .
CitedWhite v Blackmore CA 15-Jun-1972
The plaintiff attended a jalopy car race and was injured. It was a condition of his entry that he agreed that motor racing was dangerous and that he would not hold the organisers or others responsible if injured. He was injured when a safety rope, . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Health and Safety

Leading Case

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.189975

Weddall 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 made a call out of hours to another employee (Mr Marsh) requesting him to do a voluntary shift to replace a sick employee. Mr Marsh, who had a history of antagonism with the first employee (Mr Weddall), was at home in an inebriated state having had a domestic row. He declined to come; instead he bicycled to the care home and launched an unprovoked attack on Mr Weddall. The employer was held not to be vicariously liable.
In another case, Mr Wallbank was at work in the normal way and was somewhat curt with a co-employee when indicating that he needed help with loading bed frames onto a conveyor belt. There was some minor history of difficulty between them but on this occasion the co-employee lost his temper and threw Mr Wallbank 12 feet across the factory floor onto a table. The employer was in that case held to be vicariously liable because the possibility of friction is inherent in any employment relationship, particularly in a factory where instant instructions and quick reactions were required.
Moore-Bick LJ said that there is now: ‘a more flexible principle governing the imposition of vicarious liability, which, in the case of wrongdoing by employees, turns on the closeness of the connection between the wrongful act and the employment. The principle is expressed in broad terms and since the factual circumstances of cases in which the imposition of vicarious liability falls to be considered differ widely, it is not surprising that one can find in the authorities different explanations of the factors which justify holding the defendant liable.’
In Wallbank (heard at the same time), a factory manager who gave an employee instructions was violently assaulted. The court held that the close connection test was satisfied since the possibility of friction is inherent in any employment relationship, but particularly one in a factory, where instant instructions and quick reactions are required. The risk of an over-robust reaction to an instruction was a risk created by the employment.

Pill, Moore-Bick, Aikens LJJ
[2012] EWCA Civ 25, [2012] IRLR 307
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
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 . .
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 . .
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 . .
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 . .
CitedAldred v Nacanco Limited CA 27-Mar-1987
Several women were in the washroom provided by the employers at their factory. One decided to startle another by giving the wash basin a push, as a result of which the claimant twisted her back.
Held: Lawton LJ, with whom Sir John Donaldson MR . .
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: . .
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 . .
CitedWilson v Exel UK Ltd SCS 29-Apr-2010
A supervisor in a depot was entrusted to implement the employers’ health and safety policies. In a prank, he forcefully pulled an employee’s head back by her hair.
Held: The pursuer’s appeal against rejection of the claim based upon vicarious . .
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:
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 . .
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, Personal Injury, Torts – Other

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.450467

Craik, Chief Constable of Northumbria Police, Regina (on The Application of) v Newcastle Upon Tyne Magistrates’ Court: Admn 30 Apr 2010

The claimant a retired Chief Constable sought judicial review of a decision to commit him for trial on a charge of unlawful imprisonment. The suspect and now prosecutor had been arrested and held in custody, but without the necessary timely review by the defendant’s officers. He now pursued a private prosecution.
Held: The review was granted. The issue of a summons involves the exercise of a judicial discretion. The use of proceedings to satisfy an ulterior motive can amount to an abuse, which can be stayed at a later point. In this case there was no evidence of the Chief Constable’s personal involvement at any stage in or near the actions complained of. There is, in general, no doctrine of criminal vicarious liability at common law. This case did not fall with any of the three exceptions. ‘[T]o pursue, a case which was . . hopelessly misconceived, vexatious and an abuse of the process of the court, is to be guilty of the kind of serious misconduct which amply merits, indeed requires, the exercise by the Magistrates’ Court of its power to stay proceedings as an abuse of the process.’

Munby LJ, Keith J
[2010] EWHC 935 (Admin)
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedRegina v Brentford Justices ex parte Catlin 1975
A decision by magistrates whether to issue a summons pursuant to information laid involves the exercise of a judicial function, and is not merely administrative. A summons (or warrant) is merely machinery for giving a defendant notice of the . .
CitedLondon Borough of Newham, Regina (on the Application of) v Stratford Magistrates’ Court Admn 12-Oct-2004
. .
CitedRegina v Belmarsh Magistrates’ Court ex parte Fiona Watts Admn 8-Feb-1999
The defendant sought to have dismissed as an abuse of proces charges against her that as an officer of Customs and Excise prosecuting the now private prosecutor, she had committed various offences.
Held: The magistrate was vested with . .
CitedRoberts v Chief Constable of Cheshire Constabulary CA 26-Jan-1999
The claimant had been detained at 11.25pm. His detention was not reviewed by an inspector until 7.45am the next morning, although it had been considered in the interim at 1.45am by an officer of junior rank. The plaintiff sued for unlawful . .
CitedRegina v Rahman CACD 1985
False imprisonment is a common law offence, defined as consisting in ‘the unlawful and intentional or reckless restraint of a victim’s freedom of movement from a particular place. In other words it is unlawful detention which stops the victim moving . .
CitedRegina v Stephens 1866
The court was asked whether the owner of a slate quarry was answerable for a public nuisance caused by his workmen without his knowledge and contrary to his general orders.
Held: Mellor J: ‘It is quite true that this in point of form is a . .
CitedRegina (on the Applications of Salubi and Another) v Bow Street Magistrates Court Admn 10-May-2002
The several applicants had been accused of offences under which the cases were to be transferred direct to the Crown Court for trial. The charges were later amended, with alternative offences preferred for which similar procedures might be and were . .
CitedRegina v Hutchins CACD 1988
The defendant was at a party where he took a range of drugs. He was accused of attacking one girl, and then imprisoning another with a neighbour. He appealed against his convictions for unlawful imprisonment and kidnapping.
Held: The appeal . .
CitedRex v Huggins and Barnes KBD 1730
Gaoler – Murder of Prisoner by Lack of Care
The defendant Huggins was warden of the Fleet Prison. A prisoner, Arne, died in 1725. Barnes, a gaoler had put him in a room ‘without fire, chamber-pot or close-stool, the walls being damp and unwholesome, and the room built over the common sewer’. . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Crime, Vicarious Liability, Magistrates

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.408832

Wm 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, national insurance numbers, bank sort codes, bank account numbers and salaries. He copied it to an Internet file sharing system with intention of causing harm to the company. Employees sought damages from the company, which denied vicarious responsibility for the employees actions.
Held: The company’s appeal failed. The Act was silent as to vicarious liability, but concessions by the company that causes of action based upon misuse of private information, and breach of confidentiality had not been displaced by the Act made it inevitable that nether was the law of vicarious liability. The actual motive of the rogue employee were not on the point.

Sir Terence Etherton MR, Bean, Flaux LJJ
[2018] EWCA Civ 2339, [2018] WLR(D) 653, [2019] 2 All ER 579, [2019] ICR 357, [2019] IRLR 73, [2019] 2 WLR 99, [2019] QB 772
Bailii, WLRD
Data Protection Act 1998
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.
Cited by:
At CAWM Morrison Supermarkets Plc v Various Claimants SC 1-Apr-2020
. .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Information, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.625969

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

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

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

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

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Education

Leading Case

Updated: 31 October 2021; Ref: scu.162910

Graham v Commercial Bodyworks Ltd: CA 5 Feb 2015

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

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

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Personal Injury

Updated: 31 October 2021; Ref: scu.542263

Cox 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 Ministry
Held: The prisoner was negligent, but not the prison service. Though there were respects in which its relationship with the prisoner resembled employment, there was a crucial difference. Employment was a voluntary relationship, in which each party acted for its own advantage. The position regarding prisoners at work was different. The prison authorities were required to offer work to prisoners and, by the policy set out in the Prison Service Order, to make payment for that work. Those requirements were not voluntary. The provision of work was a matter of prison discipline, of prisoners’ rehabilitation, and possibly of discharging the prisoners’ obligations to the community. Although the work done by prisoners might contribute to the efficient and economical operation of the prison, the prisoners were not furthering a business undertaking of the prison service.

Keyser QC HHJ
[2013] EW Misc 1 (CC)
Bailii
Health and Safety Act 1974 48(3), Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 5(1)
England and Wales
Cited by:
Appeal fromCox 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 . .
At County CourtCox v Ministry of Justice SC 2-Mar-2016
The claimant was working in a prison supervising working prisoners. One of them dropped a bag of rice on her causing injury. At the County Curt, the prisoner was found negligence in the prisoner, but not the appellant for vicarious liability. The . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability

Updated: 31 October 2021; Ref: scu.510046

Uxbridge Permanent Building Society v Pickard: CA 1939

It is not within the actual authority of a solicitor’s clerk to commit a fraud. But it is within his ostensible authority to perform acts of the class which solicitors would normally carry out: ‘so long as he is acting within the scope of that class of act, his employer is bound whether or not the clerk is acting for his own purposes or for his employer’s purposes’.
Sir Wilfrid Greene MR
[1939] 2 KB 248
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedJ J Coughlan Ltd v Ruparelia and others CA 21-Jul-2003
The defendant firm of solicitors had acted in a matter involving a fraud. One partner was involved in the fraud. The claimants sought to recover from the partnership.
Held: ‘The issue is not how the transaction ought properly to be described, . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 14 October 2021; Ref: scu.186088

Donovan 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 of a workman can be transferred from his employer to a third person who is using the employee’s services under a contract, or other arrangement, with his employer. Although the crane driver remained the general employee of the defendants, they had parted with the power of controlling him with regard to the matter on which he was engaged and were not liable for his negligence while he was so employed.
Lord Esher MR said: ‘For some purposes, no doubt, the man was the servant of the defendants. Probably, if he had let the crane get out of order by his neglect, and in consequence anyone was injured thereby, the defendants might be liable; but the accident in this case did not happen from that cause, but from the manner of working the crane. The man was bound to work the crane according to the orders and under the entire and absolute control of Jones and Co.’ Bowen LJ said that the court only had to consider in whose employment the man was at the time the acts complained of were done, in the sense that by the employer is meant the person who has a right at the moment to control the doing of the act. The question was whether the defendants had parted with the power of controlling the operation on which the man was engaged.
Bowen LJ, Lord Esher MR
[1893] 1 QB 629
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedViasystems (Tyneside) Ltd v Thermal Transfer (Northern) Ltd and others CA 10-Oct-2005
The defendants had subcontracted work installing air conditioning to the second defendants, who in turn bought in fitters from the third defendants. A fitter caused a flood acting irresponsibly.
Held: The court reviewed the law of vicarious . .
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 . .
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. . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 21 September 2021; Ref: scu.231004

Denham 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 by the employer to do work on their land.
Held: In none of the transfer cases cited to the court had the consent of the man been sought or obtained. The general employer had simply told the employee to go and do some particular work for the temporary employer and he had gone. The supposed transfer was nothing more than a device. Lord Denning referred to the Mersey Docks case, saying that such a transfer rarely takes place when a man is lent with a machine. But a transfer does sometimes take place when a man is lent to help with labouring work.
Denning LJ said (obiter): ‘Much of the difficulty arose out of the 19th century idea that a servant of a general employer may be transferred to a temporary employer so as to become for the time being the servant of the temporary employer. The conception was a very useful device to put liability on the shoulders of one who should properly bear it, but it did not affect the contract of service itself. No contract of service could be transferred without the servant’s consent: and this consent is not to be raised by operation of law but only by the real consent in fact of the man, express or implied: see Nokes v. Doncaster Amalgamated Collieries Ld. In none of the transfer cases which have been cited to us had the consent of the man been sought or obtained. The general employer has simply told him to go and do some particular work for the temporary employer and he has gone. The supposed transfer, when it takes place, is nothing more than a device – a very convenient and just device, mark you – to put liability on to the temporary employer; and even this device has in recent years been very much restricted in its operation. It only applies when the servant is transferred so completely that the temporary employer has the right to dictate, not only what the servant is to do, but also how he is to do it: see Mersey Docks and Harbour Board v. Coggins and; Griffith (Liverpool) Ld. Such a transfer rarely takes place, if ever, when a man is lent with a machine, such as a crane or a lorry: nor when a skilled man is lent so as to exercise his skill for the temporary employer. In such case the parties do not contemplate that the temporary employer shall tell the man how to manipulate his machine or to exercise his skill. But a transfer does sometimes take place in the case when an unskilled man is lent to help with labouring work: see Garrard v. A. E. Southey and Co. [1952] 2 QB 174. The temporary employer can then no doubt tell the labourer how he is to do the job. The labourer becomes so much part of the organization to which he is seconded that the temporary employer is responsible for him and to him.’ and
‘These results are achieved in law by holding that Clegg became for the time being the temporary servant for Le Grands. There is no harm in thus describing him so long as it is remembered that it is a device designed to cast liability on the temporary employer. The real basis of the liability is, however, simply this: if a temporary employer has the right to control the manner in which a labourer does his work, so as to be able to tell him the right way or the wrong way to do it, then he should be responsible when he does it in the wrong way as well as the right way. The right of control carries with it the burden of responsibility.’
Romer LJ, Birkett LJ, Denning LJ
[1955] 2 QB 437
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 . .

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

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 21 September 2021; Ref: scu.230998

Morgan v The Vale Of Neath Railway Company: CEC 27 Nov 1865

The rule, which exempts a master from liability to a servant for injury caused by the negligence of a fellow-servant, applies in cases where, although the immediate object on which the one servant is employed is very dissimilar from that on which the other is employed, yet the risk of injury from the negligence of the one is so much a natural and necessary consequence of the employment which the other accepts that it must be included in the risks which have to be considered in his wages. Thus, whenever an employment in the service of a railway company is such as necessarily to bring the person accepting it into contact with the traffic of the line, risk of injury from the carelessness of those managing that traffic is one of the risks necessarily and naturally incident to such employment, and within the rule. The plaintiff was in the employment of a railway company as a carpenter, to do any carpenter’s work for the general purposes of the company. He was standing on a scaffolding at -work on a shed close to the line of railway, and some porters in the service of the company carelessly shifted an engine on a turn-table so that it struck a ladder supporting the scaffold, by which means the plaintiff was thrown down and injured.
Held: On the above principle, that the company were not liable.
[1865] EngR 751, (1865) 5 B and S 736, (1865) 122 ER 1004, (1865-1866) LR 1 QB 149, [1865] UKLawRpKQB 32
Commonlii
England and Wales
Citing:
Appeal fromMorgan v The Vale Of Neath Railway Company QBD 4-Jul-1864
. .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 20 September 2021; Ref: scu.281663

Morgan v The Vale Of Neath Railway Company: QBD 4 Jul 1864

[1864] EngR 638, (1864) 5 B and S 570, (1864) 122 ER 944
Commonlii
England and Wales
Cited by:
Appeal fromMorgan v The Vale Of Neath Railway Company CEC 27-Nov-1865
The rule, which exempts a master from liability to a servant for injury caused by the negligence of a fellow-servant, applies in cases where, although the immediate object on which the one servant is employed is very dissimilar from that on which . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 20 September 2021; Ref: scu.282352

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

(New Zealand) The New Zealand statute required a holder of specified investments to give notice of its holding to a regulator as soon as it became aware of its holding. Unbeknown to any others in the company apart from one colleague, its chief investment officer improperly acquired such investments on the company’s behalf. The former managing director of Meridian used the company’s funds to make it a substantial security holder but neither he nor anyone else gave the requisite statutory notice requiring every person who became a ‘substantial security holder’ to give notice of his interest both to the company and to the Stock Exchange as soon as he knew he was a substantial security holder. The question was whether his acts or omissions were the acts or omission of the company so as to render the company liable to the statutory penalties.
Held: The company was liable. It was a matter of construction in each situation to decide whether an employee’s knowledge is to be imputed to his employer. It might be so imputed where this was necessary to make legislation effective.
Lord Hoffmann said that the rules for attributing the acts of a director to the company are primarily in its constitution, but ‘These primary rules of attribution are obviously not enough to enable a company to go out into the world and do business. Not every act on behalf of the company could be expected to be the subject of a resolution of the board or a unanimous decision of the shareholders. The company therefore builds upon the primary rules of attribution by using general rules of attribution which are equally available to natural persons, namely, the principles of agency. It will appoint servants and agents whose acts, by a combination of the general principles of agency and the company’s primary rules of attribution, count as the acts of the company. And having done so, it will also make itself subject to the general rules by which liability for the acts of others can be attributed to natural persons, such as estoppel or ostensible authority in contract and vicarious liability or tort.
It is worth pausing at this stage to make what may seem an obvious point. Any statement about what a company has or has not done, or can or cannot do, is necessarily a reference to the rules of attribution (primary and general) as they apply to that company. Judges sometimes say that a company ‘as such’ cannot do anything; it must act by servants or agents. This may seem an unexceptionable, even banal remark. And of course the meaning is usually perfectly clear. But a reference to a company ‘as such’ might suggest that there is something out there called the company of which one can meaningfully say that it can or cannot do something. There is in fact no such thing as the company as such, no ding an sich, only the applicable rules. To say that a company cannot do something means only that there is no one whose doing of that act would, under the applicable rules of attribution, count as an act of the company.
The company’s primary rules of attribution together with the general principles of agency, vicarious liability and so forth are usually sufficient to enable one to determine its rights and obligations. In exceptional cases, however, they will not provide an answer. This will be the case when a rule of law, either expressly or by implication, excludes attribution on the basis of the general principles of agency or vicarious liability. For example, a rule may be stated in language primarily applicable to a natural person and require some act or state of mind on the part of that person ‘himself’ as opposed to his servants or agents. This is generally true of rules of the criminal law, which ordinarily impose liability only for the actus reus and mens rea of the defendant himself. How is such a rule to be applied to a company?
One possibility is that the court may come to the conclusion that the rule was not intended to apply to companies at all; for example, a law which created an offence for which the only penalty was community service. Another possibility is that the court might interpret the law as meaning that it could apply to a company only on the basis of its primary rules of attribution, i.e. if the act giving rise to liability was specifically authorised by a resolution of the board or an unanimous agreement of the shareholders. But there will be many cases in which neither of these solutions is satisfactory; in which the court considers that the law was intended to apply to companies and that, although it excludes ordinary vicarious liability, insistence on the primary rules of attribution would in practice defeat that intention. In such a case, the court must fashion a special rule of attribution for the particular substantive rule. This is always a matter of interpretation: given that it was intended to apply to a company, how was it intended to apply? Whose act (or knowledge, or state of mind) was for this purpose intended to count as the act etc. of the company? One finds the answer to this question by applying the usual canons of interpretation, taking into account the language of the rule (if it is a statute) and its content and policy.’
Lord Hoffmann: ‘. . . their Lordships would wish to guard themselves against being understood to mean that whenever a servant of a company has authority to do an act on its behalf, knowledge of that act will for all purposes be attributed to the company. It is a question of construction in each case as to whether the particular rule requires that the knowledge that an act has been done, or the state of mind with which it was done, should be attributed to the company. Sometimes, as in In re Supply of Ready Mixed Concrete (No. 2) [1995] 1 A.C. 456 and this case, it will be appropriate . . .. On the other hand, the fact that a company’s employee is authorised to drive a lorry does not in itself lead to the conclusion that if he kills someone by reckless driving, the company will be guilty of manslaughter. There is no inconsistency. Each is an example of an attribution rule for a particular purpose, tailored as it always must be to the terms and policies of the substantive rule.’
Lord Hoffmann, Lord Keith of Kinkel, Lord Jauncev of Tullichettle, Lord Mustill, Lord Lloyd of Berwick
Gazette 19-Jul-1995, Times 29-Jun-1995, [1995] 2 AC 500, [1995] BCC 942, [1995] 3 All ER 918, [1995] UKPC 5, [1995] 3 WLR 413, [1995] 2 BCLC 116
Bailii
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedCrown Dilmun, Dilmun Investments Limited v Nicholas Sutton, Fulham River Projects Limited ChD 23-Jan-2004
There was a contract for the sale of Craven Cottage football stadium, conditional upon the grant of non-onerous planning permissions. It was claimed that the contract had been obtained by the defendant employee in breach of his fiduciary duties to . .
CitedMajrowski v Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust CA 16-Mar-2005
The claimant had sought damages against his employer, saying that they had failed in their duty to him under the 1997 Act in failing to prevent harassment by a manager. He appealed a strike out of his claim.
Held: The appeal succeeded. The . .
CitedKR and others v Royal and Sun Alliance Plc CA 3-Nov-2006
The insurer appealed findings of liability under the 1930 Act. Claims had been made for damages for child abuse in a residential home, whom they insured. The home had become insolvent, and the claimants had pursued the insurer.
Held: The . .
CitedMoore Stephens (A Firm) v Stone Rolls Ltd (in liquidation) HL 30-Jul-2009
The appellants had audited the books of the respondent company, but had failed to identify substantial frauds by an employee of the respondent. The auditors appealed a finding of professional negligence, relying on the maxim ex turpi causa non . .
CitedFerguson v British Gas Trading Ltd CA 10-Feb-2009
Harassment to Criminal Level needed to Convict
The claimant had been a customer of the defendant, but had moved to another supplier. She was then subjected to a constant stream of threatening letters which she could not stop despite re-assurances and complaints. The defendant now appealed . .
CitedOrr v Milton Keynes Council CA 1-Feb-2011
The employee was involved in offensive and insubordinate behaviour with his team leader. He was dismissed by a more senior manager, after a hearing in which the first manager gave evidence but which the claimant did not attend. It was later shown . .
CitedReilly v Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council SC 14-Mar-2018
Burchell case remains good law
The appellant head teacher had been dismissed for failing to disclose the fact that her partner had been convicted of a sex offence. She now appealed from rejection of her claim for unfair dismissal.
Held: The appeal was dismissed. The . .
CitedRoyal Mail Group Ltd v Jhuti SC 27-Nov-2019
‘if a person in the hierarchy of responsibility above the employee determines that she (or he) should be dismissed for a reason but hides it behind an invented reason which the decision-maker adopts, the reason for the dismissal is the hidden reason . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 29 August 2021; Ref: scu.83660

Stanbury 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 imposed directly upon him by statute; it was a function that was, for him, and not the corporation, to perform.
Lord Alverstone CJ
[1905] 2 KB 838
Diseases of Animals Act 1894
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedMatuszczyk 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 . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 25 August 2021; Ref: scu.241428

The Citizens Life Assurance Company Limited v Brown: PC 6 May 1904

(New South Wales) A malicious libel was alleged. The life assurance company was vicariously liable in respect of a libel contained in a circular sent out by a person who was employed by the company under a written agreement as its ‘superintendent of agencies’. By the terms of the agreement that person was to devote his whole time to furthering the company’s business and was to be paid a salary weekly as well as a commission on policies procured by him.
Held: He was a servant of the company for whose actions the company was liable. Once companies are recognised by the law as legal persons, they are liable to have the mental states of agents and employees such as dishonesty or malice attributed to them for the purpose of establishing civil liability.
Lord Lindley said: ‘If it is once granted that corporations are for civil purposes to be regarded as persons, ie as principals acting by agents and servants, it is difficult to see why the ordinary doctrines of agency and of master and servant are not to be applied to corporations as well as to ordinary individuals.’
Lord Lindley
[1904] UKPC 20, [1904] AC 423
Bailii
Australia
Citing:
RejectedAbrath v North Eastern Railway Co HL 15-Mar-1886
The plaintiff had brought an action against the company of malicious prosecution. It was rejected by the jury and again on appeal.
Held: The appeal failed. In an action for damages for the tort of malicious prosecution one of the elements of . .

Cited by:
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 . .
CitedJetivia Sa and Another v Bilta (UK) Ltd and Others CA 31-Jul-2013
Defendants appealed against refusal of their request for a summary striking out for lack of jurisdiction, of the claims against them arising from their management of the insolvency of the first defendant. . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 22 August 2021; Ref: scu.419585

Canadian 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 liability would exist in this case, even if the relation between the parties was merely one of agency, and not one of service at all. But a master, as opposed to the employer of an independent contractor, is liable even for acts which he has not authorized, provided they are so connected with acts which he has authorized that they may rightly be regarded as modes – although improper modes – of doing them. In other words, a master is responsible not merely for what he authorizes his servant to do,but also for the way in which he does it . . On the other hand, if the unauthorized and wrongful act of the servant is not so connected with the authorized act as to be a mode of doing it, but is an independent act, the master is not responsible: for in such a case, the servant is not acting in the course of his employment but has gone outside of it.’ and
‘It is often difficult in the particular case to distinguish between the second and the third of these situations, but the criterion is whether the act which is unauthorised is so connected with acts which have been authorised that it may be regarded as a mode – although an improper mode – of doing the authorised act, as distinct from constituting an independent act for which the master would not be liable.’
Lord Dunedin said: ‘there are prohibitions which limit the sphere of employment, and prohibitions which only deal with conduct within the sphere of employment.’
Lord Thankerton, Lord Dunedin
[1942] AC 591, [1941] SCR 278, [1942] All ER 464
Canada
Citing:
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 . .

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 . .
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 . .
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 . .
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 . .
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.
Updated: 20 August 2021; Ref: scu.214663

Launchbury 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 permission, but whilst he was not fit to drive through drink. He had died in the accident. The House considered whether it had the ability to make a ruling which was effective as to the future only. The respondents argued that a special rule should exist for drivers of motor cars.
Held: The appeal succeeded. Lord Wilberforce said: ‘We cannot, without yet further innovation, change the law prospectively only’. A vehicle owner is vicariously liable for the negligence of the driver when, but only when the driver is the agent of the owner, in the sense that he is using it for the owner’s delegated purpose.
Lord Wilberforce, Viscount Dilhorne, Lord Pearson, Lord Cross of Chelsea, Lord Salmon
[1972] UKHL 5, [1973] AC 127
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
Appeal fromLaunchbury v Morgans CA 1971
The wife owned the car. The husband who had drunk to excess drove the car with her permission, causing severe injury to the passengers and his own death. She was not present.
Held: From considerations of policy, as the owner of the family car . .
CitedOrmrod v Crosville Motor Services Ltd CA 2-Jan-1953
A friend drove the owner’s car from Birkenhead to Monte Carlo, carrying with him a suitcase belonging to the car owner, so that the two of them could go on holiday with the car in Switzerland. The basis of the finding of vicarious liability on the . .

Cited by:
CitedNational Westminster Bank plc v Spectrum Plus Limited and others HL 30-Jun-2005
Former HL decision in Siebe Gorman overruled
The company had become insolvent. The bank had a debenture and claimed that its charge over the book debts had become a fixed charge. The preferential creditors said that the charge was a floating charge and that they took priority.
Held: 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 . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 25 July 2021; Ref: scu.228278

Hamlyn 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 one of Hamlyn’s employees.
Held: The firm was liable for the loss suffered by Hamlyn. If it was within the scope of Houston’s authority to obtain the information by legitimate means, then for the purpose of vicarious liability it was within the scope of his authority to obtain it by illegitimate means and the firm was liable accordingly. This was on the broad ‘risk’ principle: the principal having selected the agent, and being the person who will have the benefit of his efforts if successful, it is not unjust he should bear the risk of the agent ‘exceeding his authority in matters incidental to the doing of the acts the performance of which has been delegated to him’.
Collins MR
[1903] 1 KB 81
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.
Updated: 25 July 2021; Ref: scu.193844

Iqbal v London Transport Executive: CA 6 Jun 1973

The court was asked whether the London Transport Executive was liable for the action of a bus conductor in driving contrary to his express instructions a motor bus a short distance in a garage.
Held: The instruction acted as a prohibition which defined the sphere of the bus conductor’s employment.
[1973] EWCA Civ 3, Times 06-Jun-1973, (1973) 16 KIR 329
Bailii
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedRose v Plenty CA 7-Jul-1975
Contrary to his employers orders, a milkman allowed children to assist him in his milkround. One was injured, and sued the milkman’s employer.
Held: The milkman had not gone so far outside the activities for which he was employed for the . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 19 July 2021; Ref: scu.262739

Hughes v Percival: 1883

The parties were neighbouring householders with a party wall. A builder working in the defendant’s house negligently cut into the party wall, causing the partial collapse of both the defendant’s house and the Plaintiff’s house next-door.
Held: Lord Blackburn said: ‘The first point to be considered is what was the relation in which the defendant stood to the plaintiff. It was admitted that they were owners of adjoining houses between which was a party-wall the property of both. The defendant pulled down his house and had it rebuilt on a plan which involved in it the tying together of the new building and the party-wall which was between the plaintiff’s house and the defendant’s, so that if one fell the other would be damaged. The defendant had a right so to utilize the party-wall, for it was his property as well as the plaintiff’s; a stranger would not have had such a right. But I think the law cast upon the defendant, when exercising this right, a duty towards the plaintiff. I do not think that duty went so far as to require him absolutely to provide that no damage should come to the plaintiff’s wall from the use he thus made of it, but I think that the duty went as far as to require him to see that reasonable skill and care were exercised in those operations which involved a use of the party-wall, exposing it to this risk. If such a duty was cast upon the defendant he could not get rid of responsibility by delegating the performance of it to a third person. He was at liberty to employ such a third person to fulfil the duty which the law cast on himself, and, if they so agreed together, to take an indemnity to himself in case mischief came from that person not fulfilling the duty which the law cast upon the defendant; but the defendant still remained subject to that duty, and liable for the consequences if it was not fulfilled. This is the law I think clearly laid down in Pickard v Smith 10 CB (NS) 470, and finally in (1881) Dalton v Angus 6 App Cas 740. But in all the cases on the subject there was a duty cast by law on the party who was held liable.’
Lord Blackburn
(1883) 8 App Cas 443, [1881-85] All ER 44, (1883) 8 AC 443
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 . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 16 July 2021; Ref: scu.516945

Thomas 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. The plaintiffs were, however, entitled to enjoy their right to use the highway to go to work without unreasonable harassment and that picketing by 50 to 70 striking miners shouting abuse was a tortious interference with that right. The actions of the striking miners were therefore actionable in nuisance.
Scot J
[1986] Ch 20, [1985] 2 All ER 1, [1985] IRLR 157, [1985] ICR 886, [1985] 2 WLR 1081
England and Wales
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 . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 24 June 2021; Ref: scu.466788

Vasey 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 park nearby and seriously assaulted the claimant.
Held: ‘. . the conduct of the assailants was a reaction to the damage to the door. There is no evidence that it related to some private quarrel or incident which occurred subsequently to and unrelated to the performance of the employee’s duty . . The evidence of the plaintiff to which I have referred, makes it plain that they wished to teach a lesson to the person who had caused that damage. That was the sole purpose of the attack. It was, of course, an unlawful and unauthorised manner of carrying out the duty to which I have referred, but I have no doubt that such is what it was. They were not pursuing their own purpose.’ and, as to responsibility in negligence for the doormen,’. . it is part of the duty of a manager of such an establishment to exercise proper control over such men to prevent, so far as he reasonably can, unwarranted assaults on customers. Moreover, as Mr. Coleman was inclined to accept, it is reasonably foreseeable that, if he fails in that duty, a person who was offered some provocation may be assaulted and injured.’
Stuart-Smith LJ
[1996] PIQR 373
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 . .
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 . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 09 June 2021; Ref: scu.214876

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.
Mr Justice Cavanagh
[2021] EWHC 1179 (QB)
Bailii
England and Wales

Updated: 03 June 2021; 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.’
Lord Esher MR
[1895] 1 QB 742
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 . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 02 June 2021; Ref: scu.214873

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.
Overend J
[2003] EWHC 3084 (QB)
Partnership Act 1890 5
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 . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 01 June 2021; Ref: scu.193837

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.
Sir Lancelot Shadwell VC
(1842) 12 Sim 369
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 . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 20 May 2021; Ref: scu.193866

Sykes v Millington: 1953

Prosecution for an offence under section 2(3) of the Road and Rail Traffic Act 1933.
[1953] 1 All ER 1098
Road and Rail Traffic Act 1933 2(3)
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedViasystems (Tyneside) Ltd v Thermal Transfer (Northern) Ltd and others CA 10-Oct-2005
The defendants had subcontracted work installing air conditioning to the second defendants, who in turn bought in fitters from the third defendants. A fitter caused a flood acting irresponsibly.
Held: The court reviewed the law of vicarious . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 20 May 2021; Ref: scu.231006

Quarman v Burnett: 1840

(1840) 6 M and W 499, [1840] EngR 182, (1840) 151 ER 509
Commonlii
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedViasystems (Tyneside) Ltd v Thermal Transfer (Northern) Ltd and others CA 10-Oct-2005
The defendants had subcontracted work installing air conditioning to the second defendants, who in turn bought in fitters from the third defendants. A fitter caused a flood acting irresponsibly.
Held: The court reviewed the law of vicarious . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 20 May 2021; Ref: scu.231001

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.
Blackburn J
(1873) LR 8 QB 141
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 . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 20 May 2021; Ref: scu.183575

Brady v Giles: 1835

(1835) 1 MOO and R 494
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedViasystems (Tyneside) Ltd v Thermal Transfer (Northern) Ltd and others CA 10-Oct-2005
The defendants had subcontracted work installing air conditioning to the second defendants, who in turn bought in fitters from the third defendants. A fitter caused a flood acting irresponsibly.
Held: The court reviewed the law of vicarious . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 20 May 2021; Ref: scu.231002

St Aubyn v Smart: 1868

(1868) LR 3 Ch App 646
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 . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 20 May 2021; Ref: scu.193867

Murphey v Caralli: 22 Nov 1864

(1864) 3 H and C 462, [1864] EngR 786, (1864) 3 H and C 462, (1864) 159 ER 611
Commonlii
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedViasystems (Tyneside) Ltd v Thermal Transfer (Northern) Ltd and others CA 10-Oct-2005
The defendants had subcontracted work installing air conditioning to the second defendants, who in turn bought in fitters from the third defendants. A fitter caused a flood acting irresponsibly.
Held: The court reviewed the law of vicarious . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 16 May 2021; Ref: scu.231005

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.
May LJ
[2001] EWCA Civ 1203
Bailii
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 . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 11 May 2021; Ref: scu.201222

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’.
Lord President (Cooper)
1952 SC 280
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 . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 06 May 2021; 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.’
Butler-Sloss LJ, Thorpe LJ Chadwick LJ
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
Bailii
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) 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 . .
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
maga_birmCA2010
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 . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 06 May 2021; Ref: scu.144687

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.
Wilkie J
[2005] EWHC 5 (QB), HQ02X03984, [2005] Lloyds Rep IR 275
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
hawley_luminarCA2006
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 . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 23 April 2021; 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’
Stuart-Smith LJ, Hobhouse LJ
Times 04-Aug-1997, Gazette 10-Sep-1997, [1998] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 19, [1997] EWCA Civ 2165
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 . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 23 April 2021; 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.
The Master Of The Rolls (Lord Woolf) Lord Justice Evans Lord Justice Schiemann
Times 22-Apr-1997, [1999] 3 WLR 79, [1997] EWCA Civ 1330
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 . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 21 April 2021; Ref: scu.141726

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

Lady Hale, Lord Reed, Lord Kerr, Lord Hodge, Lord Lloyd-Jones
[2020] UKSC 12
Bailii, Bailii Summary
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, . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 20 April 2021; Ref: scu.649486

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. The statutes and regulations did not impose direct liability on an employer.
Langstaff J
[2017] EWHC 3113 (QB), [2017] WLR(D) 806, [2018] IRLR 200, [2018] EMLR 12, [2018] 3 WLR 691
Bailii, WLRD
Data Protection Act 1998 55, Computer Misuse Act 1990, Parliament and Council Directive 95/46/EC
England and Wales
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
. .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 20 April 2021; Ref: scu.601126

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.’
Oliver-Jones QC
[2011] EWHC 2263 (Ch)
Bailii
Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 52, Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 3(2)(e)
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 . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 20 April 2021; Ref: scu.464218

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.
The Honourable Mr Justice Buckley
Times 24-Jan-2003, [2002] EWHC 2707 (QB)
Bailii
Adoption Act 1976
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 . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 15 April 2021; Ref: scu.178521

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.’
Ward, Tomlinson, Davies LJJ
[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
Bailii, WLRD
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
hawley_luminarCA2006
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 . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 15 April 2021; Ref: scu.462536

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.
Lord Justice Waller and Lord Justice Laws
Times 27-Aug-2002, [2002] EWCA Civ 1073
Bailii
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
Sir Richard Scott discussed the tort of misfeasance in public office as described in Calveley: ‘I would agree that the tort of misfeasance in public office does require that the misconduct complained of should be sufficiently connected with the . .
See AlsoCornelius v London Borough of Hackney EAT 12-Jan-1996
. .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 08 April 2021; Ref: scu.174750

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.’
Lord Neuberger, President, Lady Hale, Deputy President, Lord Dyson, Lord Reed, Lord Toulson
[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
Bailii Summary, Bailii, WLRD, SC, SC Summary
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 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 1948
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 . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 07 April 2021; Ref: scu.560622

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.
Mr Justice Cavanagh
[2021] EWHC 782 (QB)
Bailii
England and Wales

Updated: 07 April 2021; 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.’
Otton LJ, Newman J
Unreported 20 February 1996
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 . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 04 April 2021; 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.’
Kitchin J
[2009] EWHC 1977 (Ch)
Bailii
Data Protection Act 1984
England and Wales

Updated: 02 April 2021; 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
Sharp DBE J
[2009] EWHC 959 (QB)
Bailii
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 . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 17 March 2021; 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.
Lord Reed
[1998] ScotCS 81, 1999 SC 255
Bailii
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 . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 15 March 2021; Ref: scu.169748

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.
Lady Hale, Lord Kerr, Lord Clarke, Lord Reed, Lord Hughes
[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
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
Children and Young Persons Act 1969, Child Care Act 1980, Boarding-Out of Children Regulations 1955
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 . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 15 March 2021; Ref: scu.597257

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’.
Lord Denning MR
(1980) 79 LGR 28
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 . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 14 March 2021; Ref: scu.645790

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.
Oliver LJ, Balcombe LJ
[1985] 1 WLR 1150
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 . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 14 March 2021; Ref: scu.645792

Bazley v Curry: 17 Jun 1999

(Canadian Supreme Court) The court considerd the doctrine of vicarious liability: ‘The policy purposes underlying the imposition of vicarious liability on employers are served only where the wrong is so connected with the employment that it can be said that the employer has introduced the risk of the wrong (and is thereby fairly and usefully charged with its management and minimization). The question is whether there is a connection or nexus between the employment enterprise and that wrong that justifies imposition of vicarious liability on the employer for the wrong, in terms of fair allocation of the consequences of the risk and/or deterrence.’ The court criticised the decision in Trotman, saying: ‘the opinion’s reasoning depends on the level of generality with which the sexual act is described. Instead of describing the act in terms of the employee’s duties of supervising and caring for vulnerable students during a study trip abroad, the Court of Appeal cast it in terms unrelated to those duties. Important legal decisions should not turn on such semantics. As Atiyah points out (Vicarious Liability in the Law of Torts, p 263): ‘conduct can be correctly described at varying levels of generality, and no one description of the ‘act’ on which the servant was engaged is necessarily more correct than any other’.’
McLachlin J posed some non-inclusive factors which may be relevant in considering intentional torts: ‘(a) The opportunity that the enterprise afforded the employee to abuse his or her power;
(b) The extent to which the wrongful act may have furthered the employer’s aims (and hence be more likely to have been committed by the employee);
(c) The extent to which the wrongful act was related to friction, confrontation or intimacy inherent in the employer’s enterprise;
(d) The extent of power conferred on the employee in relation to the victim;
(e) The vulnerability of potential victims to wrongful exercise of the employee’s power.’
McLachlin J
(1999) 174 DLR (4th) 45, [1999] 8 WWR 197, 43 CCEL (2d) 1, 62 BCLR (3d) 173, [1999] 2 SCR 534
Canlii
Canada
Citing:
CriticisedSimon Trotman (By her Mother and Next Friend Irene Trotman) 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
maga_birmCA2010
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 . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 14 March 2021; Ref: scu.214669

Cox v Ministry of Justice: SC 2 Mar 2016

The claimant was working in a prison supervising working prisoners. One of them dropped a bag of rice on her causing injury. At the County Curt, the prisoner was found negligence in the prisoner, but not the appellant for vicarious liability. The claimant’s appeal succeeded at the Court of Appeal.
Held: The Minister’s appeal failed. The activities assigned to the prisoners were integral to the activities of the prison in furthering its aims, particular so for the provision of prisoners’ meals. That these aims served also the public interest was not a bar to the imposition of vicarious liability. The prison service placed the prisoners in a position where there was a risk of committing a variety of negligent acts. This was recognised by the provision of health and safety training. The prisoners worked under the direction of prison staff. The claimant had been injured as a result of the prisoner’s negligence in carrying on activities assigned to him, and the prison service was therefore vicariously liable to her.
Reference was made to five incidents of the relationship between employer and employee which had been identified in the Christian Brothers case as usually making it fair, just and reasonable to impose vicarious liability, and which could properly give rise to vicarious liability where other relationships had the same incidents and could therefore be treated as akin to employment. They were: (i) the employer is more likely to have the means to compensate the victim than the employee and can be expected to have insured against that liability; (ii) the tort will have been committed as a result of activity being taken by the employee on behalf of the employer; (iii) the employee’s activity is likely to be part of the business activity of the employer; (iv) the employer, by employing the employee to carry on the activity will have created the risk of the tort committed by the employee; and (v) the employee will, to a greater or lesser degree, have been under the control of the employer.
The weight to be attached to these various factors will vary according to the context, and ‘The result of this approach is that a relationship other than one of employment is in principle capable of giving rise to vicarious liability where harm is wrongfully done by an individual who carries on activities as an integral part of the business activities carried on by a defendant and for its benefit (rather than his activities being entirely attributable to the conduct of a recognisably independent business of his own or of a third party), and where the commission of the wrongful act is a risk created by the defendant by assigning those activities to the individual in question.’
Lord Neuberger, President, Lady Hale, Deputy President, Lord Dyson, Lord Reed, Lord Toulson
[2016] WLR(D) 110, [2016] UKSC 10, [2016] 2 WLR 806, [2016] IRLR 370, [2016] PIQR P8, [2017] 1 All ER 1, [2016] ICR 470, [2016] AC 660, UKSC 2014/0089
Bailii, Bailii Summary, WLRD, SC, SC Summary
Health and Safety Act 1974 48(3), Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 5(1)
England and Wales
Citing:
At County CourtCox v Ministry of Justice Misc 3-May-2013
(Swansea County Court) While working as a catering manager at HM Prison Swansea, the claimant suffered injury in an accident caused by the negligence of a prisoner who was carrying out paid work under her supervision. She now sought damages from the . .
At CACox v Ministry of Justice CA 19-Feb-2014
Appeal against rejection of claim for personal injury. While working as the catering manager at HM Prison Swansea, the Claimant was injured in an accident caused by the negligence of a prisoner carrying out paid work under her supervision. The . .
CitedThe Catholic Child Welfare Society and Others v Various Claimants and The Institute of The Brothers of The Christian Schools and Others SC 21-Nov-2012
Law of vicarious liability is on the move
Former children at the children’s homes had sought damages for sexual and physical abuse. The court heard arguments as to the vicarious liability of the Society for abuse caused by a parish priest visiting the school. The Court of Appeal had found . .
CitedTurberville v Stampe 1698
A master is responsible for all acts done by his servant in the course of his employment, even though he may have given no particular directions. . .
CitedThomas Duncan, Treasurer To The Trustees Of The Perth And Dundee Turnpike Road v James Findlater HL 23-Aug-1839
Trustees appointed under a Public Road Act are not responsible for an injury occasioned by the negligence of the men employed in making or repairing the road.
The funds raised by such Act cannot be charged with compensation for such an injury; . .
CitedWoodland v Essex County Council SC 23-Oct-2013
The claimant had been seriously injured in an accident during a swimming lesson. She sought to claim against the local authority, and now appealed against a finding that it was not responsible, having contracted out the provision of swimming . .
CitedLister and Others v Hesley Hall Ltd HL 3-May-2001
A school board employed staff to manage a residential school for vulnerable children. The staff committed sexual abuse of the children. The school denied vicarious liability for the acts of the teachers.
Held: ‘Vicarious liability is legal . .
CitedViasystems (Tyneside) Ltd v Thermal Transfer (Northern) Ltd and others CA 10-Oct-2005
The defendants had subcontracted work installing air conditioning to the second defendants, who in turn bought in fitters from the third defendants. A fitter caused a flood acting irresponsibly.
Held: The court reviewed the law of vicarious . .
CitedBartonshill Coal Company v Jane McGuire, Widow HL 17-Jun-1858
Master’s Liability to the Public for Injury done by a Servant. – Per the Lord Chancellor: A master is liable for any injury or damage done to the public through the negligence or unskilfulness of servants acting in the master’s employ. The reason . .
CitedDubai Aluminium Company Limited v Salaam and Others HL 5-Dec-2002
Partners Liable for Dishonest Act of Solicitor
A solicitor had been alleged to have acted dishonestly, having assisted in a fraudulent breach of trust by drafting certain documents. Contributions to the damages were sought from his partners.
Held: The acts complained of were so close to . .
CitedCentral Motors (Glasgow) Ltd v Cessnock Garage and Motor Co 1925
A night watchman at a garage drove off in a car left there for his own purposes and damaged it.
Held: The garage had delegated to their employee the duty of keeping the car safely secured in the garage and they were liable to the owners of the . .
CitedBroom v Morgan CA 1953
The plaintiff and her husband were employed by the defendant to manage and work in a beer and wine house. The Plaintiff was injured through the negligence of her husband in the course of his employment. In an action by her against the defendant in . .
CitedIlkiw v Samuels CA 1963
The plaintiff was injured by the careless manouvering of a lorry by the defendant’s employee.
Held: When considering the vicarious liability of an employer, the proper approach to the nature of the servant’s employment is a broad one. . .

Cited by:
CitedArmes v Nottinghamshire County Council SC 18-Oct-2017
The claimant had been abused as a child by foster parents with whom she had been placed by the respondent authority. The court was now asked, the Council not having been negligent, were they in any event liable having a non-delegable duty of care . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 14 March 2021; Ref: scu.560621