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 allowed. It was sufficient that the appellant did something more than de minimis in support of the common design, and that it was not necessary that what the appellant did should have been of any real significance to the commission of the tort.
The purpose of scrutinising what the appellant did was simply to decide whether it was possible to infer a common design. In inferring from the documents before him that the purpose of the campaign was investigation, documentation, and exposing illegal activities but that it did not, notwithstanding the contents of these documents, encompass violent intervention, the judge fell into error, and ‘in the context of a common purpose which included action to free blue fin tuna from nets and cages by intercepting the fishermen, even leaving aside acts by SSUK which were done for SSCS but not specifically for the ‘Blue Rage’ campaign and what was said during the court proceedings in Seattle, the action of SSUK showed that it had ‘joined in’ the common design by doing acts in furtherance of it.’
Mummery, McCombe, Beatson LJJ
 EWCA Civ 544,  3 All ER 867,  WLR(D) 181,  1 WLR 3700
England and Wales
Cited – 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; . .
Cited – CBS Songs Ltd v Amstrad Consumer Electronics Plc CA 1987
Persons other than the Attorney General do not have standing to enforce, through a civil court, the observance of the criminal law as such. However, Sir Denys Buckley considered that such a claim might be maintained as a representative action . .
Cited – CBS Songs Ltd v Amstrad Consumer Electronics Plc HL 12-May-1988
The plaintiffs as representatives sought to restrain Amstrad selling equipment with two cassette decks without taking precautions which would reasonably ensure that their copyrights would not be infringed by its users.
Held: Amstrad could only . .
Cited – Unilever 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 . .
Appeal from – Fish 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 . .
Cited – 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 . .
Cited – SABAF SpA v MFI Furniture Centres Ltd and Another CA 11-Jul-2002
The appellant challenged dismissal of its claim for patent infringement. The judge had held that the design was obvious, involving essentially only the collocation of two known features.
Held: Collocation was no more than a species of . .
Cited – National Coal Board v Gamble QBD 1958
M drove a lorry used for carrying coal from the NCB quarries to power station. H was employed by the NCB to operate a weighbridge, providing tickets to drivers as to the weight on board, and aa a delivery note. On this occasion, the lorry was . .
Cited – Belegging-en Exploitatiemaatschappij Lavender BV v Witten Industrial Diamonds Ltd 1979
The defendants sold diamond grit allegedly for the sole purpose of making grinding tools in which it was to be embedded in a resin bond as part of a grinding material patented by the plaintiffs.
Held: The defendants could not be infringers . .
Appeal from – Sea Shepherd UK v Fish and Fish Ltd SC 4-Mar-2015
Accessory Liability in Tort
The court considered the concept of accessory liability in tort. Activists had caused damage to vessels of the respondent which was transporting live tuna in cages, and had caused considerable damage. The appellant company owned the ship from which . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 30 October 2021; Ref: scu.509311