Petterson v Royal Oak Hotel Ltd: 22 Aug 1947

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


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




England and Wales

Cited by:

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

Agency, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 28 January 2022; Ref: scu.606514