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 . .

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Updated: 14 March 2021; Ref: scu.645792