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 is to protect the workmen against those very acts of inattention which are sometimes relied upon as constituting contributory negligence so that too strict a standard would defeat the object of the statute.’ (Lord Tucker) The rule of ‘respondeat superior’ is merely a restatement of the rule ‘qui facit per alium facit per se’. The employee’s wrong is imputed to the employer.
Lord Reid, Lord Tucker
 AC 627
England and Wales
Cited – 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 . .
Cited – Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis v Reeves (Joint Administratix of The Estate of Martin Lynch, Deceased) HL 15-Jul-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 . .
Cited – 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 . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Vicarious Liability, Negligence, Health and Safety
Updated: 24 April 2022; Ref: scu.214672