Tomalin v S Pearson and Son Ltd: CA 1909

A widow claimed compensation for her husband’s death overseas.
Held: The Act did not provide for compensation to be payable. ‘What is the widow’s claim here ? She is claiming, not as a party to the contract, not as claiming any rights under a contract made by her or by any person through whom she claims, but she is simply claiming the performance by the defendants of a statutory duty, which statutory duty is said to be found in the Workmen’s Compensation Act. Now that brings us face to face with this proposition. What is the ambit of the statute and what is the scope of its operation ? It seems to me reasonably plain that this is a case to which the presumption which is referred to in Maxwell on the Interpretation of Statutes in the passage at p. 213 . . must apply: ‘In the absence of an intention clearly expressed or to be inferred from its language, or from the object or subject-matter or history of the enactment, the presumption is that Parliament does not design its statutes to operate beyond the territorial limits of the United Kingdom.’ and (Farwell LJ) ‘The question is one purely of the construction of the statute. The words of s.1, sub-s 1, are so wide that some limitation must necessarily be affixed to them. The words are, ‘If in any employment personal injury by accident arising out of and in the course of the employment is caused to any workman,’ and so on. To my mind the words ‘any employment’ there must be restricted to employment within the ambit of the United Kingdom or on the high seas as provided by s.7.’


Cozens-Hardy MR, Farwell LJ


[1909] 2 KB 61


Workmen’s Compensation Act 1906 7


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedSerco Ltd v Lawson and Foreign and Commonwealth Office CA 23-Jan-2004
The applicant had been employed to provide services to RAF in the Ascension Islands. He alleged constructive dismissal. There was an issue as to whether somebody working in the Ascension Islands was protected by the 1996 Act. The restriction on . .
CitedRegina (on the Application of Mazin Mumaa Galteh Al-Skeini and Others) v The Secretary of State for Defence CA 21-Dec-2005
The claimants were dependants of Iraqi nationals killed in Iraq.
Held: The Military Police were operating when Britain was an occupying power. The question in each case was whether the Human Rights Act applied to the acts of the defendant. The . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 13 May 2022; Ref: scu.192276