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Flashcards in Vicarious Liability Deck (35)
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Catholic Child Welfare Society v Various Claimants

The two-stage test for vicarious liability -
1. Was the r/s between D and P sufficiently "akin" to employment?
2. Was the act P was doing at the time of the tort so closely connected with his employment by D that it would be just to hold P liable? (enterprise risk approach was expressly endorsed)


What is the enterprise risk approach and what is its relevance to vicarious liability?

where A’s relationship with B furthers A’s interests in a manner which created or significantly increased the risk that C would suffer the relevant injury this causative connection is a strong, but NOT DECISIVE factor pointing at sufficient connection between the A-B relationship and B’s tort.


E v English Province of Our Lady of Charity

The relationship of employment under a contract of service is no longer the paradigmatic relationship of vicarious liability but merely a POINT OF REFERENCE


Cassidy v MoH

oThe master’s vicarious liability for his servant is NOT ousted by the fact the servant’s work is of a technical nature for which the servant has special qualifications.


Lee v Cheung

One can have multiple employers, so the continuity of the contract of service is not usually relevant to vicarious liability.


Express and Echo Publications Ltd v Tanton

If the person engaged may delegate the assigned task to others rather than perform personally this usually points away from the existence of a contract of service.


Coggins and Griffiths (2 precedents)

1. If A, B’s general employer gives consent to B to work for a temporary employer T, A is prima facie responsible for torts committed by B in the course of working for the temporary employer.

2. If A is to shift responsibility to T he must show that the temporary employer had the authority to direct or delegate B’s manner of work.



If A and T have shared control over the organisation of B’s work (here B was a member of a team composed of a supervisor employed by A and another worker employed by T) they will BOTH be liable to C with equal contribution.


Hawley v Luminar Leisure Ltd

If by contractual provision or otherwise there has been a transfer of control and responsibility of B from A to T such that T may be deemed in sole control of B at the time of the tort, T will be held solely vicariously liable


Ormrod v Crosville Motors (contrast)

Where A, the owner of a vehicle, expressly or impliedly requests or instructs B to drive the vehicle in performance of some task or duty carried out for A, A will be vicariously liable for B’s negligence in the operation of the vehicle (contrast Morgans v Launchbury where no task was being performed for the owner of the vehicle).


Honeywill v Larkin Bros

where there is a “class of extra-hazardous acts, which in their very nature involve, in the eyes of the law, special danger to others”


Biffa Waste Services

the principle in Honeywill applies only to activities that are truly exceptional because otherwise the principle is too wide and unsatisfactory


McDermid v Nash

An employer cannot delegate his duty to devise a safe system of work for his employee to an independent contractor.


Gray v Pullen

A will be liable for B’s default for work done on the highway if an obstruction of the highway is inherent in the nature of the work B is hired to do


Salsbury v Woodland

A will only be liable if the work is done ON the highway


Woodlands v Essex CC

Besides highway and hazard cases D will have a non-delegable positive duty to see that care IS taken and will be liable for T’s negligent performance of that function which he was allocated


Woodlands v Essex CC (1)

C was especially vulnerable/dependent on D’s protection against the risk of injury (e.g. patients, children, prisoners).


Woodlands v Essex CC (2)

There was an antecedent relationship between C and D which placed D in C’s care, custody or control and made it possible to impute to D a positive duty to protect C from harm and NOT just a duty to avoid causing foreseeable harm to C.


Woodlands v Essex CC (3)

C has no control over how D performs his relevant obligations.


Woodlands v Essex CC (4)

D has delegated to a third party T some integral function of the positive duty to C and the 3rd party was exercising for such purposes D’s care, custody or control of C


Woodlands v Essex CC (5)

T had been negligent in the performance of that very function (NOT some collateral function) assumed by D and delegated to him.



if the negligence is collateral rather than with regard to the very matter delegated to be done D is not liable for T’s negligence


Dubai Aluminium Co

Since vicarious liability is based on the recognition that carrying on a business enterprise involves the risk of others being harmed by the employees through whom the business is carried on, it is just that the business is liable to compensate C when those risks ripen into loss


Smith v Stages

Where A sends B to a different place of work, B will normally be in the course of employment when driving home, especially if he is paid wages during the travel, because driving from one place to another is necessarily incidental to B’s performance of his employment duties


Nottingham v Aldridge

If B is contractually required to use a certain mode of transport while travelling between home and work he will be doing so in the course of his employment


Polland v Parr (contrast)

A servant has implied authority to make reasonable efforts to protect and preserve his employer’s property in an emergency which endangers it (contrast Houghton v Pilkington – a servant loses this implied authority when he is no longer acting to protect his employer’s property )


Bayley v Manchester

If the servant does what he is authorised to do in a blundering way, his employer will be liable


Kaw v ITD Ltd

If B usurps the job of another, A will still be liable provided the job usurped is not a gross departure from B’s job and the job usurped is sufficiently closely connected with A’s business.


Limpus v London General Omnibus Co

An express prohibition issued by A to B must limit the sphere of B’s employment and not merely B’s mode of performance to protect A from liability


Lloyd v Grace, Smith & Co

B is not always acting outside the scope of his employment when he acts for his own benefit instead of A’s - consider whether B intends to receive that benefit while executing his occupational responsibilities