Vicarious Liability

  • Created by: lulu_kate
  • Created on: 24-03-19 14:54
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  • Vicarious liability (VL)
    • 3 Tests to establish if a person is an employee
      • Economic Reality Test
        • Ready Mixed Concrete (South east) Ltd v Minister of Pensions and National Insurance (1967) High Court held that a contract of service exists if:
          • You agree for the employer to "control" your work
          • You are being paid by the employer for the skill/service you do
          • Other provisions of the contract are consistent with it being a contract of service
            • Working Hours
            • Method of payment
            • Relative responsibility for providing equipment
      • Control Test
        • Established in Yewen v Noakes (1880)
        • Considers whether the employer has the power to control the nature of work done and how it is done
          • An old test that uses the concept of the master-servant relationship.
      • Organisation Test
        • Test relies on a distinction between a contract of service and a contract for service
          • FOR SERVICE: You carry out jobs but NOT because you work for the company
            • E.g- A Sub-contractor
          • OF SERVICE: You carry out jobs because you work for the company
        • Stevenson, Jordon & Harrison Ltd v MacDonald & Evans (1952)
    • A Frolic Of His Own
      • An employer is not liable for the torts committed by an employee who is on a frolic of his own.
      • Storey v Ashton (1869)
        • Two employees ran over C on a frolic. D was not liable for his employees
    • Authorised Act
      • An employer is vicariously liable for the torts of his employee if the employee is doing an act authorised by the employer in the authorised manner
        • An employer is VL for an authorised act done in an unauthorised manner.
        • Employer isn't responsible if the employee is acting beyond the scope of his employment
      • Century Insurance v Northern Ireland Transport Board (1942)
        • Employer was held liable as employee was doing an authorised act, even though it was done in an unauthorised manner
      • Iqbal v London Transport Executive (1973)
        • Employer was not VL as employee was acting beyond the scope of his employment
    • An Unlawful Act Of An Employee
      • An employer will only be held to be VL for the unlawful acts of his/her employee if there is a closeness of connection between the employment and the unlawful act
      • Lister and Others v Helsey Hall Ltd (2002)
        • The HoL held that owner of the school was VL of sexual abuse by one of the wardens due to closeness of connection
      • Gravil v Carroll & Redruth Rugby Club (2008)
        • D punched C during rugby match causing fracture. CoA held that rugby club was VL
    • Liability for torts of independent contractors
      • A person or company may in some circumstances be held liable for the torts committed by an independent contractor to visitors or non visitors


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