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Vicarious Liability.

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Vicarious Liability Primary liability is imposed because of the defendant's own acts breached his own personal duty rather than because of the relationship with the other person. For there to be vicarious liability to be impose, there must be a specific employer-employee relationship and it must be committed when the employee is acting in the course of employment. Employers would be joint and severally liable. Delegable duty - A person can satisfy it by employing another to act on his behalf. It must be proved that it was reasonable to delegate, that a reasonable check was made on the competence of person doing work and on the quality of it when completed. If these conditions are satisfied, the responsibility for the defects in the work falls to the person who performed it and not his employer, who had been negligent. Advantages of vicarious liability - - More Funds - Benefit Burden - Safety - Identity Target (Need not single out any one as long as it is the enterprise of the company) Hill v James Crowe [1978] Vicarious liability may assist the plaintiff by providing a defendant to sue. It may be impossible to identify the particular employee whose fault caused the damage but the employer will still be liable if it can be shown that the damage was caused within his enterprise, by one of his employees. Employee / Independent Contractor Matter of law The express intentions of the parties as to the classification of their working relationship are an important factor, but it is not conclusive. Ferguson v Dawson F, a building worker was injured when he fell off a roof at the defendant construction site. Contrary to regulation, there were no guardrails on the roof. If he had been an independent contractor, he would have been responsible for his own safety and unable to sue the company. At the time of hiring the plaintiff, he was expressed to be a 'labour only sub-contractor', although he was an unskilled labour and subject to the control of the site agent. ...read more.


Limpus v London General Omnibus Co. (1862) A bus driver was instructed not to race with or obstructs the buses of rival companies. He disobeyed the instruction and caused an accident where the plaintiff's horses were injured. It was held that despite the prohibition, the employers were liable since this was simply an improper method of adopted by the employee in performing his duties. It is outside the course of employment for an employee to do something which is not connected with what he is employed to do. Beard v London General Omnibus Co. (1900) A bus conductor, in the driver's absence, decided to turn the bus around for the return journey. As a conductor, he was not acting in the course of his employment and therefore, acting outside the course of his employment. Twine v Beans Express (1946) It was held that there was no vicarious liability for a driver giving a lift. Where a prohibited act is performed in furthering the employer's business, it is usually within the course of employment. Rose v Plenty (1976) A milkman employed a 13yr old boy to help deliver milk despite the express instruction not to do so. It was held that the driver was well within the course of employment despite the express prohibition because he was still acting for the master's purpose, business and benefit. Assault Lister v Hesley Hall [2001] Warden at a boarding annexed to a school for boys with emotional behavioural difficulties sexually abused Cs. HoL held that it is necessary to consider the relative closeness of the connection between the nature of the employment and the tort and to take a broad approach to the nature of employment. On this basis, H had undertaken to care for the boys through the services of the warden; there had been close connection between his employment and his tort. The torts were committed at a time on the premises while he was caring for the children I the course of his duties. ...read more.


Acts close to the highway held not to fall within the non-delegable duty of dangers on or adjoining the highway. D&F Estates v Church Comr. Building contractors owe no non-delegable duty in relation to work of a subcontractor although his contractual responsibility would be non-delegable. Rylands v Fletcher Emanuel v GLC [1971] An occupier is liable for the escape from his land of fire caused by the negligence of an independent contractor or anyone else on his land with his leave and licence. The only occasion when an occupier was not liable for such negligence was when it was the negligence of a "stranger," which (per Lord Denning M.R.) would include a person on the land with the occupier's permission who in lighting a fire or allowing it to escape acted contrary to anything which the occupier could anticipate; but in this case the G.L.C. had had control over the site and could have anticipated that K's men might light a fire, although forbidden to do so; alternatively they were liable for the Ministry of Works' negligence in failing properly to supervise K's activities; and also they were personally negligent in failing to exercise any supervision over his activities. An exception to the rule that an employer is not liable for the negligence of independent contractor is where the work is carried out on or adjoining the highway. Terry v Ashton An occupier of a public house adjoining the highway was liable when a heavy lamp attached to the building injured a passer-by. Although the occupier had argued that he had employed an independent contractor to keep the lamp in good repair, it was held that the duty to maintain premises so close to the highway could not be delegated. Employer's Liability (Defective Equipment) Act 1969 Rivers v Cutting [1962] A car was illegally parked. The police called a garage to move it. While doing so the car was damaged. It was held that the plaintiffs were not vicariously liable for the independent contractor unless they were negligent in selecting a contractor. Padbury v Holiday (1912) ...read more.

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