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Update | Personal injury: vicarious liability outside employer and employee relationships

Vijay Ganapathy considers ?the test for vicarious liability outside the relationship of employer and employee ?and issues relating to ?asbestos and industrial ?disease cases

22 February 2013

As we approached the end of 2012, the Supreme Court handed down judgement in The Catholic Child Welfare Society & others v Various Claimants & The Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools & others [2012] UKSC 56.

Many eagerly awaited this judgment as the Supreme Court was expected to ?re-examine the tests for establishing vicarious liability outside the employer/employee paradigm.

This area has seen remarkable change, started by the House of Lords in Lister v Hesley Hall Ltd [2001] UKHL 22 where a defendant who employed a warden who abused boys at a school was found vicariously liable. This is despite the acts of abuse falling outside any of the daily tasks for which the warden was employed. The Lords therefore effectively widened the scope of negligent acts considered as being “in the course of employment” by finding that acts of abuse were “inextricably ...

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