Vicarious liability: connections, customers and convicts

The Supreme Court’s decisions this morning in two joined cases both restate and further refine our understanding of vicarious liability in employers’ liability and associated claims.  The facts of each were reported in a blog last week and in both decisions today the claimants succeeded, unanimously in each case. The outcome is probably more surprising in the case of Mohamud than it is in the case of Cox. Even so, reading the cases together strongly suggests that the law on vicarious liability has not fundamentally changed. What the Supreme Court has done is to apply it differently than the Court of Appeal to both sets of facts. Continue reading

Cox: Ministry of Justice back in the Supreme Court

Lady Hale and Lords Reed and Toulson will hand down the court’s decision in Cox v Ministry of Justice on 2 March 2016. On the face it, this appears to be a straightforward employers’ liability (EL) claim involving injury to a member of prison staff. However since the accident was caused by a prisoner’s negligence, rather than that of another employee, the MoJ (as employer) has chosen to test the scope of vicarious liability in that setting. Continue reading

Imminent Supreme Court hearings in vicarious liability claims

On 21 September I posted about notable cases due before the Supreme Court during the 2015/16 legal year. A few days ago, the Court released the list of hearings scheduled for this term. It will hear the two vicarious liability injury claims – Mohamud v Morrison and Cox v Ministry of Justice – together, next Monday 12 and Tuesday 13 October.

The panel will be made up of Lords Neuberger, Dyson, Reed, Toulson and Lady Hale, who is the only one of the bench to have been involved in Various Claimants v Catholic Child Welfare Society in 2012.

BLM Consultant Jef Mitchell will observe the proceedings and will offer his thoughts on the hearing and the arguments shortly afterwards via The Policy Blog.


About the Author

akAlistair Kinley is BLM’s Director of Policy & Government Affairs.

Alistair is responsible for BLM’s engagement with government departments and regulators on policy and public affairs issues and consultations affecting the firm and its customers. He coordinated BLM’s market-facing activities in connection with the Insurance Act 2015 and the consultations which preceded its publication and introduction in Parliament.

He is a member of the Civil Justice Council (CJC), a regular speaker and experienced commentator on legal and procedural reforms and was a contributing editor to the Law Society’s Litigation Funding Handbook (September 2014).