On the 3rd May 2001, the House of Lords gave their judgment to Lister v Hesley Hall  UKHL 22. By overruling a previous decision of the Court of Appeal; Trotman v North Yorkshire County Council  LGR 584. The House of Lords widened the scope of vicarious liability to include acts of sexual abuse committed during the course of employment.
Lister v Hesley Hall  UKHL 22 involved a school for boys with emotional and behavioral problems. The school was owned by Hesley Hall Limited who employed a warden for the school, Mr. Grain. Unknown to the employers, Mr. Grain sexually abused some of the boys under his care. The victims brought an action against Mr. Grain's employers claiming damages for vicarious liability.
The question before the House of Lords was whether the employers should be held vicariously liable for the acts of his employee. Lord Steyn acknowledged the complexity of issues involving vicarious liability, in balancing two sides, one being compensating a tort victim against a financially responsible defendant and the other being 1the reluctance to unfairly charge business enterprises.
[...] Compensation Culture in Education: Facing the little devils http:// /search?q=cache:NyvLZUopONgC:www.risksociety.com/upload s/papers/Compenasation_Culture_in_Education.pdf+Lister+v+Hesley+Hall+%5B2001 %5D+UKHL+22&hl=en&ie=UTF-8 Reynolds porter Chamberlain 2001 http:// /search?q=cache:hAYAC0JsmKcC:www.rpc.co.uk/main/ . %255C pdf%255Cinform-June- 2001.pdf+Lister+v+Hesley+Hall+%5B2001%5D+UKHL+22&hl=en&ie=UTF-8 http://www.lawteacher.net/Tort/Vicarious%20Liability%20Lecture.htm Law Teacher .net Law of Tort Page, Vicarious liability http://www.lawreports.co.uk/hlpcmay 0.1 .htm Reported by: Michael Gardner, barrister http://www.rcw.co.nz/articles/article_001.html Rainey Collins Wright & Co Lawyers http://www.parliament.the-stationery- office.co.uk/pa/cm200102/cmselect/cmhaff/836/83606.htm #####centon#####FOURTH REPORT#####centoff##### The Home Affairs Committee Report: The conduct of investigations into past cases of abuse in children's homes http:// /search?q=cache:okI_SDPoFPkC:graduate.unimelblaw.com.au /editlaw.nsf/attachments/56V2HP34/%24file/vicariousliability(luntz).ppt+List er+v+Hesley+Hall+%5B2001%5D+UKHL+22&hl=en&ie=UTF-8 Vicarious Liability In the medical context. Harold Luntz 2002 Casebook on Torts Seventh edition. Richard Kidner MA, BCL. Oxford University Press. Textbook on Torts Eighth edition. [...]
[...] The primary grounds being: When considering the scope of employment, it should be cautiously scrutinised whether the wrongful act was within such a scope. The nature of the duty of care. In Lister the employer's duty was to take care of the boys, they entrusted that duty to the warden. By abusing the boys he breached his duty. A connection sufficiently strong between the wrongful act and the work he was employed to do have to be established This judgment, however, has been strongly criticized. There is a claim that the House of Lords has widened the scope of liability too far. [...]
[...] It has been replaced with a much wider test; the court must consider whether the employee's acts were sufficiently connected with his employment to hold the employers vicariously liable. From reading this it is clear that the House of Lords judgment will have dramatic implications. Because vicarious liability has been imposed for acts of sexual abuse it becomes easier to bring a claim against the employers of an abuser. The general principle may, however, extend further to make an employer answerable for psychological damage caused by an employee's wrongdoing. [...]
[...] If there wasn't, then the court should decide on the question of whether the employer should be charged with liability. Where there is a significant connection between the employment and the wrong that arises from it, then the employer will be held vicariously liable for the employee's actions. Following this the Canadian court found the employer liable. In the second case, Jacobi, the employee of a club assaulted two siblings. The majority of the assaults occurred either outside the club or on trips in the club's van. [...]
[...] (paragraph 14 of his judgement)(3) Lister v Hesley Hall  UKHL 22 Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer July/August 2001 http://www.legal500.com/devs/uk/ep/ukep_288.htm(5) Lister v Hesley Hall  UKHL 22 Lord Steyn quoting Salmond's Salmond, Law of Torts, 9th ed (1936), p 95; Salmond and Heuston, Law of Torts, 21st ed (1996), p 443. (paragraph 8 of his judgement) Paul Matthews, Reynolds Porter Chamberlain, August 2002. Compensation Culture in Education: Facing the little devils http:// /search?q=cache:NyvLZUopONgC:www.risksociety.com/upload s/papers/Compenasation_Culture_in_Education.pdf+Lister+v+Hesley+Hall+%5B2001 %5D+UKHL+22&hl=en&ie=UTF-8 Reynolds porter Chamberlain 2001http:// /search?q=cache:hAYAC0JsmKcC:www.rpc.co.uk/main/ 255Cpdf%255Cinform-June- 2001.pdf+Lister+v+Hesley+Hall+%5B2001%5D+UKHL+22&hl=en&ie=UTF-8 Lister v Hesley Hall  UKHL 22 Lord Millett quoting Scarman LJ in Rose v Plenty  1 WLR 141 Paul Matthews, Reynolds Porter Chamberlain, August 2002. [...]
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