Armes v Nottinghamshire County Council  UKSC 60 In Armes the UK Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Court of Appeal in  EWCA Civ 1139 and decided that a local authority could be vicariously liable for torts committed by foster carers against children in local authority care. They also considered whether there could be the kind of non-delegable duty of care found in the case of Woodland v Essex County Council  UKSC 66. Full Report Here.
JL V ARCHBISHOP BOWEN AND THE SCOUT ASSOCIATION 27th May 2015 Manchester County Court Unreported The Claimant was born on the 23rd December 1967. He claimed damages for sexual abuse suffered between 1984 and 1999 at the hands of Father Laundy, a Roman Catholic priest. Father Laundy was ordained as a priest in the First Defendant’s dioceses and worked as a scout chaplain to the 9th Wimbledon Scout Group. He brought a claim in trespass against the Defendants for trespass to the person on the basis that they were vicariously liable for the Defendants’ actions. Full report here.
A V WATCHTOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY  EWHC 1722 (QB) The Claimant was sexually abused by one Peter Stewart (now deceased) between 1989 and 1994 when she was aged between 4 and 9. He was a ministerial servant in the Jehovah’s Witnesses and was subsequently convicted of abusing another child and a young female relative. Quantum had been agreed subject to liability. There were multiple Defendants but it was also agreed that if the second and/or third Defendants were liable, then the First Defendants would satisfy the judgment. Full report here.
MOHAMUD V WM MORRISON SUPERMARKETS PLC  EWCA Civ 116 On 15th March 2008 the Claimant visited the Defendant’s supermarket and petrol station. After checking the tyre pressures on his car, the Claimant entered the kiosk and asked the Defendant’s employee, if it was possible to print off some documents which were stored on a USB stick which the Claimant was carrying. The employee responded in abusive fashion, including racist language. The Claimant left the kiosk and walked to his vehicle. Full report here.
COX V MINISTRY OF JUSTICE  EWCA Civ 132 On 10 September 2007, while working as the catering manager at HM Prison Swansea, the Claimant was injured in an accident caused by the negligence of a prisoner carrying out paid work under her supervision. The Claimant had four members of staff under her in the staff hierarchy, three civilians and one prison officer. Two of these subordinates would be on duty at any one time. Approximately, twenty prisoners would be assigned each day to kitchen work. Such prisoners would sometimes be regularly engaged in this work. Full report here.
XVW & YZA v GRAVESEND GRAMMAR SCHOOLS FOR GIRLS AND ADVENTURE LIFE SIGNS LTD  EWHC 575 (QB) The Claimants were two students who set off on a school trip to Belize in 2005, and were raped by a local man who was the apparent joint owner of the farm/resort where they had been staying. They sued the school and the second Defendant, a specialist company which helped organise the expedition. Full report here.
CATHOLIC CHILD WELFARE SOCIETY V VARIOUS CLAIMANTS AND THE INSTITUTE OF THE BROTHERS OF THE CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS AND OTHERS  UKSC 56 The case concerned claims brought by 170 men in respect of abuse to which they alleged they were subjected at St William’s school between 1958 and 1992. There were two groups of Defendants. The first group consisted of the Middlesbrough Defendants, who took over the management of the school in 1973 and inherited the liabilities of the previous managers. They were held at first instance to be vicariously liable for abuse committed by teachers, which finding was not challenged. Full report here.
WEDDALL V BARCHESTER HEALTHCARE LIMITED WALLBANK V WALLBANK FOX DESIGNS LTD.  EWCA Civ 25 These were two linked cases. In the first case, the Claimant was the deputy manager of a care home operated by the Defendant. He was assaulted by a Senior Health Assistant at the home, who was his junior.The Claimant had called the Assistant to get him to come in to cover for another member of staff, who had gone sick. The Assistant did not react well to the call and later on he rang the home to say that he was resigning. Full report here.
EL V THE CHILDREN’S SOCIETY  EWHC 365 (QB) The Defendant ran a children’s home, where a Mr and Mrs D were housemaster and matron. They had a son X who was 15 when they moved into the home. The Claimant was born in 1944 and he was put into care from May 1949. In mid 2008, he alleged that he had been sexually assaulted by X, who was arrested. X admitted that he had been involved in masturbation with three boys at the home but he denied the most serious of the Claimant’s allegations. In 2010, the Claimant issued proceedings against the Defendant and X. Full report here.
JGE V THE ENGLISH PROVINCE OF OUR LADY OF CHARITY (1) THE TRUSTEES OF THE PORTSMOUTH ROMAN CATHOLIC DIOCESAN TRUST  EWHC 2871 (QB) The Claimant claimed damages for personal injury that she suffered when she was sexually abused by a priest, during a time when she was resident at the Firs Children’s Home in Hampshire between May 1970 and May 1972. The Claimant was at the time of this hearing 47 years of age.The home was operated and managed by a religious order of nuns, the First Defendants. Full report here.
MAGA (BY HIS LITIGATION FRIEND, THE OFFICIAL SOLICITOR TO THE SUPREME COURT) V TRUSTEES OF THE BIRMINGHAM ARCHDIOCESE OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH  EWCA Civ 256 The Claimant was abused as a boy by an assistant priest, Father Clonan, serving at a church in Coventry. He had suffered brain damage at birth, and was recognised as educationally subnormal. He could not read or write. Father Clonan had joined the Church in around 1972 and he had put a great deal of energy into starting up a disco, a social club and other clubs for young people. He also ran a number of football teams. He constructed a community centre in the curtilage of the church using his own construction firm. Full report here.
VARIOUS CLAIMANTS V THE CATHOLIC CHILD WELFARE SOCIETY AND OTHERS AND THE INSTITUTE OF THE BROTHERS OF THE CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS AND OTHERS  EWCA Civ 1106 This case involved around 150 Claimants who asserted that they were physically and/or sexually abused by staff at a school, St William’s which they attended. There were some 35 Defendants. Only one of the Defendants was an individual alleged to be an abuser and sued personally. All the others were sued in one way or another as representing either the managers of the school (“the Middlesbrough Defendants”) who were emanations of the Catholic diocese of Middlesbrough or the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools (also known as the De La Salle Institute) (“the Institute”). Full report here.
BRINKS GLOBAL SERVICES INC AND OTHERS V IGROX LIMITED AND ANOTHER  EWCA Civ 1207 In May 2007, the Claimant entered into a contract to convey 627 bars of siolver from London to India. It was put into a container, which had to be fumigated by the Defendant, but one of their employees stole 15 bars of silver. At first instance, the trial judge held that the Defendant was vicariously liable for what had happened. Full report here.
MAGA (BY HIS LITIGATION FRIEND, THE OFFICIAL SOLICITOR TO THE SUPREME COURT) V TRUSTEES OF THE BIRMINGHAM ARCHDIOCESE OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH  EWHC 780 (QB) The Claimant was abused as a boy by an assistant priest, Father Clonan, serving at a church in Coventry. He had suffered brain damage at birth, and was recognised as educationally subnormal. He could not read or write. It was alleged that in 1974, a Father McTernan, Father’s Clonan’s immediate superior was informed by the parents of another boy, M, that M had been abused by Father Clonan, but he had taken no action. Full report here.
A V ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHDIOCESE OF WELLINGTON AND OTHERS  1 LRC 211 The Claimant was born in 1959. Due to an unstable family background, she was placed at the age of seven in 1968 at an orphanage run by the Sisters of Mercy and educated at a primary school. She alleged physical and emotional abuse whilst she was there. By the end of 1972 attempts were being made to arrange foster care for her. She left the orphanage in May 1973 and she attended a secondary school until 1977 as a boarder. She also lived during that time at a foster home in the school holidays. Full report here.
GRAVIL V CARROLL AND REDRUTH RUGBY FOOTBALL CLUB  EWCA Civ 689 On the 29th October 2005, the First Defendant punched the Claimant during the course of a rugby match. Both were semi professionals. The question in the appeal was whether the Second Defendant was vicariously liable for the First Defendant’s tortious assault. As a result of the punch, the assailant had been shown a yellow card by the referee, but following the match the Claimant’s club cited the First Defendant for breaching the rules of rugby. In October 2006, the First Defendant admitted to a disciplinary tribunal that he had struck the Claimant, but denied pre-meditation and said that he had been provoked. Full report here.
MAJROWSKI V GUY’S AND ST THOMAS’ NHS TRUST  UKHL 34 The Defendant employed the Claimant as a clinical auditor co-ordinator. He claimed that his departmental manager bullied and intimidated him. She was rude and abusive to him in front of other staff, as well as being excessively critical of his time keeping and work. He made a formal complaint in of harassment against her on the 20th April 1998, which resulted in a finding that harassment had occurred. On the 7th June 1999, the Defendant was dismissed for reasons unconnected with the harassment. Full report here.
N V CHIEF CONSTABLE OF MERSEYSIDE POLICE  EWHC 3041 (QB) On the 20th April 2003, the Claimant was sexually assaulted by a probationer police constable. She had come out of a night club intoxicated having taken ecstasy. The police constable was off duty, but was wearing his uniform and sitting in a private car. He approached the Claimant and offered to take her to hospital. However he proceeded to take her to his home, where he assaulted her and took films and photographs of her. The police constable was convicted of these offences and imprisoned. Full report here.
HAWLEY V LUMINAR LEISURE LTD & ORS  QBD (Comm Cr) 307 The First Defendant, Luminar Leisure operated a “Chicago Rock Café” club in Southend on Sea. The Second Defendant, ASE provided security services and under their contract with Luminar, they agreed to take out liability insurance against employer and public liability and to indemnify Luminar against any claims. The contract also stated that all stewards provided by ASE were to be employees of ASE. On the 18th August 2000, there was a melee involving a number of customers who had just left the club. Full report here.
VIASYSTEMS (TYNESIDE) LTD V THERMAL TRANSFER (NORTHERN) LIMITED AND OTHERS  EWCA Civ 1151 In July 1998, the Claimant engaged the First Defendants to install air conditioning at their factory. The First Defendant subcontracted the ducting work to the Second Defendants, who in turn subcontracted with the Third Defendant to provide fitters and fitter’s mates. A fitter’s mate employed by the Third Defendant negligently damaged the fire protection sprinkler system causing substantial damage. At the time, they were working under the supervision of an employee of the Second Defendant.Full report here.
BLACKWATER V PLINT  SCC 58 The government of Canada and the United Church of Canada operated an Indian residential school in British Columbia in the 1940’s to the 1960’s. Aboriginal children were taken from their families and subject to corporal punishment. Some were seriously sexually assaulted. A number of students brought actions for damages. The trial judge found that all the claims other than those of a sexual nature were statute barred, but held the government of Canada liable for the assaults on the basis of breach of non-delegable statutory duty. Full report here.
PERCY V BOARD OF NATIONAL MISSION OF THE CHURCH OF SCOTLAND  UKHL 73 The Appellant brought a claim for sex discrimination against the Church of Scotland by a former minister of the church. She had been ordained in 1991 and in 1994 was appointed as an associate minister in a Church of Scotland parish in Angus. In 1997 she was alleged to have had an affair with a married elder in the parish. A committee was set up by the church to examine the matter and she was suspended. At a mediation meeting she was counselled to resign as a minister, and in December 1997 she did that. Full report here.
BERNARD V ATTORNEY GENERAL OF JAMAICA  UKPC 47 The Claimant was waiting in a queue to use a pay telephone in the Central Sorting Office in Kingston when suddenly a policeman intervened announcing himself as “police.” The Claimant refused and was shot in the head by the policeman. When he recovered consciousness in hospital, he found himself arrested by the same policeman for allegedly assaulting a police officer. The charges were later dropped and the policeman dismissed from the force. No criminal charges were brought against him and he later disappeared. The Claimant sued the Attorney General of Jamaica on the grounds that he was vicariously liable for the policeman’s actions. Full report here.
KLB v BRITISH COLUMBIA  2 SCR 403 The Claimants, KLB, PB, HB and VERB were siblings. Prior to placement in foster care, they lived in extreme poverty. All four were placed in two separate foster care homes with the agreement of their mother. They suffered abuse in both placements. There had been warnings about the first foster mother made to social services and during the placements, infrequent visits were made by social services. In relation to the second set of foster parents, there had also been serious concerns notified to the authorities. Full report here.
MATTIS V POLLOCK (trading as Flamingos Nightclub)  EWCA Civ 887 The Claimant was stabbed in the spine by a doorman, employed by a nightclub as a result of which he was rendered paraplegic. The doorman was later convicted of grievous bodily harm.The doorman had begun employment at Flamingos on about the 17th July 1998 and the incident occurred on the night of the 31st July to the 1st August 1998. Contrary to regulations in force, he was not registered for this purpose by the London Borough of Greenwich and the owner of the nightclub was later convicted for employing the doorman whilst he was unlicensed. Full report here.
DUBAI ALUMINIMUM COMPANY LIMITED V SALAAM  UKHL 48 The Claimant company was induced to pay $50 million between September 1987 and March 1993 under a bogus consultancy agreement with Marc Rich & Co. AG. Several people shared in the proceeds of the fraud, including a Mr Hany Mohamed Salaam who was a client of two successive firms of solicitors, “the Amhurst firm.” It was claimed that the senior partner of this firm dishonestly assisted in the fraud, although he denied any such wrongdoing and there was no finding by any court that he had acted dishonestly. In addition to suing Mr Amhurst, Dubai Aluminium sued the Amhurst firm, on the basis that the firm was vicariously liable in respect of some of Mr Amhurst’s activities although the other partners were personally innocent of any dishonesty. Full report here.
MILLER V MARTIN AND THE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES, STATE OF LOUISIANA AND METHODIST HOME FOR CHILDREN  CC 0670 LOUISIANA SUPREME COURT The Claimant was the mother of two children, CVM who was born in July 1989 and CM, a male who was born in February 1987. She alleged that the Defendants were liable for injuries sustained by her children. From 1994 to 1996, the State of Louisiana was given legal and physical custody of her children, and they were placed in the foster home of the Martins. It was alleged that their foster father sexually abused CVM and physically abused CM, and that the State was negligent in failing to properly screen, investigate, train, supervise and monitor the foster parents, as well as failing to investigate reports of abuse from its foster children. Full report here.
LISTER AND OTHERS V HESLEY HALL LIMITED  UKHL 22 The Claimants were residents of Axeholme House in Doncaster between 1979 and 1982 at the ages of 12 to 15 years. The company that owned the home employed Mr and Mrs Grain as warden and housekeeper to take care of the boys. The warden was responsible for day to day running of Axeholme House and for maintaining discipline. He supervised the boys when they were not at school. He administered pocket money, organised weekend leave, evening activities and supervised other staff. Full report here.
BROOKS V REGINA, 2000 BCSC 735 (CanLII) The Claimant was a foster child in the home of a married couple, Mr and Mrs P from May 1975 to June 1976. She had already been sexually abused by her natural father and after making complaints, she was taken into care by the provincial Ministry of Social Services and immediately placed with Mr and Mrs P. The Claimant claimed that Mrs P was often drunk and had little involvement with her. Full report here.
JACOBI V GRIFFITHS 17TH JUNE 1999 CANADIAN SUPREME COURT The case involved a claim for damages by a brother and sister against the Vernon Boys’ and Girls’ Club for incidents of sexual abuse by one of the Club’s employees. The employee had been employed by the Club as Program Director from 1980 to 1992 and he was encouraged to cultivate positions of trust and respect with the children under his care. One of his victims complained and he was prosecuted. He pleaded guilty to 14 counts of sexual assault. Full report here.
BAZLEY V CURRY 6th OCTOBER 1999 CANADIAN SUPREME COURT The Defendant, a non profit organisation operated two children’s homes for the treatment of emotionally troubled children. It practised total intervention in all aspects of the lives of the children that it cared for. It hired, C, a paedophile to work in one of its homes without knowledge of his background but after undertaking checks. He was dismissed after a complaint was made against him. He was then convicted of 19 counts of sexual abuse, two of which related to the Claimant. The Claimant sued the Defendant and one of the issues was whether the Defendant was vicariously liable for the actions of its employee. The trial judge and the Court of Appeal found that it was. Full report here.
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