Vicarious Liability and the Close Connection Test - Essay Example

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This paper “Vicarious Liability and the Close Connection Test” will attempt to establish that the rules of vicarious liability are applied too arbitrarily for a third-party to know what will  happen in a given case, and that employers should be liable in more circumstances…
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Vicarious Liability and the Close Connection Test
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Download file to see previous pages In Lister, the close connection test was first enumerated, finding that it was fair and just to find a close connection between the warden's sexual abuse of boys in his care and his duties as a warden. In other words, in this case, it found that the sexual abuse was inextricably woven in the duties of the warden, in that if the warden did not have the duties that he did  - checking up on children at night, alone – then the warden would not have the opportunity to sexually abuse the boys in his care. While this case was landmark, in that it put employers on the hook for intentional torts if the intentional torts arose because the duties of the employee essentially allowed the intentional tort to occur, this rule is not sufficiently bright line to encompass every situation.
This principle would come into play in the case of Dubai Aluminum v. Salaam as well.  In the case of Dubai, the question was whether the firm would be liable for tortious acts of a member of the partnership, as well as acts which would be considered to be equitable wrongs, such as the wrongs which were engaged in by Salaam in this case.  There are elements of agent and principle in this case, because Amhurst in this case would be considered to be an agent of the solicitor firm that he was a partner of.  However, in this case, it was held to be in the ordinary course of business, so both tortious wrongs and dishonest breaches would make the firm vicariously liable, therefore the principle should be on the hook for the agent's acts....
i case, it has long been a tenant for torts that it does not matter if something is expressly forbidden – typically the employer would still be liable for the actions of the employee. This principle was established in 1862 with the case of Limpus v. London General Omnibus Co.2 In the Limpus case, the company expressly told the driver of the omnibus not to race other omnibuses, yet the driver did this, and the omnibus overturned. However, the Limpus case is difficult to square with another case with similar facts, which found that if an employee does something that is not done with the knowledge or consent of the employer, this often means that the employer is not vicariously liable for the resulting negligence, which puts the onus on the injured party. The case is Conway v. George Wimpey & Co. Ltd.3 In the Conway case, the employee picked up the plaintiff, who was also an employee, and got into an accident. Since the employer did not know nor authorize the employee to do this, it was held that the employer was not liable. This seems to be an arbitrary case, in light of the principles set forth in Limpus. New Close Connection Test While the old test states that employers are generally no liable for their employees’ intentional acts, this has been evolving. Consider the case of Lister v. Hesley Hall Ltd.4 This apparently was one of the first times that employers are said to be liable for intentional acts of their employees. In Lister, the close connection test was first enumerated, finding that it was fair and just to find a close connection between the warden's sexual abuse of boys in his care and his duties as a warden. In other words, in this case, it found that the sexual abuse was inextricably woven in the duties of the warden, in that if the warden did not have ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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