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RECENT DEVELOPMENT IN VICARIOUS LIABILITY
Vicarious liability is established on the principle that employer is vicariously liable for the tort while employees are executing their duties. Vicarious liability in the English law has expanded in the recent years in establishing vicarious liability for, especially, abhorrent acts including violent conduct deceit, and sexual abuse. Historically, most intentional wrongdoings were not held to be in the course of the ordinary employment. However, the recent case law in the UK suggests that where as an action has a close link to the duties of the employee, the employee may be considered vicariously liable. The ruling in Lister v Hesley Hall Ltd by House of Lords created a new precedent by establishing the concept of “relative closeness” which now connects the nature of the established employment liability and the tort. Considering the recent developments in both moral and legal basis, it is evident that the law has been pushed too far in terms of establishing vicarious liability.
Prior to Lister v Hesley Hall Ltd ruling, it had been decided that abhorrent acts such as sexual abuse by the employees cannot be seen to be in the course of his or her employment, which precludes the recovery from the employer. The decision overruled the earlier Court of Appeal ruling in T v North Yorkshire CC, where the sexual abuse of the headmaster in the field trip fell outside his employment scope and thus the employer was vicariously not liable. Various forms of justifications for the wide recovery have been developed in various areas. The first justification given is that it is common in tort law to allow the injured party to access means of compensation. As s………………………………………….
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