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INTRODUCTION

Law of torts generally refers to civil wrong that leads to causing someone else to suffer loss or harm that results in legal liability for the individual who has been involved in conducting tortious acts. The report makes comprehensive discussion regarding advice to be made to Maid4U in relation to vicarious liability. It will also help in describing the actions that can be taken by Ruby and Brenda with respect to tort of occupier’s liability. The report then focus upon Article 8 and 10 of European Conventions on Human Rights. In the end, it helps in discussing regarding the balance that is required to be made between the two articles.

CASE STUDY 1

Advising Maid4U in relation to vicarious liability

Vicarious liability is the state when any individual is held responsible for particular action omission. Considering the same in workplace context, an employer can be held liable for the actions or omissions that are being carried out by its employees. However, the condition may only be applicable if it took place in the curse of employment only. The main issue that arises in concept of vicarious liability is that employers are unaware about whether employee was acting in his personal capacity in the course of employment or not. It has become difficult to make determination in the situation. The law states that some relationship, due to their nature, generates requirements of taking responsibility of individuals, who are made to engage in a particular activity. The employment of this nature is quite common in case of employer and employee. Hence, it can be stated that an employer will be held responsible for the acts and omissions of employees under the rules and regulations of vicarious liability. Catholic Child Welfare Society v Various Claimants and Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools [2012] UKSC 56, is quite famous case related to vicarious liability which helped in developing the relationship between employer and employee even if the relationship was between welfare society and schools.

The case discuses regarding Christine who has been appointed by a cleaning company, Maid4U, to clean the offices of children’s charity, “More4kids”. She is paid for fixed hourly rate per cleaning job. Since, the charity was organizing some event, cleaning was initiated and company was contacted for same. Despite of company’s policy that cigarette smoking is not allowed for Maid4U employees, when they are at work, Christine lit up one and mistakenly thinking that it has been extinguished, dropped in it in a bin in the exit. It caused a small fire in exit hallway. Since, she has been appointed by the company, “Maid4U”, which will be held responsible under laws and regulations prevailing regarding vicarious liability in country.

Companies who tend to employee others for some particular course of business are subjected to fully or vicariously liable for all the acts of employees which has harmed the party. Vicarious liability is a civil matter which generally deals with  civil courts and are generally based on common law of doctrine of agency. Since, it arises in the course of employer employee relationship, any negligent act committed by the employee against the third party, the employer will then be held vicariously liable for the acts of employee. Hence, claim can be collected by the third party from employer.

Howver, in certain cases, the employer may not be liable to bear the responsibility of the wrongdoings of employees. Assessing the case Wilshire Police Authority v Wynn, some workers do not fall in the category of being employees. They may be interns, trainees or apprenticeship. In such cases, the employer is not held liable. Another case related to it  Mohamud v WM Morrison Supermarkets was related to this tort where Mr. Mohamud was on receiving end of physical assault.

Vicarious liability as per doctrine of English Tort law opts for imposing strict obligation on the employers for  wrongdoings of employees, to  third party. The case decision in the situation , Catholic Child Welfare Society v Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, strongly emphasized on enterprise risk. It has been stated by the court that third party can demand compensation for all damages from employer. The main reason behind same is that any type of tort is generally conducted due to lack of instructions and strictness from side of employers. If employer is responsible to seek any type of gain from side of employer, then the consequences must be borne by him as well. It also helps in ensuring that all precautions have been taken by the employer while conducting any type of business. Hence,  rules and regulations must be prepared in such a manner that none of mistakes would be found to take place from employee’s end under employer’s command. Cox v Ministry of Justice was the other case that was also related to vicarious liability.

Although, the primary liability lies on Christine. It was already mentioned in the policies and procedure report that employees are not allowed to smoke while being at work. However, Maid4U is vicariously liable for the same as it has not been able to keep up the command given. Hence, analysing case study being provided, it can be stated that employer, that is, “Maid4U”, is responsible for act. More4kids has right to draw out compensation for damages from company.

Advice to Ruby and Brenda in the tort of occupier’s liability

Occupier’s liability is said to be another field of law of torts which has been codified as statute. The liability is concerned with duty of care to be considered by one who actually holds  real property. It helps in dealing with the liability that may arise from accidents caused by defective or prevailing dangerous condition of premises. English law has come up with Occupier’s liability Act 1957, which deals with the accountability that an occupier has on visitors. The act came into enforcement on 1st January 1958, where occupier has been defined as individual occupying or the person in control of  particular premises. He / she may not necessarily be owner but most likely one who has  ability to prevent harm. There are certain damages that are carried out due to negligence of person who has been carrying out work in the premises. If damages are the result of faulty maintenance of a particular set up, then the liability lies in hands of individual who was responsible for fixing that set up. Harris v Birkenhead Corp [1976] is the other case that is related to it.

The present case discusses regarding day of event which was organized by “More4kids” in order to entertain  visitors.  The charity contracted with ToysRus Ltd who put a long and inflated slide. Ruby’s son, Jo, arrived at the event and decided to use that slide. In the third,  slide suddenly rolled onto the floor due to which Jo broke his nose with some sustained cuts and bruises as well. It was later analysed that slide was not properly placed and secured to ground.

Analysing the facts and figures of the case, it can be stated that, Ruby have right to get compensation against the law of tort of occupier’s liability. It is the default being conducted by the occupier, which is ToysRus Ltd in this case. Once, the claimant made it possible to prove that the defendant was in mistake and is responsible for breach of duty, under the occupier’s liability Act, Ruby can sue the company so as to gain compensation regarding the same from the occupier.

Another aspect of the case is also stated in the study, where a Keep out sign has been installed in the event so as to prevent people from going to the hallway which was damaged due to fire. However, Brenda, who tried to sneak to the venue, without purchasing any ticket, from the exit hallway. She then distracted by some noise an in the hassle of running, hiding and being caught of not having any ticket, she slipped on a pool of water. Brenda hit her head from wooden piece lying on the floor. It damaged her brand-new iPhone as well.

The verdict of Fiona Brown v East Lothian council [2013] was also taken considering the occupier’s liability. Other related case to occupier’s liability are, Lowery v Walker

Analysing the case, it can be stated that it does not covers under the periphery of occupier’s liability as the sign of “keep out” was already being mentioned for the exit hallway. It was due to the negligence of Brenda, that she was caught in to that situation. The common duty of care of the occupier is to keep the visitors reasonably safe from any kind of circumstances that can crop up in the premises. These actions were already being taken by the organizers of More4kids. It can be stated that the scenario comes under the negligence scope of Brenda who tried to have a sneak peek to the event without holding any ticket. Hence, the concept and compensation of occupier’s liability will not be applied in case of Brenda. Moreover, she will not be liable to gain any benefits or compensation amount out of it. Defending Brenda from the case, section 2 (4) (a) of Occupier’s liability Act 1957 states that providing warning signs or warning given to the visitors will not be treated as dissolving the overall liability of the visitor unless in all the circumstances it has been ensured that the visitors are reasonably safe under all the circumstances. Considering this aspect of occupier’s liability Act 1957, Brenda have right to demand the compensation. However, the warning sign was not mentioned on the other side of the hallway. Hence, the event organizers can be held liable for what has happened with Brenda and she can demand compensation on her iPhone. In relation with the given case scenario, Edward v Railway Executive, is the other case related to it where decision was made under the concept of Occupier’s