Q&As

Where a driver is driving in the course of employment, is there any guidance on whether proceedings should be issued solely against the employers because they are vicariously liable or against both the driver and the employer?

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Produced in partnership with James Tunley of Lamb Chambers
Published on LexisPSL on 28/02/2020

The following PI & Clinical Negligence Q&A produced in partnership with James Tunley of Lamb Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Where a driver is driving in the course of employment, is there any guidance on whether proceedings should be issued solely against the employers because they are vicariously liable or against both the driver and the employer?
  • Vicarious liability in employment relationships
  • Close connection
  • Where vicarious liability fails

Vicarious liability in employment relationships

Where a person is acting in the course of their employment, it is usually very straightforward to establish that their employer is vicariously liable. In those circumstances, ordinarily, claims ought to be issued solely against the employer.

Close connection

There is a two-stage test for vicarious liability. The first stage is to consider whether there is a relationship between the primary wrongdoer and the person alleged to be liable which is capable of giving rise to liability. In the context of a driver driving in the course of their employment, this is answered easily as employment is the paradigm relationship for such liability.

The second stage of the test is to assess whether it is just and reasonable to hold the person, here the employer, legally responsible to the claimant for the consequences of the wrongdoing. The question is essentially whether there is a sufficiently close connection with the wrongdoing that it can be regarded as in the course of employment.

In the example posed by the questi

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