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England and Wales Court of Appeal (Civil Division) Decisions
You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales Court of Appeal (Civil Division) Decisions >> Mohamud v WM Morrison Supermarkets Plc  EWCA Civ 116 (13 February 2014)
Cite as:  2 All ER 990,  ICR D19,  WLR(D) 68,  EWCA Civ 116
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ON APPEAL FROM Birmingham Civil Justice Centre
Mr Recorder Khangure QC
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
THE RIGHT HONOURABLE LORD JUSTICE TREACY
THE RIGHT HONOURABLE LORD JUSTICE CHRISTOPHER CLARKE
| Ahmed Mohamud
|- and -
|WM Morrison Supermarkets Plc
WordWave International Limited
A Merrill Communications Company
165 Fleet Street, London EC4A 2DY
Tel No: 020 7404 1400, Fax No: 020 7831 8838
Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)
Mr Roger Harris (instructed by Gordons Llp) for the Respondent
Hearing date: 16th January 2014
Crown Copyright ©
Lord Justice Treacy:
"His duty was simply not to keep public order in the sense of a doorman, but to ensure that the shop was in good running order and that petrol pumps were in good running order, to assist people if at all possible, but no more than that."
The Appellant's Case
The Respondent's Case
"The fundamental question is whether the wrongful act is sufficiently related to conduct authorised by the employer to justify the imposition of vicarious liability. Vicarious liability is generally appropriate where there is a significant connection between the creation or enhancement of a risk and the wrong that accrues there from, even if unrelated to the employer's desires."
"(a) The opportunity that the enterprise afforded the employee to abuse his or her power;
(b) The extent to which the wrongful act may have furthered the employer's aims (and hence be more likely to have been committed by the employee);
(c) The extent to which the wrongful act was related to friction, confrontation or intimacy inherent in the employer's enterprise;
(d) The extent of power conferred on the employee in relation to the victim;
(e) The vulnerability of potential victims to wrongful exercise of the employee's power."
"Clearly an employer is liable where he has placed the employee in a situation where he may be expected on occasions to have regard to personal violence… Equally clearly the employer is not liable for an assault by his employee on a customer merely because it was the result of a quarrel arising out of his employment…"
His Lordship then referred to Warren v Henlys Limited.
"I accept that the court should not be too ready to impose vicarious liability on a defendant. It is, after all, a type of liability for tort which involves no fault on the part of the defendant, and for that reason alone its application should be reasonably circumscribed."
Lord Justice Christopher Clarke:
Lady Justice Arden:
"the correct approach is by consideration of the discretion, if any, which is vested in the employee. It is, in general, the case that the employer will not be liable for an assault committed unless done in the wrongful exercise of a discretion vested in the employee. Personal acts of vengeance or spite, though generated by employment will not render the employer vicariously liable."