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Summary of Recent Cases, May 2019

15/05/19. Here is a summary of the recent notable court cases over the past month. You can also receive these for free by registering for our PI Brief Update newsletter. Just select "Free Newsletter" from the menu at the top of this page and fill in your email address.

Summary of Recent Cases - Substantive Law

Shelbourne v Cancer Research UK [2019] EWHC 842 (QB)

The Claimant was injured at her work Christmas party. It was a party for staff and guests which had been organised by an employee. She was approached by a visiting scientist on the dancefloor who, having drunk alcohol during the evening, attempted to lift her off the ground. When he attempted to do so, he dropped her and she sustained a serious back injury. The Claimant argued that her employer was liable for her injuries either because of its own negligence or because it was vicariously liable for the visiting scientist's actions. At first instance, the claim was dismissed on the basis that the Defendant had not breached its duty of care and that the Defendant was not vicariously liable.

On appeal, it was held that the trial judge had been entitled to find that the Defendant had taken reasonable steps in the planning and operation of the party and had not breached its duty of care to the Claimant. In relation to the question of vicarious liability, it was held that the visiting scientist had not been required to attend the party and that he was not doing his laboratory work on the dancefloor. The Claimant's argument that the...

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