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LIABILITY FOR INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS IN CONTRACT AND TORT: DUTIES TO ENSURE THAT CARE IS TAKEN

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 March 2015

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Abstract

Liability for independent contractors generally poses few difficulties in the law of contract, whereas in tort it is a vexed question. The difficulties are only compounded by the governing concept: the so-called “non-delegable duty”. This article explains the differences and argues that no easy parallels can be drawn from the contractual position to answer the riddles in tort. Neither does “assumption of responsibility” help. There is undoubtedly a case for recognising vicarious liability for independent contractors when businesses and public bodies alike now outsource so many of their functions. This issue needs to be confronted squarely, not through unconvincing contractual analogies.

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Copyright © Cambridge Law Journal and Contributors 2015 

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References

1 Woodland v Swimming Teachers Association [2013] UKSC 66; [2014] A.C. 537.

2 Cf. Dworkin, R., Justice in Robes (Cambridge, MA 2006)Google Scholar, 69: “Is abortion more like infanticide or appendectomy? We cannot even begin to answer those questions without a deep expedition into theory.”

3 Woodland [2013] UKSC 66; [2014] A.C. 537, at [7].

4 Woodland [2013] UKSC 66; [2014] A.C. 537, at [25] (5) (similarly at [29]–[34], per Baroness Hale).

5 Ibid.

6 Atiyah, P.S., “Medical Malpractice and the Contract/Tort Boundary” (1986) 49 Law & Contemporary Problems 287CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed.

7 Precisely Tony Weir's criticism of Hedley Byrne v Heller [1964] A.C. 465: “Liability for syntax” [1963] C.L.J. 216, 218 (“One can hope, perhaps, that in most cases it will continue to be ‘reasonable’ to rely only on a word one has bought”). See further Campbell, D., “The Curious Incident of the Dog that Did Bark in the Night-Time: What Mischief Does Hedley Byrne […] Correct?” in Barker, K., Grantham, R. and Swain, W. (eds.), The Many Faces of Misstatement Liability: 50 Years On from Hedley Byrne v Heller (Oxford 2015, forthcoming)Google Scholar.

8 Atiyah, P.S., The Rise and Fall of Freedom of Contract (Oxford 1979), 501Google Scholar.

9 P.S. Atiyah, Book review (1981) 95 Harvard L.R. 509, 520–21 (emphasis in original).

10 Atiyah, The Rise and Fall, p. 502; (1842) 10 M. & W. 109; [1932] A.C. 562.

11 Atiyah, ibid.

12 Atiyah, “Medical Malpractice”, p. 289, n. 13 (emphasis in original).

13 Gollins v Gollins [1964] A.C. 644, 664.

14 Atiyah, The Rise and Fall, p. 501.

15 (1987) 103 L.Q.R. 354.

16 Atiyah, P.S., “Freedom of Contract and the New Right” in Essays on Contract (Oxford 1988)Google Scholar, 380.

17 Junior Books v Veichi [1983] 1 A.C. 520.

18 Simaan General Contracting Co v Pilkington Glass [1988] Q.B. 758.

19 Atiyah, “Freedom of Contract”, p. 382 (emphasis in original).

20 Ibid.; cf. p. 125 below.

21 Stapleton, J., “Duty of Care: Peripheral Parties and Alternative Opportunities for Deterrence” (1995) 111 L.Q.R. 301Google Scholar. Similarly, Campbell, “The Curious Incident”.

22 Atiyah, “Freedom of Contract”, pp. 382, 385.

23 Fleming, J.G., “Tort in a Contractual Matrix” (1993) 5 Canterbury L.R. 269Google Scholar (quoted by Stapleton, “Duty of Care”, p. 345, denying that her argument “accords primacy to the contractual paradigm”).

24 Miller v US Steel Corpn. 902 F.2d 573 (1990). Cited in Perre v Apand Pty Ltd (1999) 164 A.L.R. 606, at [121]–[122], per McHugh J. (“This passage contains an important truth”).

25 Campbell, “The Curious Incident”, demands abolition of the “Hedley Byrne principle” itself (especially deploring Henderson v Merrett Syndicates Ltd. [1995] 2 A.C. 145).

26 Campbell, ibid., accepts this, setting out his personal political belief in market ordering to underline the point (and tracing the contrasting intellectual climate for Hedley Byrne back to the contemporary triumph of “political authority … as the final arbiter of economic life”: Crosland, C.A.R., The Future of Socialism (London 1956), 73)Google Scholar.

27 P.S. Atiyah, “Contracts, Promises, and the Law of Obligations” in Essays, p. 40.

28 Henderson [1995] 2 A.C. 145, 193, per Lord Goff.

29 P. Butler, “Thatcher's Outsourcing Fantasy Fails in Reality”, The Guardian, 16 October 2012.

30 Recognised in Woodland [2013] UKSC 66; [2014] A.C. 537, at [25] (4), per Lord Sumption, and at [40], per Baroness Hale.

31 But compare the absence of “non-delegable duty” when British military hospitals were closed and medical services transferred to local German hospitals: A. (A Child) v Ministry of Defence [2004] EWCA Civ 641; [2005] Q.B. 183.

32 Consider Y.L. v Birmingham City Council [2007] UKHL 27; [2008] A.C. 95; S. Palmer, “Public, Private and the Human Rights Act 1998: An Ideological Divide” [2007] C.L.J. 559.

33 Y.L., ibid., at [152].

34 Merkin, R. and Steele, J., Insurance and the Law of Obligations (Oxford 2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar, 236.

35 Cf. Woodland v Essex County Council [2012] EWCA Civ 239, at [34], [38], per Tomlinson L.J.

36 Robinson v PE Jones (Contractors) Ltd. [2011] EWCA Civ 9; [2012] Q.B. 44, at [76], [79], per Jackson L.J.

37 Capital & Counties plc v Hampshire County Council [1997] Q.B. 1004 (fire brigade). Cf. Kent v Griffiths [2001] Q.B. 36 (ambulance).

38 Van Colle v Chief Constable of Hertfordshire [2008] UKHL 50; [2009] 1 A.C. 225; Michael v Chief Constable of South Wales [2015] UKSC 2.

39 Alexandrou v Oxford [1993] 4 All E.R. 328.

40 Compare McKay, C., “Concurrent Liability in Claims for Loss of Chance of a Better Medical Outcome” (2012) 20 Torts L.J. 29Google Scholar (arguing that, if one cannot recover such damages in tort, the same should be true in contract. An exception is allowed for “express contractual guarantee[s] … demonstrated through explicit and unequivocal representations”, but would the protective obligation not be implicit, in the examples given in the text?).

41 E.g. S. Tofaris and S. Steel, “Police Liability in Negligence for Failure to Prevent Crime: Time to Rethink”, University of Cambridge Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 39/2014 (via SSRN).

42 Police Act 1996, s. 25(1).

43 Gregg v Scott [2005] UKHL 2; [2005] 2 A.C. 176; Rothwell v Chemical & Insulating Co [2007] UKHL 39; [2008] 1 A.C. 281; Hotson v East Berkshire A.H.A. [1987] A.C. 750.

44 Rothwell, ibid., at [74] (cf. A. Burrows, “Uncertainty about Uncertainty: Damages for Loss of a Chance” [2008] J.P.I.L. 31, 42).

45 For criticism, cf. McKay, “Concurrent Liability”.

46 Fleming, J.G., “Preventive Damages” in Mullany, N.J. (ed.), Torts in the Nineties (Sydney 1997)Google Scholar; D. Nolan, “Preventive Damages”, S.L.S. Conference paper, 2014.

47 Hotson [1987] A.C. 750 (CA), 760. See similarly Gregg v Scott [2002] EWCA Civ 1471, at [65], per Mance L.J.

48 Cf. McKay, “Concurrent Liability” (absence of liability in tort should entail the same in contract).

49 See for discussion Dow v Tayside University Hospitals NHS Trust 2006 S.C.L.R. 865; Holdich v Lothian Health Board 2014 S.L.T. 495, [60]-[76].

50 McFarlane v Tayside Health Board [2000] 2 A.C. 59, 76. Consider Thake v Maurice [1986] Q.B. 644.

51 Woodland [2013] UKSC 66; [2014] A.C. 537, at [25] (5).

52 Cf. McKay, “Concurrent Liability”, p. 58: “… undesirable and discriminatory social consequences” (but, as seen, McKay also accepts that people may contract for more extensive rights of action).

53 Compare Sir Joseph, K. and Sumption, J., Equality (London 1979)Google Scholar.

54 E.g. Haseldine v Dawe [1941] 2 K.B. 343; Farraj v King's Healthcare NHS Trust [2009] EWCA Civ 1203; [2010] 1 W.L.R. 2139, at [103], per Sedley L.J.

55 Cf. Stevens, R., “Non-Delegable Duties and Vicarious Liability” in Neyers, J.W. et al. . (eds.), Emerging Issues in Tort Law (Oxford 2007)Google Scholar, 332 (“arguably a misnomer”).

56 Weir, J.A., A Casebook on Tort, 10th ed. (London 2004)Google Scholar, 292 (criticising Lister v Hesley Hall [2001] UKHL 22; [2002] 1 A.C. 215).

57 Sometimes there may be no “direct” duty for reasons of public policy, but the defendant may nevertheless be vicariously liable for its employees' negligence: Phelps v Hillingdon L.B.C. [2001] 2 A.C. 619. Weir, ibid., at p. 270, comments: “Given that the authorities cannot perform their functions at all except through individual social workers and teachers the circumvention of the principal rule … seems clear”.

58 Lister [2001] UKHL 22; [2002] 1 A.C. 215.

59 Wilsher v Essex Area Health Authority [1987] Q.B. 730, 748 (cf. 778, per Browne-Wilkinson V.-C).

60 Robertson v Nottingham H.A. (1997) 8 Med. L.R. 1, 13, per Brooke L.J.

61 E.g. Lister [2001] UKHL 22; [2002] 1 A.C. 215; Hudson v Ridge Manufacturing Co. [1957] 2 Q.B. 348; Attorney General of the British Virgin Islands v Hartwell [2004] UKPC 12; [2004] 1 W.L.R. 1273.

62 Failed at trial in Lister [2001] UKHL 22; [2002] 1 A.C. 215, but succeeded in Hudson and Hartwell, both ibid.

63 Weir, A Casebook on Tort, p. 315.

64 E.g. Occupiers' Liability Act 1957, s. 2(4)(b).

65 Kondis v State Transport Authority (1984) 55 A.L.R. 225, 234 per Mason J.

66 G. Williams, “Liability for Independent Contractors” [1956] C.L.J. 180.

67 Woodland [2013] UKSC 66; [2014] A.C. 537, at [33].

68 Penny v Wimbledon Urban District Council [1899] 2 Q.B. 72.

69 Priestly v Fowler (1837) 3 M. & W. 1.

70 Smith v Charles Baker & Sons [1891] A.C. 325.

71 Eventually abolished by statute: Law Reform (Personal Injuries) Act 1948, s. 1.

72 Wilsons & Clyde Coal Co v English [1938] A.C. 57.

73 Kondis (1984) 55 A.L.R. 225, 231.

74 E.g. Farraj [2009] EWCA Civ 1203; [2010] 1 W.L.R. 2139, at [74], per Dyson L.J.; Woodland [2013] UKSC 66; [2014] A.C. 537, at [36], per Baroness Hale. Both learned judges note that the Wilsons, doctrine persists although its raison d’être disappeared with the abolition of common employment in 1948. They seem unperturbed by this. But cf. Sedley L.J. in Farraj, at [103]: “… caution is needed in importing the palliative concept of the non-delegable duty into other legal relationships”; Holmes, O.W., “The Path of the Law” (1897) 10 Harvard L.R. 457Google Scholar, 469.

75 Gold v Essex County Council [1942] 2 K.B. 293, 301; Cassidy v Ministry of Health [1951] 2 K.B. 343, 362–63 (respectively).

76 Woodland [2013] UKSC 66; [2014] A.C. 537, at [37].

77 Ibid.

78 Cox v Ministry of Justice [2014] EWCA Civ 132; [2014] I.C.R. 713, at [61] (citing Gilliker, P., Vicarious Liability in Tort: A Comparative Perspective (Cambridge 2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar, 144).

79 E. v English Province of Our Lady of Charity [2012] EWCA Civ 938; [2013] Q.B. 722; Various Claimants v Catholic Child Welfare Society [2012] UKSC 56; [2013] 2 A.C. 1. See P. Morgan, “Recasting Vicarious Liability” [2012] C.L.J. 615.

80 See Treitel, G.H., “Fault in the Common Law of Contract” in Bos, M. and Brownlie, I. (eds.), Liber Amicorum for Lord Wilberforce (Oxford 1987)Google Scholar; Ben-Shahar, O. and Porat, A. (eds.), Fault in American Contract Law (Cambridge 2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

81 Raineri v Miles [1981] A.C. 1050, 1086, per Lord Edmund-Davies.

82 Photo Production Ltd. v Securicor Transport Ltd. [1980] A.C. 827, 848 (cited in Woodland [2013] UKSC 66; [2014] A.C. 537, at [7]).

83 British Wagon Co v Lea & Co (1880) 5 Q.B.D. 149, 153–54.

84 Weir, A Casebook on Tort, p. 307.

85 E.g. Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982, s. 13: “In a contract for the supply of a service where the supplier is acting in the course of a business, there is an implied term that the supplier will carry out the service with reasonable care and skill.”

86 Implied at common law (GH Myers v Brent Cross Service Co [1934] 1 K.B. 46) and express in the JCT standard forms (s. 2.1, “The Contractor shall carry out and complete the Works in a proper and workmanlike manner…”).

87 E.g. Rumbelows v AMK (1982) 19 B.L.R. 25.

88 R.E. Scott, “In (Partial) Defence of Strict Liability in Contract” in Ben-Shahar and Porat, Fault in American Contract Law.

89 Simaan [1988] Q.B. 758 (cf. Junior Books [1983] 1 A.C. 520).

90 Young & Marten Ltd. v McManus Childs Ltd. [1969] 1 A.C. 454, 475, per Lord Upjohn. See e.g. Greenwich Millennium Village Ltd. v Essex Services Group plc [2014] EWCA Civ 960; [2014] 1 W.L.R. 3517.

91 Wan v Kwan Kin Travel Services [1996] 1 W.L.R. 38.

92 Ibid., at p. 42.

93 Quoted ibid., at p. 41.

94 Ibid., at pp. 46–47.

95 Cf. British Wagon v Lea (1880) 5 Q.B.D. 149 (distinguishing Robson v Drummond (1831) 2 B. & Ad. 303).

96 Cf. Kennedy, I. and Grubb, A., Medical Law: Text with Materials, 2nd ed. (London 1994), 414–15Google Scholar.

97 S. Grundmann, “The Fault Principle as a Chameleon of Contract Law: A Market Function Approach” in Ben-Shahar and Porat, Fault in American Contract Law.

98 E.g. Blackburn Bobbin Co. v T.W. Allen & Sons [1918] 2 K.B. 467; The Mary Nour [2008] EWCA Civ 856; [2008] 2 Lloyd's Rep. 526.

99 Treitel, “Fault in the Common Law of Contract”, p. 185.

100 Stevens, “Non-Delegable Duties”, p. 368.

101 Ibid.

102 Weir, J.A., “The Staggering March of Negligence” in Cane, P.F. and Stapleton, J. (eds.), The Law of Obligations: Essays in Celebration of John Fleming (Oxford 1998)Google Scholar.

103 Stevens, “Non-Delegable Duties”, p. 368.

104 Read v J Lyons & Co. [1947] A.C. 156.

105 E.g. Honeywill v Larkin [1934] 1 K.B. 191.

106 Stevens, “Non-Delegable Duties”, p. 344.

107 E.g. Nuclear Installations Act 1965 (near-absolute liability); Highways Act 1980, s. 58(2) (duty to ensure that care is taken).

108 Weir, A Casebook on Tort, p. 270.

109 Maitland, F.W., The Constitutional History of England (Cambridge 1908)Google Scholar, 383.

110 Cf. Atiyah, “Medical Malpractice”.

111 Stevens, “Non-Delegable Duties”, and J. Murphy, “Juridical Foundations of Common Law Non-Delegable Duties”, both in Neyers et al., Emerging Issues.

112 A. [2004] EWCA Civ 641; [2005] Q.B. 183, at [29], per Lord Phillips M.R. (referring to Williams, “Liability for Independent Contractors”).

113 But contrast Campbell, “The Curious Incident”, and Weir, Liability for syntax.

114 Hedley Byrne [1964] A.C. 465, 530, per Lord Devlin.

115 E.g. Steel, S., “Rationalising Loss of a Chance in Tort” in Chamberlain, E. et al. . (eds.), Tort Law: Challenging Orthodoxy (Oxford 2013)Google Scholar, 258; J. Edelman “Loss of a Chance” (2013) 21 Torts L.J. 1, 7–9.

116 Calvert v William Hill [2008] EWHC 454 (Ch) (affirmed [2008] EWCA Civ 1427). See also e.g. Welsh v Chief Constable of Merseyside [1993] 1 All E.R. 692.

117 Stevens, “Non-Delegable Duties”, p. 354.

118 Elguzouli-Daf v Metropolitan Police Commissioner [1995] QB 335, 348–50, per Steyn L.J. (discussing Welsh); Gorringe v Calderdale M.B.C. [2004] UKHL 15; [2004] 1 W.L.R. 1057, at [38]–[40], per Lord Hoffmann.

119 Barker, K., “Unreliable Assumptions in the Modern Law of Negligence” (1993) 109 L.Q.R. 461Google Scholar (although cf. n.116 above).

120 Calvert [2008] EWHC 454 (Ch) seems to provide a rare example (although N.B. bookmakers had chosen to demonstrate their social responsibility in the shadow of imminent government regulation of “problem gambling” under the Gambling Act 2005).

121 Collier v P & MJ Wright (Holdings) Ltd. [2007] EWCA Civ 1329; [2008] 1 W.L.R. 643, at [45], [48]. See similarly Campbell, “The Curious Incident” (agreeing to indemnify those who rely on one's words “could [be done] gratuitously, but [only] by the clearest words and would best be done backed by nominal consideration”).

122 Cf. Stapleton, “Duty of Care”.

123 Customs v Barclays Bank [2006] UKHL 28, at [5], per Lord Bingham.

124 Ibid., at para. [36], per Lord Hoffmann.

125 Woodland [2013] UKSC 66; [2014] A.C. 537, at [11].

126 Murphy, “Juridical Foundations”, p. 384. Cf. Woodland [2013] UKSC 66; [2014] A.C. 537, at [23], per Lord Sumption (criteria for “non-delegable duty” include “an antecedent relationship between the claimant and the defendant … (ii) from which it is possible to impute to the defendant the assumption of a positive duty to protect the claimant from harm” (emphasis added)).

127 Campbell, “The Curious Incident”, invoking not just Lewis Carroll's Humpty Dumpty, but Orwell's Big Brother: “Newspeak.”

128 Hillyer v St Bartholomew's Hospital [1909] 2 K.B. 820, 826, per Farwell L.J.

129 Gold [1942] 2 K.B. 293, 301–03.

130 Cassidy [1951] 2 K.B. 343, 360.

131 Barnett v Chelsea Hospital [1969] 1 Q.B. 428 (is an ambulance a mobile hospital? Cf. Kent [2001] Q.B. 36).

132 Cf. n.37 above; Nolan, D., “The Liability of Public Authorities for Failing to Confer Benefits” (2011) 127 L.Q.R. 260, 280–81Google Scholar (arguing that an ambulance assumes responsibility to the individual claimant, whereas the fire brigade acts for the benefit of the public at large).

133 Cf. Holdich 2014 S.L.T. 495, at [63]–[65] (statutory regime inimical to argument that NHS authority contracted to supply treatment).

134 Atiyah, “Contracts, promises, and the law of obligations” in Essays, p.41.

135 Yepremian v Scarborough General Hospital (1980) 28 O.R. (2d) 494, per Blair J.A. (dissenting) (majority declined to recognise non-delegable duty).

136 Ellis v Wallsend District Hospital (1989) 17 N.S.W.L.R. 553, 568–69.

137 Cf. Woodland [2012] EWCA Civ 239; [2014] A.C. 537, at [82], per Kitchin L.J.

138 Customs [2006] UKHL 28. Cf. Spring v Guardian Assurance plc [1995] 2 A.C. 296 (Lord Goff).

139 See Neil Martin Ltd. v Revenue and Customs Commissioners [2006] EWHC 2425 (Ch), at [97]; Rowley v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2007] EWCA Civ 598; [2007] 1 W.L.R. 2861, at [54]. Compare Nolan, “The Liability of Public Authorities”, pp. 283–84 (contrasting Customs [2006] UKHL 28, at [38], per Lord Hoffmann, and at [73], per Lord Walker).

140 Local Government Act 1999, Part I. (For health, cf. National Health Service (Procurement, Patient Choice and Competition) (No.2) Regulations 2013.)

141 Woodland [2012] EWCA Civ 239, at [57].

142 Woodland [2013] UKSC 66; [2014] A.C. 537, at [25] (3).

143 See Explanatory Notes to the Social Action, Responsibility and Heroism Bill (Government) (introduced in the House of Commons on 12 June 2014). See, for an earlier attempt to tackle the same problem of perception, Compensation Act 2006, s. 1.

144 George, R., “Non-delegable duties of care in tort” (2014) 130 L.Q.R.Google Scholar 534.

145 ICI v Shatwell [1965] A.C. 656, 685, per Lord Pearce.

146 Ferran, E., “Corporate Attribution and the Directing Mind and Will” (2011) 127 L.Q.R. 239Google Scholar.

147 Meridian Global Funds Management Asia Ltd. v Securities Commission [1995] 2 A.C. 500.

148 See further Stevens, R., “Vicarious Liability or Vicarious Action?” (2007) 123 L.Q.R. 30Google Scholar.

149 Balfour v Barty-King [1957] 1 Q.B. 496.

150 E. [2012] EWCA Civ 938; [2013] Q.B. 722, at [60], per Ward L.J. (referring to Viasystems Ltd. v Thermal Transfer Ltd. [2005] EWCA Civ 1151; [2006] QB 510, introducing a novel concept of dual employment).

151 Stapleton, J., “The Golden Thread at the Heart of Tort Law: Protection of the Vulnerable” (2003) 24 Aust. Bar Rev. 135Google Scholar.

152 Note 65 above (cited Woodland [2013] UKSC 66; [2014] A.C. 537, at [19]).

153 Stapleton, “The duty of care”.

154 Consider Gwilliam v West Hertfordshire NHS Trust [2002] EWCA Civ 1041; [2003] Q.B. 443.

155 See Burnie Port Authority v General Jones Pty. Ltd. (1994) 179 C.L.R. 520, at [37] (cited Woodland [2013] UKSC 66; [2014] A.C. 537, at [20]; compare at [23] where Lord Sumption identifies vulnerability as one of the “defining features” of “non-delegable duty”, having “put to one side” the “hazard cases”).

156 Murphy, “Juridical Foundations”, p. 381.

157 n.142 above. (Consider also the limit placed on hospitals' (assumed) “non-delegable duty” in Farraj [2009] EWCA Civ 1203; [2010] 1 W.L.R. 2139).

158 pp. 114–115 above.

159 Although N.B.: “… a public authority cannot divest itself of its public powers or duties by entrusting performance to a contractor …. [It] remains legally and politically accountable for their exercise …. In principle, authorities should remain liable for compliance with public law norms whether a service is contracted out or delivered in-house”, Davies, A.C.L., The Public Law of Government Contracts (Oxford 2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar, 232, 239 (emphasis added). See Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994, s. 72. Quaere whether this principle should extend to ordinary tort liabilities.

160 Note 31 above.

161 Quaquah v Group 4 and Home Office [2001] Prison L.R. 318. Cf. Craig, P.P., Administrative Law, 7th ed. (London 2012)Google Scholar, 119.

162 Note 34 above.

163 It is worth emphasising again that, whereas the Court of Appeal took notice of the insurance arrangements in denying the claim against the outsourcing local authorities, the Supreme Court simply ignored this in finding the “non-delegable duty”: see n.35 above.

164 Lister v Romford Ice [1957] A.C. 555: cf. Report of the Inter-Departmental Committee discussed by Gardiner, G. (1959) 22 M.L.R. 652CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

165 Morris v Ford Motor Co. [1973] 1 Q.B. 792.

166 In London Drugs Ltd. v Kuehne & Nagel [1992] 3 S.C.R. 299, La Forest J. would have made it de jure too.

167 Cf. P. Morgan, “Recasting Vicarious Liability” (calling for the protective effect of vicarious liability to be extended to volunteer-tortfeasors).

168 Farquhar, The Beaux’ Strategem (1707).

169 Campbell, “The Curious Incident”.

170 Or indeed on damages, for public authorities that choose to self-insure (e.g. the NHS).

171 Consider the facts of Fletcher v Rylands (1866) L.R. 1 Ex. 265, 278.

172 See Stevens, “Non-Delegable Duties”.

173 Consider Murphy, “Juridical Foundations”, p. 386: “… the creation of an exceptional risk can be invoked to justify the imputation to the defendant of an ‘assumed’ responsibility if the defendant does not voluntarily undertake such a duty.”

174 Pace Lord Sumption n.5 above.

175 pp. 113–114 above (and see further Esanda Finance v Peat Marwick Hungerfords (1997) 142 A.L.R. 750; Woolcock Street Investments v CDG (2004) 205 A.L.R. 522).

176 Stapleton, “The Golden Thread”, (and see further Smith v Bush [1990] 1 A.C. 831; Bryan v Maloney (1995) 128 A.L.R. 163; Barclay v Penberthy (2012) 291 A.L.R. 608).

177 Cf. Gold [1942] 2 K.B. 293, 297, per Lord Greene M.R.

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LIABILITY FOR INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS IN CONTRACT AND TORT: DUTIES TO ENSURE THAT CARE IS TAKEN
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