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

Mathew White

9 April 2019

Matthew White was instructed to act on behalf of Cancer Research UK in Shelbourne v Cancer Research UK [2019] EWHC 842 (QB), the latest case on the scope of an employer’s vicarious liability for the acts of workers. The claimant’s attempt to extend the boundaries of vicarious liability beyond those in Bellman v Northampton Recruitment Limited [2018] EWCA Civ 2214 was unsuccessful. The employer was not held vicariously liable when one worker assaulted another on the dancefloor at a Christmas Party.

In Shelbourne v Cancer Research UK the claimant was physically lifted up, and dropped, when on the dance floor at the Christmas party at her workplace. She sustained spinal injury. She claimed against her employer alleging (a) inadequate organisation/ supervision of the party; and (b) that the employer was vicariously liable for the actions of the individual who lifted the claimant. She lost at first instance and on first appeal. The first instance decision is here. The appeal decision is here.

Matthew also produced an article for the PI Focus magazine where he examines the vicarious liability issues following an injury at an office party. Download article here.