Vicarious Liability and the Office Christmas Party

7th March 2019

Mathew White

Matthew White of our Personal Injury team has received a number of requests for information concerning the case of Shelbourne v Cancer Research UK. He has not written the case up in any detail because an appeal is underway. Those wanting to know what the case is about will find the answers in the first instance judgment which can be found here.

Put shortly, the claimant was injured at a Christmas Party, organised by volunteers from within the workforce, at her place of work for Cancer Research UK. She was physically lifted up, without her consent, by another attendee at the party, who dropped her. She sued her employer (CRUK) on 2 bases:- (1) that the party was negligently organised/ run; and (2) that the employer was vicariously liable for the actions of the man who lifted her. Trial was heard in January 2018 and the claim failed. The claimant appealed. The appeal was heard on 28th February 2019 and judgment is reserved.

Matthew intends to write the case up in detail when judgment is given in the appeal.