0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

BA child abuse claims shines spotlight on vicarious liability

31 July 2014

British Airways (BA) is being sued over allegations that a pilot abused children on stopovers in Africa. He allegedly used his involvement in BA’s community relations work to visit schools and orphanages which received donations from the airline.

Recent sexual abuse cases have chipped away at the test for vicarious liability. We now look for (i) an employment relationship or relationship “akin to employment”; and (ii) a sufficiently close connection between the employment and the wrongful act to make it fair, just and reasonable to hold an employer liable.

Whether BA will be liable will turn on the ‘close connection’ stage of the new test. It will be interesting to see what approach the court takes. However, the seemingly constant re-examination of vicarious liability in abuse cases, a readiness to sue corporate bodies, and the courts willingness to extend the principles appears to be driven by a desire to find any way to effectively compensate a victim of another’s wrongful act.

related opinions

Immigration rules post Brexit

Free movement between the UK and the EU ended on 31 December 2020. Since 1 January 2021, a new points-based immigration system applies to all migrants wanting to come to the UK, whether they are EU citizens or not.

View blog

Remote trials – here to stay?

With cross-country travel and in person gatherings largely prohibited due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Courts are using remote or virtual trials to ensure the justice system ticks along.

View blog

“Please release me, let me go” Government to consult on removal of non-compete clauses

The Government has announced a consultation exercise into the possible removal of non-compete clauses in employment contracts which will run until 26 February 2021.

View blog

Directors who fail to prepare, should prepare to fail

Two recent judgments demonstrate the risk that directors (of insolvent companies) face of being personally liable if appropriate records and procedures are not followed and if it cannot be shown that certain payments were in the interests of the company.

View blog

mailing list sign up



Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up