Vicarious Liability

There has been extensive media coverage of the many vicarious liability claims being brought against the Catholic Church as well as the potential claims following the exposure of abuse by Jimmy Savile, Stuart Hall and others while working for the BBC and others. Here is just a selection:

BBC News, ‘Stuart Hall: More alleged victims to sue over abuse’, 7 May 2013

Owen Bowcott, ‘Catholic church sex abuse ruling could cause big spike in compensation claims’, 28 February 2013

Clive Coleman, Jimmy Savile scandal: What legal redress for abuse victims?, 11 January 2013

Lisa O’Carroll and Josh Halliday, ‘Jimmy Savile: BBC, hospitals and star's estate face at least 50 damages claims’, 2 November 2012

Lisa O’Carroll, ‘Jimmy Savile's alleged victims set to sue BBC and Stoke Mandeville hospital’, 12 October 2012

BBC Unreliable Evidence documentary – Who’s to Blame?, BBC Radio 4, 15 December 2012

Clive Anderson and guests discuss the legal liability of organisations for crimes or other misbehaviours committed by people who work for them. In the wake of Jimmy Savile and other recent abuse cases, complex legal questions have arisen about who, apart from the perpetrators themselves, should be held to blame - and liable to pay compensation.

You can listen to the programme here:

There is likely to be ongoing coverage of the potential liability claims relating to the abuse by Jimmy Saville, Stuart Hall and others. It’s probably best to keep an eye on the relevant inquires lead by Janet Smith and Linda Dobbs

On Catholic Care Welfare Society v Institute of Brothers of Christian Schools [2012]

BBC News, Catholic teaching institute liable for abuse at school, 21 November 2012 (including an interview with one of the boys who claim they were abused)

Owen Bowcott, Christian Brothers must share sexual abuse compensation costs, court rules, 21 November 2012

Owen Bowcott, Catholic diocese facing abuse claims seeks to share burden of blame, 23 July 2012

Discussed in Meghann McTague, ‘Expanding the Scope’, New Law Journal, 8 February 2013

On JGE v The Trustees of the Portsmouth Roman Catholic Diocesan Trust [2012]

Owen Bowcott, ‘Catholic church loses abuse liability appeal’ 12 July 2012 (on the Court of Appeal decision)

Owen Bowcott, ‘Sexual abuse compensation case to test legal limits of church's liability’, 17 May 2012 (on the Court of Appeal decision)

Riazat Butt, ‘Catholic bishop criticises ruling on church liability for actions of priests’, 15 November 2011 (on the High Court decision)

Riazat Butt and Owen Bowcott, ‘Court to decide Catholic church liability for priest abuse’, 6 July 2011 (on the High Court decision)

On the application of the close connection test (post Lister v Hesley Hall [2001])

Simon Allen, ‘Violent employees and vicarious liability’ Law Society Gazette, 16 February 2012

On Sexism in the Police Force (similar facts to Waters v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis [1997])

Belinda Sinclair talks on Radio 4’s Women’s Hour about 17 years of sexual harassment and sexual discrimination as a Metropolitan police officer. She was awarded £500,000 in compensation.


Catholic Care Welfare Society v Institute of Brothers of Christian Schools [2012]

JGE v The Trustees of the Portsmouth Roman Catholic Diocesan Trust [2012]

Maga v Trustees of the Birmingham Archdiocese of the Roman Catholic Church [2010]

Lister v Hesley Hall [2001]

Back to top