The Lister V. Hesley Hall Ltd Case

1226 Words5 Pages
The Lister v Hesley Hall Ltd case was first tried in 1999 and when turned down, appealed to and taken up with the House of Lords whose resounding decision overturned the Salmond test and for the first time explicitly brought about the test to determine a close connection related to employment. Many instances of cases where the test had been implemented existed, such as the Lloyd v Grace, Smith & Co case and the Morris v C W Martin & Sons Ltd and others, though till the time of Lister v Hesley Hall which was only implicitly realized. Axeholme House, a boarding annex of the Wilsic Hall School owned and managed by Hesley Hall Ltd, opened in 1979 and from that time till 1982, the plaintiffs, who were part of the approximately 18 boys all of whom were aged between 12 and 15 years, lived there. Children who were emotionally and behaviorally challenged attended the school. Mr and Mrs Grain were maintained as warden and housekeeper there. The warden's duties, since he was the authority in the boarding house, enabled him to commit indecent acts on the teenagers for his own gratification, causing psychological suffering to the affected. The defendants claim acceptance that they knew of sexual abuse being a reality in the environment of a boarding school, and also that the warden sexually abused the claimants, though unbeknownst to them, in the guise of mutual masturbation, oral sex and buggery. This was gradually administered after getting in the good books of the then students by being lenient with them. The case was opened in the early 1990’s, not during the reign of the warden and his wife who remained there till 1982. And in 1997, the claims against the defendants for injury were issued. The claims had been two-fold: Firstly, th... ... middle of paper ... ...n regarding the Lister v Hesley Hall Ltd case was correct. If it were left as the decision in the Trotman v North Yorkshire County Council case, it could easily have been considered a route which encouraged the committing of sexual abuse. The employer assumed the care for the boys through the warden, and thus a connection was present between the acts of the warden and his employment. The defendants were responsible in taking care of the innocent students, and having taken the aid of the warden, they should have taken precautions hampering such lewd behavior since they knew that such behavior was not unlikely in such institutions. In short, I agree with Atiyah, who in the Vicarious Liability in the Law of Torts wrote: "The master ought to be liable for all those torts which can fairly be regarded as reasonably incidental risks to the type of business he carries on".

More about The Lister V. Hesley Hall Ltd Case

Open Document