Case Analysis SAMPLE CC

Case Analysis SAMPLE CC - Introduction Sweeney v Boylan...

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Introduction Sweeney v Boylan Nominees 1 gave the courts another opportunity to consider the principles of vicarious liability and the basis for its establishment. The case also allowed for a consideration upon what the grounds are for its determination, and whether or not these could be widened. Brief facts The appellant, Mrs Sweeney, entered a convenience store to purchase a carton of milk; she became injured however when the door to the fridge she had opened came off and fell on her head. 2 The fridge had been serviced that day by Boylan Nominees Pty Ltd, who had sent a Mr Comninos to carry out repairs. The main issue of the case thus becomes the nature of the relationship between Mr Comninos and Boylan, and beyond the usual distinction between employee/independent contractors, whether or not agency principles could be applied to the facts as a means of extending and establishing vicarious liability. 3 Ratio On a majority decision, the High Court reaffirmed the employee-independent contractor distinction in determining vicarious liability. 4 This not only reinstated that a principal will not be held vicariously liable for the negligent acts of an independent contractor 5 but it also rejected the possibility of any wider principles for determining liability such as those proposed by Kirby J 6 It becomes clear then, that even if that negligent conduct was undertaken to the benefit or advantage of the first, this is not sufficient to establish vicarious liability for the actions of the second. 7 Describe and evaluate the court’s decision Whilst it may not have been a favourable outcome, 8 the decision of Sweeney was certainly in keeping with the history and judgments of this area of case law. The case of CML has never been overruled 9 and it has been upheld and reflected in numerous cases since. 10
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This note was uploaded on 06/10/2011 for the course CLAW 1001 taught by Professor Giuseppe during the Three '11 term at University of Sydney.

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Case Analysis SAMPLE CC - Introduction Sweeney v Boylan...

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