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The Supreme Court has held that a supermarket was liable for an employee’s unprovoked violent assault on a customer. Overturning the decision of the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court found that there was a sufficiently close connection between the assault and the employee’s job of attending to customers and therefore the employer should be held liable.

In another case that possibly makes more sense, the Ministry of Justice was held liable for the negligence of a prisoner working in a kitchen. Here the Ministry of Justice was held liable for the negligence of a prisoner who whilst working in the prison kitchen had dropped a sack of rice causing injury to an employee of the prison.

This was because the prisoner carried on an activity for the prison’s benefit as an integral part of its business, and therefore the MOJ, in assigning those activities to that individual (the prisoner) had created a risk of the damage being caused to the employee.

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