Robert Weir QC in Court of Appeal victory establishing prison service vicariously liable for prisoner at work

In Cox v Ministry of Justice [2014] EWCA Civ 132  Robert Weir QC and Robert O’Leary acted for a catering manager at HMP Swansea injured by a prisoner, who was engaged in kitchen work. Although prisoners are not employed by the prison, the Court of Appeal found that the relationship was sufficiently akin to employment in this context: in particular, the activity being carried on by the prisoner was part of the MoJ’s activity in running the catering department of the prison. As the MoJ took the benefit of assigning the prisoner to this work, it also took the burden and was vicariously liable for the prisoner’s negligence.

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