Cox v Ministry of Justice (Rev 2) [2014]

Posted In: Case Law
  • Case Reference
    Civ 132
  • Legal Body
    England and Wales Court of Appeal (EWCA)
  • Type of Claim / Jurisdiction
    Health and Safety
Issues covered: Industrial injury; vicarious liability; prisoners

The Ministry of Justice has been held liable for an injury, caused by a prisoner, to a catering manager at a prison kitchen. Ms Cox was in Crown service and therefore was not actually an employee. Neither was the negligent prisoner, although prisoners in the kitchen receive nominal wages. The Court of Appeal looked at previous case law in this area and concluded that the prison service was a quasi employer and that the prison/prisoner relationship might even be more controlled than that of employer/employee:

"Far from there being mutuality or consent in the relationships... there was there and is here an element of compulsion in engaging in the activity directed by the 'quasi employer'."

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This article is correct at 21/02/2014

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