Vicarious liability in the world of sport

Earlier this year we explored the impact of two recent Supreme Court decisions on vicarious liability in this blog posting, where we focussed on the wider variety of workplace relationships now likely to be within its scope.

We could equally well have pointed out that these decisions are also likely to widen the range of situations where an employer can be held liable for the actions of its employees. The world of sport provides one such example, where there is considerable scope for “off the ball” incidents, whether on the training ground or in the course of outreach activities.

Mills & Reeve sports lawyer Phil Hutchinson has explored these issues in more detail in this article published in Law in Sport (free access but registration required). Among other things he suggests that sports clubs are now more likely to be liable for claims arising from training ground “pranks”, and from off the field activities where third parties come into contact with the club’s sporting stars.

He suggests that clubs check their insurance policies to ensure that adequate cover is provided. They should also make sure all staff are adequately trained on the standards of behaviour expected both on and off the pitch.

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