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Liability for employee’s murder to be decided

In Vaickuviene and others v J Sainsbury plc the Outer House of the Court of Session dismissed an employer’s application to strike out a claim under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, brought by the family of an employee who was murdered at work by a colleague. Whether the employer is vicariously liable for the actions of one employee to another culminating in murder will now proceed to a full hearing. The employer’s argument, that the family of the deceased employee would not be able to establish the sufficiently close connection between the harassment complained of and the offending employee’s employment duties for liability to arise, was rejected.

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