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Bank vicariously liable for sexual assaults during company medicals

Makbool Javaid

In Various Claimants v Barclays Bank PLC, the High Court (HC) held that the bank is vicariously liable for alleged sexual assaults by a doctor conducting company medicals for job applicants and employees. Vicarious liability for the acts or omission of an individual is imposed upon a person because of his relationship with that individual, and the connection between that relationship and the act or omission in question. The HC found that the alleged sexual assaults occurred during a medical examination which the bank required the claimants to undergo in respect of present or future employment. The sexual abuse took place when the doctor was engaged in the duties at the time and place required by the Bank, it was inextricably interwoven with his duties required by the Bank and was so closely connected with that employment or engagement as to constitute vicarious liability.

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