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William Majrowski v Guy's & St Thomas's NHS Trust

An employer could be vicariously liable in damages under s 3 of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 for a course of conduct by one of its employees that amounted to harassment in breach of s 1 of that Act.

28 July 2006

The appellant NHS trust appealed against the decision ([2005] EWCA Civ 251; [2005] QB 848) that it was vicariously liable in damages to the respondent (M) under s 3 of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 for harassment committed by one of its employees in breach of s 1 of the Act. M, who had been employed by the trust, had alleged that his manager had harassed, bullied and intimidated him while acting in the course of her employment. An investigation by the trust had resulted in a finding that harassment had occurred. M had claimed against the trust for damages under s 3 of the Act based exclusively on the trust’s vicarious liability for its employee’s alleged breach of the statutory prohibition of harassment. The trust, relying on the phrase “damages may be awarded” in s 3 of the Act, submitted that the award of damages under that section was discretionary, and therefore harassment could not be equated with a common law tort. The trust also submitted that the Act was no...

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