It is humbly contended before the hon’ble Dolly High Court that Streynka Cricket Board (hereinafter referred to be as the ‘defendant’) is not guilty under the tort of vicarious liability. In the matter at hand, it has been wrongfully alleged that the defendant is responsible for the tort of negligence committed by its employee, Neel Bumble. The matter of vicarious liability will be dealt with in the present issue (Issue I), while the matter of sovereign authority will be dealt with in the subsequent issue (Issue II).
Vicarious Liability1 is a legal doctrine that assigns liability for an injury to a person whodid not cause the injury but who has aparticular legal relationship to the person who did act negligently. It is also referred to as imputed Negligence2. It is brought to the fore when an employee does an authorised work in an unauthorised manner3, in the course of his employment4 and his employer is held guilty5.
Negligence6 is a legal wrong that is suffered by someone at the hands of another who fails to take proper care to avoid what a reasonable person would regard as a foreseeable risk. It is breach of duty or a failure of one party to exercise the standard of care required by law, resulting in damage to the party to whom the duty was owed.
It is humbly contended that the defendant cannot be held liable for the tort of vicarious liability 1.1 because the defendant did not authorise Bumble to take charge of the bats or keep one just at the entrance of the pavilion. Bumble was the coach of team Streynka and therefore his only responsibility was to teach the Streynkan players how to play 1.2. Thereafter, he had no role to play in the concerned match; hence, Bumble was not required to handle the match equipment7. Also, following the trip of Baraat Coolie, the petitioner 1 (hereinafter referred to as P1), he kicked the bat as well which might have resulted in his thumb injury, thereby amounting to contributory negligence 1.3. Furthermore, the defendant also has sovereign authority 1.4.
1.1 The defendant was not Vicariously Liable
It is contended that the defendant was not vicariously liable for its employee, Neel Bumble’s negligence because the act committed by the latter was not authorised by the defendant in any manner8. According to the principle of Vicarious Liability9, the employee in question must have done something commanded by his employee in an unlawful or must have done something wrong in the course of his employment10.
So, in this case, it can be inferred that the defendant was not accountable for the deed of Neel Bumble for it had not given him the responsibility of bearing any equipment11.
It is submitted before this hon’ble court that in such circumstances one cannot transfer the blame of keeping the bat, over which P1 tripped, on the defendant.
1.2 Bumble’s Responsibility and Negligence
Neel Bumble was the coach of Team Streynka, which means his responsibility was
primarily limited to teaching the members of the team how to play cricket. Beyond this, he could only, at most, give advice to the team without imposing it. He was not sanctioned to take care or bear the equipment and thus, was not supposed to handle the
bat in question12. Moreover, keeping the bat near the entrance of the pavilion was a negligent act in itself committed by Bumble without the defendant’s authority, since, the bat was not meant to be kept there in the first place.
Therefore, it is humbly submitted that Neel Bumble went beyond his course of employment in executing the aforementioned act.
1.3 Baraat Coolie’s Contributory Negligence
It is a known fact that right after tripping over the concerned bat, P1, following an early loss of wicket in the game, had kicked the bat out of the way in his fit of rage. P1 has alleged that he could not fare well in the subsequent matches due to the thumb injury he accrued as a result of the aforementioned trip; however, keeping in mind the kick that ensued, it can be surmised that the injury, if any, might have resulted from the kick alone. Moreover, Baraat could have reasonably spotted the bat lying ahead of him in the first place. Since the bat was in plain sight, a rational person would be expected to see it and subsequently avoid it. Therefore, there was carelessness on the part of Baraat as well.
Therefore, it is humbly submitted that the claim of injury by P1 can be negated owing to the attribution of contributory negligence by him13.
1.4 The Defendant has Sovereign Immunity
The defendant, SCB, is associated with the Streynkan government, and therefore, has sovereign authority, i.e. it has sovereign immunity14 which exempts it from being sued in the court of law. It also means that the defendant cannot be held liable for a negligent tort committed by its employee. Furthermore, Neel Bumble had delegated authority. This defence will be further enunciated in Issue II.
It is humbly submitted that owing to the fact that the negligent act at hand was unauthorised, and on the behest of sovereign immunity, the defendant cannot be held guilty of vicarious liability.