The Court of Appeal has, this morning, handed down its judgment in the case of Hawley v Luminar Leisure Ltd..
Mr Hawley was visiting a nightclub when one of the doormen hit him so hard he fell to the floor and suffered serious and permanent brain injuries.
The doorman was not employed by the nightclub, but by another company (ASE Security Services Ltd) to whom the nightclub had subcontracted its security.
The Court of Appeal upheld the High Court's finding that the nightclub exercised sufficient practical control over the doorman to make it the "temporary deemed employer" for the purpose of vicarious liability. Important factors taken into account were that the doormen were subject to the nightclub's code of conduct, and the nightclub's manager supervised the doormen both in terms of where they should be stationed, and also on detailed issues such as who should be admitted and what should be done about customers who were proving troublesome.
This case is a useful example of when an organisation to whom an employee is seconded might be regarded as having legal responsibility for that employee. It is part of the developing trend seen in employment agency cases, where implied contracts of employment can arise over a period of time between agency worker and end-user.
Hawley v Luminar Leisure Ltd