Common Law in Southern Africa: Conflict of Laws and Torts Precedents

By Peter B. Kutner | Go to book overview

8
VICARIOUS LIABILITY

Vicarious liability in Southern Africa closely resembles vicarious liability in common law jurisdictions. A decision on whether a person is vicariously liable for injury caused by another typically rests upon the facts of the particular case, but decisions in the following cases have precedential value.


EXISTENCE OF MASTER-SERVANT RELATIONSHIP

In Goldberg v. Durban City Council,1 the plaintiff had been arrested after she failed to respond in court to summonses for traffic offences. She did not appear because she had never been served with the summonses. She was arrested and detained because the process server falsely stated that the summonses had been served. The process server (an off-duty traffic policeman) was liable for unlawful arrest. The plaintiff sought to hold the city council, which prosecuted the traffic offences, vicariously liable.

The council had entered into a written contract with the process server entitled "Contract for the Appointment of Persons to Serve Summonses in Criminal Cases on Behalf of the City Council". One clause provided that, "The contractor hereby acknowledges that he is an independent contractor and not the servant or agent of the Council which is in no way liable for any acts or omissions by the contractor." The court held, nevertheless, that the process server was the council's servant because of the degree of control the council

____________________
1
1970 ( 3) S.A. 325 (N).

-209-

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Common Law in Southern Africa: Conflict of Laws and Torts Precedents
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface ix
  • Introduction 1
  • I - Southern African Precedents for the Conflict of Laws 9
  • 1 - Domicile 11
  • 2 - Jurisdiction 31
  • 3 - Recognition of Foreign Money Judgments 41
  • 4 - Choice of Law 61
  • 5 - Family Law 111
  • II - Southern African Precedents for the Law of Torts 155
  • 6 - Negligence 157
  • 7 - Defences and Apportionment of Damages 181
  • 8 - Vicarious Liability 209
  • 9 - Assessment of Damages 229
  • 10 - Nuisance and Trespass to Land 251
  • 11 - Misrepresentation 255
  • 12 - Economic Loss 267
  • 13 - Passing Off 283
  • 14 - Unlawful Competition 297
  • 15 - Defamation 307
  • 16 - Privacy 341
  • Bibliographic Note 347
  • Principal Works Cited and Abbreviations 349
  • Table of Statutes 353
  • Table of Cases 355
  • Conflict of Laws Index 365
  • Torts Index 369
  • About the Author 373
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