Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Negligence comments have missed the point

  • Comment

Much has been written on the case of Merrett v Babb (AJ 16/23.8.01) but none seems to have grasped the fundamentals.

Negligence is a direct tort.

That means the perpetrator is liable, not any firm that they may have been working for. An aggrieved party can, and always has been able to, take action against the individual. Merrett v Babb creates no new law.

Being a direct tort also means an employer's insurance company can pursue the individual. A firm's insurance company can pay out on a claim through a firm's professional indemnity insurance and then sue the individual for reimbursement. Most policies contain a clause waiving the insurance company's rights ofsubrogation, as it is called, but it is something employees could well check on.

There is no short cut on this one and the individual must constantly make sure they are covered by appropriate insurance and should not rely on employers, past and present.

Malcolm C Nickolls Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.