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Wm Morrisons Supermarket plc v Various Claimants [2020] UKSC 12

By Oxbridge Law TeamUpdated 07/08/2023 23:05

Judgement for the case Wm Morrisons Supermarket plc v Various Claimants

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  • The mere fact that the employee's job provided an opportunity for the wrongful act is not enough to establish vicarious liability.
  • Generally, the employer is not held vicariously liable when the employee's actions were not aimed at advancing the employer's business but instead motivated by a personal vendetta.


  • A senior IT auditor, Andrew Skelton, who was employed by Morrisons (appellant), deliberately copied the personal data of nearly 100,000 employees onto a USB stick. He subsequently uploaded the data to a file-sharing website and notified the media.
  • The leak resulted in substantial harm and distress to the affected employees, who brought a claim against Morrisons for damages.


  • The rationale behind limiting vicarious liability in cases of personal vendettas is to strike a balance between protecting innocent victims and holding employers accountable for their employees' actions.
  • If an employer were held vicariously liable for every wrongful act committed by an employee, even when entirely unrelated to their employment, it could lead to unfair and overly burdensome legal consequences for businesses.
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