Mr Grain was appointed warden and supervisor and had to take care of the children as if they where home. They where sexually abused by Mr Grain in many different ways .A few years later in 1990 Grain was sentenced for 7 years of imprisonment and in 1997, the appellants claimed for personal injury against the employers.
The House of Lords held the employers" vicariously liable. .
Vicarious liability is legal responsibility imposed on an employer, although he is himself free from blame, for a tort committed by his employee in the course of his employment. (14 reference).
This essay is concerned in showing whether the decision made by the House of Lords was fairly given or not. In addition that it is going also to consider the broader policy of the decision.
According to Salmond: a wrongful act is deemed to be done by a "servant" in the course of his employment if "it is either (a) a wrongful act authorised by the master, or (b) a wrongful and unauthorised mode of doing some act authorised by the master": Salmond on Torts, 1st ed (1907), p 83; and Salmond and Heuston on Torts, 21st ed (1996), p 443. Situation (a) causes no problems. The difficulty arises in respect of cases under (b). Salmond did, however, offer an explanation which has sometimes been overlooked. He said (Salmond on Torts, 1st ed, pp 83-84) that "a master . . . is liable even for acts which he has not authorised, provided they are so connected with acts which he has authorised, that they may rightly be regarded as modes - although improper modes - of doing them".
But Steyn and Lord Millett argued that Salmon's test does not find a proper answer for the problems of vicarious liability related to intentional wrongdoing. Mr grain had to take care of the children, and the sexual abuse wasn"t called by his employer, it was the exact opposite of what he was authorised to do by his employers but nonetheless the House of Lords held them guilty of vicarious liability.