Director of Company as Joint Tortfeasor

February 6th, 2020

There is liability as a joint tortfeasor if (1) someone has acted in a way that assists the commission of the tort by the primary tortfeasor and (2) he/she did so pursuant to a common design to do or assist with the acts that constituted the tort. Whether that test is met in a particular case is a fact sensitive assessment that will turn on all the relevant circumstances. That law has been restated and applied in Red Bull v Big Horn (2020) EWHC 124 (Ch), at paragraphs 45-48 inclusive, where the primary tortfeasor was a company, and the issue was as to the personal liability of a director. The Judge said that the fact that the alleged tortfeasor was a director of the primary tortfeasor did not exclude liability, nor did it establish that the conditions for joint liability were met. There was liability in this action in the case of the sole director and entirely controlling mind of the company who was directly responsible for the activities and actions of his company vehicle.

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