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Cassidy v Ministry of Health
Court Court of Appeal
Citation(s) [1951] 2 KB 343, [1951] 1 All ER 574
Case opinions
Denning LJ
Contract of employment

Cassidy v Ministry of Health [1951] 2 KB 343 is an English tort law and UK labour law case concerning the scope of protection for people to employment rights.


Mr Cassidy went to hospital for a routine operation on his hand, but came away with stiff fingers because of the negligence of one of the doctors. He attempted to sue the Ministry of Health in its capacity as employer. The Ministry argued it could not be held responsible and had no vicarious liability, relying partly on Collins v Hertfordshire[1] where it had been suggested that a surgeon was not the 'servant' of his employee.


The Court of Appeal held that the doctor was indeed a servant of the hospital and the Ministry was vicariously liable, because the doctor was integrated into the health organisation. Denning LJ said,[2]

He also noted,[3] that where a patient selects the doctor, then the doctor will not be employed by a hospital.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1947]
  2. ^ [1951] 2 KB 343, 361
  3. ^ [1951] 2 KB 343, 362


External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cassidy_v_Ministry_of_Health — Please support Wikipedia.
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1 news items

Nursing Times
Fri, 25 Oct 2013 03:25:06 -0700

Although hospitals and other healthcare providers have a legal obligation to provide adequate care for their patients (Cassidy v Ministry of Health, 1951), patients do not generally have to accept any offer of treatment. Health professionals sometimes ...

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