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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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2 news items

The Punch
Wed, 13 Apr 2016 23:53:22 -0700

In the case of Cassidy v Ministry of Health(1951) 2 QB 343 the English Court of Appeal stated that the relevant consideration in such a situation is whether the doctor was engaged for the purpose of the treatment by the hospital authority or by the ...

Legal Cheek (blog)

Legal Cheek (blog)
Tue, 15 Mar 2016 03:42:49 -0700

Most notably, the doctrine received a wider interpretation in Lord Denning's judgment in Cassidy v Ministry of Health — a case regarding the liability of doctors depending on the existence of a 'contract of service'. In his judgment, Denning advocated ...

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