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Negligence & Vicarious Liability

Posted on March 12, 2018 | Posted in Civil Litigation, Five Liners

Sataur v. Starbucks Coffee Canada 2017 Ont CA

The plaintiff sued 2 employees and Starbucks arising out of damages incurred from a coffee spill. The motions judge dismissed the action against the employees, holding that, as a general rule, employees are not liable for what they do within the scope of their employment on behalf of their employer corporation. The Court of Appeal reversed, holding that the rule was just the opposite: a plaintiff has the right to sue a negligent person, regardless whether that person was working for someone else. The employer might also be vicariously liable for the acts of its employees, but the employees are still liable if negligent. Further, it was not an abuse of process to join the employees for the purposes of discovery.


Jonathan Speigel


Written by Jonathan Speigel, the founding partner of Speigel Nichols Fox LLP, leads the litigation and construction practices.



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