Cassidy v Ministry of Health

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Cassidy v Ministry of Health
CourtCourt 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. [1] 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[2] where it had been suggested that a surgeon was not the 'servant' of his employer.


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,[3]

He also noted,[4] that where a patient selects the doctor, then the doctor will not be employed by a hospital.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Cassidy v Ministry of Health; CA 1951 -". 2015-07-07. Retrieved 2016-12-02.
  2. ^ [1947]
  3. ^ [1951] 2 KB 343, 361
  4. ^ [1951] 2 KB 343, 362


External links[edit]