Deatons Pty Ltd v Flew (1949) 79 CLR 370

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  • A barmaid was working when she hit Flew in the face with a glass.
  • Flew tried to sue her employer, Deatons Pty Ltd (Deatons).


  • Could Deatons be held vicarious liable for the actions of the barmaid?


  • No, because the assault did not occur in the course of her employment.
  • The act of the barmaid was not expressly authorised or connected with any authorised act as to be a mode of doing it, but was an independent personal act which was not connected with or incidental in any manner to the work which the barmaid was employed to perform.
  • It was “an act of passion and resentment done neither in furtherance of the master’s interests nor under his express or implied authority nor as an incident to or in consequence of anything the barmaid was employed to do”

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