The Commercial Case Law Index is a collection of judgments from African countries on topics relating to commercial legal practice. The collection aims to provide a snapshot of commercial legal practice in a country, rather than present solely traditionally "reportable" cases. The index currently covers 400 judgments from Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa.
Get started on finding judgments that are relevant to you by browsing the topic list on the left of the screen. Click the arrows next to the topic names to reveal a detailed list of sub-topics. Most judgments are accompanied by a short summary written by subject-matter expert postgraduate students from the University of Cape Town.
This case developed common law to hold an employer liable where one of its employees is sexually harassed by a senior employee.
The court considered the employer’s liability in tort for sexual harassment of its junior employee by a senior employee. The court held that the first and second respondent were jointly and severally liable for the damages suffered by the plaintiff as a result of sexual assault perpetrated against her.
The court applied the rule that an employer is vicariously liable for the actions of its employee when an unlawful act is connected to the conduct authorised by the employer. The court held that the first respondent placed the second respondent in a senior position of trust and thus had the responsibility of ensuring that the second respondent was capable of that trust. This trust created the causal link between the second respondent and the wrongful act and that the employment relationship facilitated the sexual harassment.
The court also found the first respondent liable for imposing a two-week suspension as opposed to dismissing the second respondent for sexual harassment of a younger subordinate.
Accordingly, the court granted the application for damages in the sum of R4 million jointly and severally from the first and second defendant.
This was a second appeal. In the High Court the 1 st respondent successfully sued the
appellant, the 2 nd respondent, 3 rd respondent and 4 th respondent for damages caused to his car
in a collision. The cause of action was founded in negligence on the part of the 3 rd
respondent when driving the appellant's motor vehicle in the course of his employment as
her servant or agent. The appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal against the High Court
decision. She lost the appeal. Consequently, she appealed to this court.
The respondent took his lorry to a garage belonging to one kavuma for repair
and one day while at his home the appellant was informed that his lorry had
been involved in an accident with a mini bus belonging to the appellant. The
appellant brought actions against the respondent in the high court and court of
appeal which failed hence this appeal.
The appellant’s motor vehicle was involved in an accident with a vehicle
belonging to the ministry of defense and brought an action in tort to
recover damages against the respondent in his representative capacity.
The trial court dismissed the appellant’s claim though the respondent had
not filed a defense.
On 29th March, 1998, a frightening incident happened along Hoima Kampala road at Wamika, near Busunju across river Mayanja. In that incident, four medical doctors drawned in river Mayanja. The Motor vehicle, in which they were traveling, namely, Mini-bus, registration number 607 UBK, plunged into the flooded river after the bridge had been swept away by flooding waters
The first plaintiff is son to the deceased doctor. He sued, in the two cases by his next friend. The third and fourth plaintiffs are widows to the deceased doctor. All the suits were instituted for the benefit of the members of the deceased’s’ families
Court observed that the statutory duty which was imposed upon the police under Section 150(b), of the Traffic And Road Safety Act, 1970, and now under section 142 (b) of Cap.316, stems, fundamentally, from the core functions of the Uganda Police Force as set out in article 212, of Constitution and Section 4, of the Police Act, Cap.303. The cardinal functions among all those functions are to protect the life and property of all persons in Uganda and to maintain and preserve law and order throughout the country.
Court was satisfied that the questions of both foreseeability and proximity are not in any doubt in this case. It was easily foreseeable, by the police officers at Busunju, that harm or injury, to the members of the public using the road, would be a likely result from their failure or unwillingness to close the road and divert traffic. Any person of ordinary intelligence and prudence would have anticipated such a danger. Drowning, which was the cause of death to the deceased persons, in this case, was indeed, a proximate consequence. In addition to being in the train of physical causation, it was not outside the range of expectation or probability, as may be viewed by an ordinary person.
It, appeared to court in light of the evidence and the law, as briefly set out above, that the police officers, at Busunju Police Post, breached the absolute statutory duty, imposed upon them by Section 150 (b), of the Traffic And Road Safety Act, 1970. They did so negligently. Furthermore, apart from failing to discharge that statutory duty, the police officers at Busunju Police Post, were also generally negligent. They failed or neglected to provide any warnings or to take any steps to prevent the road users from exposing themselves to the emergent situation which existed at river Mayanja, near Busunju, in the evening hours of 29th March, 1998.
Delict: Claim of damages for sexual assault – proof of delict - liability