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Cassley -v- GMP & Sundance Ltd




[2015] EWHC 722 (QB)

This involved a claim for damages brought by the estate of the Deceased (James Cassley) against his employer (GMP) and its client (Sundance), an Australian mining company, who chartered from Aero-Service (a Congolese based company) a twin engine plane for a flight from Yaounde, Cameroon to Yangadou in the Republic of Congo to convey the Deceased and its Board Directors for an inspection visit to its iron ore mine at Nabeba.  The plane flew into the side of a ridge at Avima with the loss of all on board. This case was heard only weeks after the decision in Dusek v Stormharbour Securities LLP [2015] EWHC 37 (QB) in which an employer was found to be liable for the death of its employee on facts that were superficially similar to the present. The judgment is of significance to the developing field of employer liability in negligence for death of and/or injuries caused by third party carriers to its staff when engaged in overseas travel. In particular, the judgment provides guidance as to the standards of care that are expected, and perhaps more significantly not to be expected, from employers.  The rulings on the need to prove causation of loss are also of considerable interest and importance.

 

The unsuccessful Claimants sought permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal. That application was refused on paper by Tomlinson LJ.  Following an oral renewal of permission hearing the Claimants were refused permission to appeal – see judgment of 8 July 2016 at [2016] EWCA Civ 711.