Another Case Supporting Contractor vs Principal Liability

In 2006 in Sweeney v Boylan Nominees Pty Limited [2006] HCA 19,  the High Court held that Boylan (the employer) was not vicariously liable for the negligent act of the serviceman mechanic (contractor) when a fridge door the mechanic had serviced fell on an employee.  In respect of the argument that the contractor was acting as an agent of the employer with the employer therefore being liable for the actions of the contractor, the High Court said “[Boylan] did not control the way in which the mechanic worked. The mechanic supplied his own tools and equipment, as well as bringing his skills to bear upon the work that was to be done, the mechanic was not presented to the public as an emanation of [Boylan].”