He held that the defendants could not be held vicariously liable for the warden's torts but that they were vicariously liable for the warden's failure to report to them his intentions to commit acts of abuse and the harmful consequences to the claimants of those acts.
Although the second defendant was driving the van with the permission of his employers, the first defendants, he was not at the time doing that which he was employed to do and, accordingly, the first defendants were not vicariously liable for his negligent driving. since the application of the council's limited resources involved policy-making decisions as distinct from operational decisions, the council cannot be said to have been in breach of any duty of care in having failed to take those decisions. because the extent to which the council provided social *720 services to the public in particular areas was a discretionary or policy decision in respect of the exercise of statutory powers, as distinct from an operational one, if the secondment of additional staff to assist Mr. Walker involved withdrawal of services, the council's policy decision not to disrupt its services merely to enable it to support Mr. Walker could not amount to a breach of duty of care to Mr. Walker. Mr. Hawkesworth relies in particular on the developing distinction between policy decisions and operational decisions enunciated by Lord Wilberforce
The plaintiff contended that such stress and therefore his injury would have been avoided or reduced if the defendant had, before sending him to Caracas, prepared him by a course of training for the severely stressful conditions likely to be encountered.
Foreseeability for present purposes is to be considered only in so far as the degree of remoteness of the harm sustained by the plaintiff set the parameters of the steps that a reasonable person in the position of the defendant would have taken to reduce the risk to the extent that any ‘unnecessary’ risk was eliminated. In practical terms this means that the plaintiff must show that the defendant unreasonably failed to take such steps as would reduce the risk…