Supreme Court to rule on Morrisons' liability over petrol station assault


Supermarket bosses are waiting for a Supreme Court ruling after a member of staff assaulted a motorist at one of their petrol stations.

Ahmed Mohamud - who was assaulted in Small Heath, Birmingham, seven years ago - said Morrisons should have been held responsible for the actions of an employee.

He lost fights in lower courts - including the Court of Appeal.

Now, a panel of five Supreme Court justices has examined the claim.

Justices analysed evidence at a hearing in London in October and are scheduled to deliver a ruling on Wednesday.

Supreme Court officials said Mr Mohamud had died following the launch of the litigation - and a third party had continued the claim in his name.

Detail of the case had emerged in a ruling by Court of Appeal judges in early 2014.

Judges heard how Mr Mohamud had checked his tyre pressure, then asked kiosk assistant Amjid Khan if it was possible to print documents he had on a USB stick.

Mr Khan had been abusive, used racist language then followed Mr Mohamud on to the station forecourt and punched and kicked him.

Mr Mohamud argued the assistant should be regarded as ''wearing the badge'' of Morrisons and ''representing its brand standards''.

But three appeal judges ruled that Morrisons could not be fixed with ''vicarious liability'' for Mr Khan's assault.

One appeal judge, Lord Justice Christopher Clarke, said: ''If the question was simply whether it would be fair and just for Morrisons to be required to compensate Mr Mohamud for the injuries that he suffered, there would be strong grounds for saying that they should.''

He added: ''That is not, however, the test. The question is whether the connection between the assault and the employment was sufficiently close to make it fair and just to hold the employer vicariously liable. The fact that Mr Khan's job included interaction with the public does not, by itself, provide that connection.''

Appeal judges gave no detail of any criminal proceedings which might have resulted from the incident.

They said Mr Mohamud had told how he suffered a head injury which had caused epilepsy and affected his ability to work.