X v Kuoni Travel Ltd: watching brief on deliberations in the Supreme Court

BLM’s abuse and travel teams keep a watching brief on the current deliberations in the Supreme Court

Background

The appellant was on a package holiday with her husband in Sri Lanka between 8 and 23 July 2010. The holiday was booked through the Respondent, tour operator.  She was walking to reception in the early hours of 18 July 2010 and came across the on duty electrician, employed by the hotel who was wearing a hotel uniform. He invited her to follow him on a short cut to reception and took her to a room where he sexually assaulted her.  The appellant brought a claim against the Respondent for breach of contract and the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations (SI 1992/3288).

It was held on Appeal (upholding the decision at first instance) that the tour operator was not vicariously liable for an act by a hotel employee falling outside the remit of his employment.  The Court of Appeal further considered that the only “supplier” was a supplier who was in a “contractual or promissory relationship” with the tour operator i.e. the hotel only and not the employees of the hotel. 

The appellant has appealed to the Supreme Court, which was heard yesterday. A detailed blog will be issued as soon as the judgment is handed down.


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Authored by Sarah Murray-Smith, Partner, BLM

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