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Gregory v Piper - Case Summary

267 words (1 pages) Case Summary

4th Nov 2022 Case Summary Reference this In-house law team

Jurisdiction / Tag(s): UK Law

Legal Case Summary

Gregory v Piper [1829] 9 B & C 591

Trespass & Vicarious Liability


Gregory (G) owned a pub called the Rising Sun with a stable-yard in the back which could be accessed by a back gate through Old King’s Yard. Piper (P) owned the property surrounding Old King’s Yard and disputed G’s right to pass through the yard to his stable. P employed a labourer (S) to lay down a quantity of rubbish, consisting of bricks, mortar, stones, and dirt, near G’s stable-yard, in order to obstruct the way. Part of this rubbish rolled against G’s wall and gates, and G refused to remove it. G raised an action of trespass against G.


The issue in question was whether a master could be liable for the trespass which occurred as a result of instructions the master gave to another in his employment. P claimed he could not be held liable because he had instructed S not to let the rubbish touch the wall, and the fact that the rubbish resulted in a trespass of G’s property was due to negligence on S’s part.


A master is liable in trespass for any act done by his servant in the course of executing his orders with ordinary care. P was therefore liable for trespass as it was a probable and foreseeable result of the S‟s act which P had instructed S to do. The trespass was a necessary or natural consequence of the act ordered to be done by P, therefore making P as the employer liable.

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UK law covers the laws and legislation of England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Essays, case summaries, problem questions and dissertations here are relevant to law students from the United Kingdom and Great Britain, as well as students wishing to learn more about the UK legal system from overseas.

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