Joint Tortfeasorship

The concept of a limited company being a separate legal entity, was firmly established in the case of Salomon v Salomon.

Sullivan v Sullivan in essence, dictates that a limited liability company is liable for its goods and services but not the individual directors, so if you were keen to bring an action against the company, we cannot bring a claim against an individual.

But this is not the case with trademarks, patterns, registered designs and designs.

In English law, we have the wonderful concept called joint liability which is also known as joint tortfeastorship.

The relevant law here can be summarised by Lord Toulson in Fish & Fish v Sea Shepherd UK [2015] AC 1229 at [21] as follows:

“D will be jointly liable with P if they combined to do or secure the doing of acts which constituted a tort. This requires proof of two elements. D must have acted in a way which furthered the commission of the tort by P; and D must have done so in pursuance of a common design to do or secure the doing of the acts which constituted the tort. I do not consider it necessary or desirable to gloss the principle further.”

Therefore apply the above quote to the situation you may have, ask yourself the following questions:

If you can support the above with evidence, then the test for joint liability ought to have been established and you may be able to take action against the individual as well as the individual.

If you would like further information, please get in touch with our Michael Coyle and the rest of the Lawdit team.

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