Common employment

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Common employment was an historical defence in English tort law that said workers implicitly undertook the risks of being injured by their co-workers, with whom they were in "common employment". The US labor law terminology was the "fellow servant rule".


The operation of the doctrine was seen first in Priestly v Fowler in the United Kingdom. In the United States the doctrine was seen in Farwell v. Boston & Worcester R.R. Corp.[1][2]

It was abolished altogether by the Law Reform (Personal Injuries) Act 1948 in the United Kingdom.

The doctrine has been superseded in the United States by worker's compensation laws, by which a worker can file for a quasi-tort, regardless of their co-worker's fault.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 45 Mass. 49 (1842)
  2. ^'s article.