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QLD Commercial Law - Can Employee be Sued Due to Data Breach?

Discussion in 'Commercial Law Forum' started by Matty, 1 February 2016.

  1. Matty

    Matty Active Member

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    Hi,

    If a company had a data breach due to a security flaw in the code by a full-time web developer that works directly for that company, can the web developer be sued directly by the customers or even by the company they work for damages or losses that may occur under Commercial Law?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    Hi Matty, there is a thing called vicarious liability whereby employers are liable for the negligent actions of their employees. So any lawsuit a customer would bring - should be against your employer and if they were to try to sue you directly you could join your employer and claim vicarious liability. Whether or not your employer would be liable would depend on whether you (they) were truly negligent, or whether the breach was due to circumstances outside of your control or due to unforeseeable events.
     
  3. Matty

    Matty Active Member

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    Thanks Sophea for the response. Just one more question. If the employer was found to be negligent, would it be the employer himself or the company that would be liable and, in either case, would the web developer be liable for anything?
     
  4. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    As long as the web developer is an employee and not a contractor (and that can get confusing), I think they will be sheltered by vicarious liability and the employer generally cannot come after the employee to compensate them for their loss. If the employer is a company - the company will be liable. If the employer is a natural person - that person will be liable.
     
  5. Matty

    Matty Active Member

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    Thanks Sophea, you have cleared things up for me. I appreciate your time.
     

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