Can a contract between a plaintiff and her employer create a relationship which gives rise to tortious duties?

Alberta, Canada


The following excerpt is from Paul Rains Design Build Ltd. v. Choma, 2009 ABQB 515 (CanLII):

The Court of Appeal in Blacklaws v. Morrow went on to state at paragraph 6:– It is correct that a contract between a plaintiff and a defendant’s employer can create a relationship which gives rise to tortious duties. For example, an employee of a home renovation contractor may owe a homeowner a duty of care not to leave hot appliances untended. and not to leave the door unlocked overnight. In fact, anyone who entered the homeowner’s house would arguably owe such a duty. But the employee owes no direct duty to the homeowner in tort to fit interior doors or drawers properly, or to use good quality wood, no matter what any contract says.

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