Manton v Cantwell

CourtHouse of Lords (Ireland)
Judgment Date01 January 1920
Date01 January 1920
Respondent (1).












Workmen's Compensation — Casual employment — Fatal accident — Repairing a farmer's residence — “Purposes of the employer's trade or business” — Workmen's Compensation Act, 1906 (6 Ed. 7, c. 58), sect. 13 — Admission of liability to deceased workman — Liability to dependants — Estoppel.

A casual labourer engaged to repair the residence of a farmer is not a workman employed “for the purposes of the employer's trade or business.”

An admission by an employer of his liability under the Workmen's Compensation Act to a workman who subsequently dies from the effects of injuries received in the employment, does not operate as an estoppel in an application by the dependants of the deceased for compensation under the Act.

Appeal from an order of the County Court Judge of Tipperary, awarding the applicant £234 compensation.

Mary Manton, the applicant, was the widow of John Manton, who had been employed by the respondent to thatch his dwelling-house. The deceased, a civil-bill officer, was from time to time employed by farmers at thatching and other operations. On the 24th of May, 1917, he was employed by the respondent, a farmer, to thatch the house in which he resided. On the second day Manton fell from the roof, sustaining injuries which resulted in his death on october 27th, 1917.

An agreement, dated October 9th, 1917, signed by Patrick Cantwell, and on behalf of John Manton, and which had been filed in proceedings taken by Manton in his lifetime against the respondent for compensation under the Workmen's compensation Act, was put in evidence. By this agreement Patrick Cantwell admitted that he was liable to pay compensation under the Workmen's Compensation Act to John Manton in respect of the injury caused by the accident, and he agreed to pay him half wages. Letters of administration granted to Mary Manton in respect of the goods of John Manton were also put in evidence.

It was contended on the part of the applicant that, by reason of the agreement, the respondent was estopped from denying liability, and that on proof that the death of John Manton was due to the accident, the Court was bound to award compensation. The County Court Judge held that as the present applicant was

not a party to the agreement, and did not claim under it, there was no estoppel.

It was contended on behalf of the respondent that Manton's employment was of a casual nature and otherwise than for the purposes of the employer's trade or business; that, therefore, he was not a workman within the Act; and that the applicant was not entitled to compensation. The learned judge held that Manton having been at the time engaged on repairs to the farmhouse where the respondent lived and carried on his business as a farmer, was employed for the purposes of the employer's trade or business.

Carrigan K.C. and Devitt, for the appellant:—

The deceased was employed in thatching the private residence of the appellant, and there is no evidence to show that the house was used in connexion with the business of farming. Johnston v Monasterevan General Store Co. (1) and Cotter v. Johnson (2), authorities that would seem to support the applicant, were considered and distinguished by the Court of Appeal in England in Alderman v. Warren (3). No question of estoppel arises, because the right claimed by the applicant is not as representative of the deceased, but as a dependant under the Workmen's Compensation Act: Williams v. Vauxhall Colliery Co. (4).

Sealy K.C. and Murnaghan, for the respondent:—

The evidence shows that the accident arose out of an operation connected with the trade or business of the employer. Farming is not like a specialized trade, and thatching a house where a farmer has necessarily to reside to carry on his business is an employment...

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7 cases
  • Huxley v Wharncliffe Woodmoor Colliery Company. Ltd
    • United Kingdom
    • House of Lords
    • 19 March 1948
    ...284, a decision of the Court of Appeal, but so far as I am aware this decision which was approved in this House in Manton v. Cantwell [1920] A.C. 781 is not now disputed and it was accepted in argument in this 47But it is said that this principle has no application in the case of an industr......
  • Harpur v Nunn
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 30 March 1944
    ...(7) [1910] 2 K. B. 903. (1) [1902] 1 K. B. 216. (2) 37 S. L. R. 328. (3) 4 F. 249. (4) [1901] 2 I. R. 241. (5) [1909] S. C. 1259. (6) [1920] A. C. 781. (7) [1914] 3 K. B. 1013. (8) [1931] N. I. 38; 65 I. L. T. R. 23. (1) 43 I. L. T. R. (1) 43 I. L. T. R. 114. (2) 6 B. W. C. C. 130. (1) [191......
  • Rankin v Oldcroft
    • Ireland
    • Court of Appeal (Ireland)
    • 1 January 1920
    ...application, holding that thecase was ruled by the decision of the Court of Appeal, dated 27th June, 1918, in Manton v. Cantwell,DLTR 53 I. L. T. R. 97; [1918] 2 I. R. 563, which was cited to him on behalf of the respondent. Neither of the parties knew at the time of the County Court Judge'......
  • Crowley v Sweeney
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 1 January 1943
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