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Encyclopedia > Vicarious liability
Tort law II
Part of the common law series
Negligent torts
Negligence  · Negligent hiring
Negligent entrustment  · Malpractice
Negligent infliction of emotional distress
Doctrines affecting liability
Duty of care  · Standard of care
Proximate cause  · Res ipsa loquitur
Calculus of negligence  · Eggshell skull
Vicarious liability  · Attractive nuisance
Rescue doctrine  · Duty to rescue
Comparative responsibility
Duties owed to visitors to property
Trespassers  · Licensees  · Invitees
Defenses to negligence
Contributory negligence
Last clear chance
Comparative negligence
Assumption of risk  · Intervening cause
Strict liability
Ultrahazardous activity
Product liability
Nuisance
Other areas of the common law
Contract law  · Property law
Wills and trusts
Criminal law  · Evidence

Vicarious liability is a form of strict, secondary liability that arises under the common law doctrine of agencyrespondeat superior – the responsibility of the superior for the acts of their subordinate, or, in a broader sense, the responsibility of any third party that had the "right, ability or duty to control" the activities of a violator. It can be distinguished from contributory liability, another form of secondary liability, which is rooted in the tort theory of Enterprise Liability. Image File history File links Scale_of_justice. ... Tort is a legal term that means a civil wrong, as opposed to a criminal wrong, that is recognized by law as grounds for a lawsuit. ... This article concerns the common-law legal system, as contrasted with the civil law legal system; for other meanings of the term, within the field of law, see common law (disambiguation). ... Negligence is a legal concept usually used to achieve compensation for accidents and injuries. ... Negligent hiring isa cause of action in tort law that arises where one party is held liable for negligence because they placed another party in a position of authority or responsibility, and an injury resulted because of this placement. ... Negligent entrustment is a cause of action in tort law that arises where one party (the entrustor) is held liable for negligence because they negligently provided another party (the entrustee) with a dangerous instrumentality, and the entrusted party caused injury to a third party with that instrumentality. ... For other uses, see Malpractice (disambiguation). ... The tort of negligent infliction of emotional distress (NIED) is a controversial legal theory and is not accepted in many United States jurisdictions. ... In law, a duty of care is the legal requirement that a person exercise a reasonable standard of care to prevent injury of others. ... In tort law, the standard of care is the degree of prudence and caution required of an individual who is under a duty of care. ... In the law, a proximate cause is an event sufficiently related to a legally recognizable injury to be held the cause of that injury. ... Res ipsa loquitur is a legal term from the Latin meaning literally, The thing itself speaks but is more often translated The thing speaks for itself. The doctrine is applied to tort claims which, as a matter of law, do not have to be explained beyond the obvious facts. ... In the United States, the calculus of negligence or learned hand rule is a term coined by Judge Learned Hand and describes a process for determining whether a legal duty of care has been breached (see negligence). ... The eggshell skull rule (or thin-skull rule) is a legal doctrine used in both tort law and criminal law that holds an individual liable for all consequences resulting from their activities leading to an injury to another person, even if the victim suffers unusual damages due to a pre... Under the attractive nuisance doctrine of the law of torts, a landowner may be held liable for injuries to children trespassing on the land if the injury is caused by a hazardous object or condition on the land that is likely to attract children, who are unable to appreciate the... The rescue doctrine of the law of torts holds that, where a tortfeasor creates a circumstance that places the tort victim in danger, the tortfeasor is liable not only for the harm caused to the victim, but also the harm caused to any person injured in an effort to rescue... A duty to rescue is a concept in the law of torts that arises in a narrow number of cases, describing a circumstance in which a party can be held liable for failing to come to the rescue of another party in peril. ... Comparative responsibility is a doctrine of tort law that compares the fault of each party in a law suit for a single injury. ... In the law of torts, property, and criminal law a trespasser is a person who is trespassing on a property, that is, without the permission of the owner. ... A licensee is a term used in the law of torts to describe a person who is on the property of another, despite the fact that the property is not open to the general public, because the owner of the property has allowed the licensee to enter. ... An invitee is a term used in the law of torts to describe a person who is on the property of another because that property owner has chosen to hold the property open to some portion of the general public, because the owner of the property has allowed the licensee... Contributory negligence is a common law defence to a claim or action in tort. ... The last clear chance is a doctrine in the law of torts that is employed in contributory negligence jurisdictions. ... Comparative negligence is a system of apportioning recovery for a tort based on a comparison of the plaintiffs negligence with the defendants. ... Insert non-formatted text here Assumption of risk is a defense in the law of torts, which bars a plaintiff from recovery against a negligent tortfeasor if the defendant can demonstrate that the plaintiff voluntarily and knowingly assumed the risks at issue inherent to the dangerous activity participated in. ... An intervening cause is a potential defense to the tort of negligence, if it is an unforseeable, and therefore superseding intervening cause, rather than a foreseeable intervening cause. ... Strict liability is a legal doctrine in tort law that makes a person responsible for the damages caused by their actions regardless of culpability (fault) or mens rea. ... An ultrahazardous activity in the common law of torts is one that is so inherently dangerous that a person engaged in such an activity can be held strictly liable for injuries caused to another person, even if the person engaged in the activity took every reasonable precaution to prevent others... Product liability encompasses a number of legal claims that allow an injured party to recover financial compensation from the manufacturer or seller of a product. ... Nuisance is a common law tort. ... A contract is a legally binding exchange of promises or agreement between parties that the law will enforce. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... This does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... The law of trusts and estates is generally considered the body of law which governs the management of personal affairs and the disposition of property of an individual in anticipation and the event of such persons incapacity or death, also known as the law of successions in civil law. ... Criminal law (also known as penal law) is the body of statutory and common law that deals with crime and the legal punishment of criminal offenses. ... The law of evidence governs the use of testimony (e. ... Strict liability is a legal doctrine in tort law that makes a person responsible for the damages caused by their actions regardless of culpability (fault) or mens rea. ... Secondary liability arises when one party is held legally responsible for the actions of another party. ... This article concerns the common-law legal system, as contrasted with the civil law legal system; for other meanings of the term, within the field of law, see common law (disambiguation). ... Agency is an area of Commercial law dealing with a contractual or quasi-contractual tripartite set of relationships when an Agent is authorised to act on behalf of another (called the Principal) to create a legal relationship with a Third Party. ... Respondeat superior, Latin for let the master answer, is a legal doctrine which states that an employer is responsible for employee actions performed within the course of the employment. ... Tort is a legal term that means a civil wrong, as opposed to a criminal wrong, that is recognized by law as grounds for a lawsuit. ... Enterprise Liability is the concept of holding liable an entire industry instead of just a particular manufacturer. ...

Contents

Employers' liability

Employers are vicariously liable, under the respondeat superior doctrine, for negligent acts or omissions by their employees in the course of employment. For an act to be considered within the course of employment it must either be authorised or be so connected with an authorised act that it can be considered a mode, though an improper mode, of performing it. Courts sometime distinguish between an employee's "detour" or "frolic:" an employer will be held liable if it is shown that the employee had gone on a mere detour in carrying out their duties, whereas an employee acting in his or her own right rather than on the employer's business is undertaking a "frolic" and will not subject the employer to liability. Neither, generally, will an employer be held liable for assault or battery committed by employees, unless the use of force was part of their employment (e.g. police officers, nightclub bouncers), or they were in a field likely to create friction with persons they encountered (e.g. car re-possessors). However, the employer of an independent contractor is not held vicariously liable for the tortious acts of the contractor, except where the contractor injures someone to whom the employer owes a non-delegable duty of care, such as where the employer is a school authority and the injured party a pupil. Respondeat superior, Latin for let the master answer, is a legal doctrine which states that an employer is responsible for employee actions performed within the course of the employment. ... At common law, battery is the tort of intentionally (or in Australia negligently) and voluntarily touching another person without lawful excuse or justification. ... An independent contractor is a person or business which provides goods or services to another entity under terms specified in a contract. ...


Employers are also liable under the common law principle represented in the Latin phrase, "qui facit per alium facit per se", i.e. the one who acts through another, acts in his or her own interests and it is a parallel concept to vicarious liability and strict liability in which one person is held liable in Criminal Law or Tort for the acts or omissions of another.


Principals' liability

The owner of an automobile can be held vicariously liable for negligence committed by a person to whom the car has been loaned, as if the owner was a principal and the driver his or her agent, if the driver is using the car primarily for the purpose of performing a task for the owner. Courts have been reluctant to extend this liability to the owners of other kinds of chattel. For example, the owner of a plane will not be vicariously liable for the actions of a pilot to whom he or she has lent it to perform the owner's purpose.


One example is in the case of a bank, finance company or other lienholder performing a repossession of an automobile from the registered owner for non-payment, the lienholder has a non-delegatable duty not to cause a breach of the peace in performing the reposession, or it will be liable for damages even if the reposession is performed by an agent. This requirement means that whether a reposession is performed by the lienholder or by an agent, the reposessor must not cause a breach of the peace or the lienholder will be held resonsible. This requirement not to breach the peace is held upon the lienholder even if the breach is caused by, say, the debtor objecting to the reposession or resists the repossession. In the court case of MBank El Paso v. Sanchez, 836 S.W.2d 151, where a hired reposessor towed away a car even after the registered owner locked herself in it, the court decided that this was an unlawful breach of the peace and declared the reposession invalid. The debtor was also awarded $1,200,000 in damages from the bank. The term lienholder is usually used in instances of title of a vehicle (such as an automobile) to refer to the person who has right of property of the vehicle, as opposed to the party that merely has right of possession. ... The term registered owner is usually used in instances of title of a vehicle (such as an automobile) to refer to the person who has right of possession of the vehicle, as opposed to the party that has right of property. ... Court citation is a standard system used in common law countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand and Australia to uniquely identify the location of past court cases in special series of books called reporters. ...


Parental liability

In the United States, the question of parental responsibility generally and the issue of parental vicarious liability for the torts of their children is evolving. What is clear is that parents can be held liable for their own negligent acts, such as failure to supervise a child, or failure to keep a dangerous instrument such as a handgun outside the reach of their children. In Canada and the United States, the term parental responsibility refers to the potential or actual liability that may be incurred by parents for the behaviour of their children. ... A Browning 9 millimeter Hi-Power Ordnance pistol of the French Navy, 19th century, using a Percussion cap mechanism Derringers were small and easily hidden. ...


The liability of corporations in tort

In English law, a corporation can only act through its employees and agents so it is necessary to decide in which circumstances the law of agency or vicarious liability will apply to hold the corporation liable in tort for the frauds of its directors or senior officers. If liability for the particular tort requires a state of mind, then to be liable, the director or senior officer must have that state of mind and it must be attributed to the company. In Meridian Global Funds Management Asia Limited v Securities Commission [1995] 2 AC 500, two employees of the company, acting within the scope of their authority but unknown to the directors, used company funds to acquire some shares. The question was whether the company knew, or ought to have known that it had acquired those shares. The Privy Council held that it did. Whether by virtue of their actual or ostensible authority as agents acting within their authority (see Lloyd v Grace, Smith & Co. [1912] AC 716) or as employees acting in the course of their employment (see Armagas Limited v Mundogas S.A. [1986] 1 AC 717), their acts and omissions and their knowledge could be attributed to the company, and this could give rise to liability as joint tortfeasors where the directors have assumed responsibility on their own behalf and not just on behalf of the company. English law is a formal term of art that describes the law for the time being in force in England and Wales. ... Corporate redirects here. ... A privy council is a body that advises the head of state of a nation, especially in a monarchy. ...


So if a director or officer is expressly authorised to make representations of a particular class on behalf of the company, and fraudulently makes a representation of that class to a Third Party causing loss, the company will be liable even though the particular representation was an improper way of doing what he was authorised to do. The extent of authority is a question of fact and is significantly more than the fact of an employment which gave the employee the opportunity to carry out the fraud. In Panorama Developments (Guildford) Limited v Fidelis Furnishing Fabrics Limited [1971] 2 QB 711, a company secretary fraudulently hired cars for his own use without the knowledge of the managing director. A company secretary routinely enters into contracts in the company's name and has administrative responsibilities that would give apparent authority to hire cars. Hence, the company was liable.


Criticisms of vicarious liability

As Vicarious Liability does not place Liability on the tortfeasor, but rather on someone who is supposed to have control over the tortfeasor, Vicarious Liability tends to go against the legal principle of natural justice. The principle of vicarious liability can also be bypassed with a legal instrument known as Employers Indemnity. When an employer is successfully sued, they have the option of suing the tortfeasor for an indemnity to recover the damages back. This principle is greatly criticised when used in the case of Lister v Romford Ice Cold Storage Natural justice is a legal philosophy used in some jurisdictions in the determination of just, or fair, processes in legal proceedings. ...


References

Department of Trade & Industry. Company Law Review: Attribution of Liability [1]


  Results from FactBites:
 
NationMaster - Encyclopedia: Vicarious liability (3316 words)
However, the employer of an independent contractor is not held vicariously liable for the tortious acts of the contractor, except where the contractor injures someone to whom the employer owes a non-delegable duty of care, such as where the employer is a school authority and the injured party a pupil.
The owner of an automobile can be held vicariously liable for negligence committed by a person to whom the car has been loaned, as if the owner was a principal and the driver his or her agent, if the driver is using the car primarily for the purpose of performing a task for the owner.
Vicarious liability arises where the wrongful action or omission is not primarily attributable to the charity or its trustees themselves personally but the law nevertheless holds them liable for the misconduct of those whom they control.
Indirect Liability on the Internet and the Loss of Control (4126 words)
Vicarious liability is an outgrowth of old doctrines: parents responsible for the acts for their children, employers responsible for the acts of their employees.
The entity directly liable for infringement may be referred to as the "primary infringer." In the present context, the primary infringer is usually the ISP subscriber, or user.
Vicarious liability derives from agency principles of respondeat superior, and will be imposed on a defendant that (1) has the right and ability to control the infringing acts of another, and (2) receives a direct financial benefit from the infringement.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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