vicarious liability


  • 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.

  • Criminal law imparts separate and distinct liability upon each actor considered a person under the law, and therefore a corporation and the corporation’s employee may both
    be charged with having committed exactly the same crime, in addition to any civil liability for which the law imposes.

  • [12] 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.

  • 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.

  • Unless an applicable statute provides otherwise, an actor remains subject to liability although the actor acts as an agent or an employee, with actual or apparent authority,
    or within the scope of employment.

  • An employer may be held liable under principles of vicarious liability if an employee does an authorized act in an unauthorized way.

  • For instance, an employer will be held liable if it is shown that the employee had gone on a mere detour in carrying out their duties, such as stopping to buy a beverage or
    use an automated teller machine while running a work-related errand, whereas an employee acting in their own right rather than on the employer’s business is undertaking a “frolic” and will not subject the employer to liability.

  • 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.

  • [1] The law has developed the view that some relationships by their nature require the person who engages others to accept responsibility for the wrongdoing of those others.

  • [8] 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-delegable duty not to cause a breach of the peace in performing the repossession, or it will be liable for damages even if the repossession is performed by an agent.

  • Vicarious liability is a form of a strict, secondary liability that arises under the common law doctrine of agency, respondeat 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.

  • Parental liability In the United States, the question of parental responsibility generally follows the common law principle that a parent is not civilly liable for injuries
    resulting from a child’s negligence merely because of the parent-child relationship.

  • Employers may also be liable under the common law principle represented in the Latin phrase, (one who acts through another acts in one’s own interests).

  • This requirement means that whether a repossession is performed by the lienholder or by an agent, the repossessor must not cause a breach of the peace or the lienholder will
    be held responsible.

  • [11][10] 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 only the employee is sued, then that employee may seek indemnification from the employer if the conduct was within the course and scope of their employment.

  • [5] For an act to be considered within the course of employment, it must either be authorized or be so connected with an authorized act that it can be considered a mode, though
    an improper mode, of performing it.

  • A company secretary routinely enters into contracts in the company’s name and has administrative responsibilities that would give apparent authority to hire cars.

  • Although the employer is liable under respondeat superior for the employee’s conduct, the employee, too, remains jointly liable for the harm caused.

  • That 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.

  • As the American Law Institute’s Restatement of the Law of Agency, Third § 7.01 states, An agent is subject to liability to a third party harmed by the agent’s tortious conduct.


Works Cited

[‘1. “Religious Tech. Center v. Netcom On-Line Comm., 907 F. Supp. 1361 (N.D. Cal 1995)”. Google Scholar. Retrieved 6 September 2017. citing 3 Nimmer on Copyrihgt § 12.04(A)(1), at 12-70 (1995)
2. ^ Quill, Eoin (2014). Torts in Ireland. Dublin 12:
Gill & Macmillan. p. 506.
3. ^ Sykes, Alan O. (January 1988). “The Boundaries of Vicarious Liability: An Economic Analysis of the Scope of Employment Rule and Related Legal Doctrines”. Harvard Law Review. 101 (3): 563–609. doi:10.2307/1341141. JSTOR
4. ^ “Vicarious Liability, Report No. 56 | Office of Justice Programs”. Retrieved 2021-08-30.
5. ^ Hollis v Vabu [2001] HCA 44, (2001) 207 CLR 21, High Court (Australia).
6. ^ Deatons Pty Ltd v Flew [1949] HCA 60, (1949)
79 CLR 370, High Court (Australia).
7. ^ Hilton v. Thomas Burton (Rhodes) Ltd. [1961] 1 W.L.R. 705.
8. ^ Abrams, Jim (19 December 2005). “Federal Law Puts Brakes on Vicarious Liability for Auto Rental Firms”. Wells Media Group, Inc. Insurance
Journal. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
9. ^ “MBank El Paso, NA v. Sanchez, 836 SW 2d 151 (1992)”. Google Scholar. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
10. ^ Jump up to:a b Freer, Alice B. (1964). “Parental Libality for the Torts of Children”. Kentucky Law
Journal. 53: 254. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
11. ^ “Parental Liability for Damages Caused by Their Children”. Office of Legislative Research. Connecticut General Assembly. 4 February 2011. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
12. ^ “Vicarious Liability”.
LII / Legal Information Institute. Retrieved 2021-08-30.
13. ^ Peebles, K.A. (2011). “Negligent hiring and the information age: How state legislatures can save employers from inevitable liability”. William & Mary Law Review. 53: 1397. Retrieved
6 September 2017.
14. ^ “Lister v. the Romford Ice and Cold Storage Co. Ltd”. Internet Archive. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
15. ^ Meah, Nafees; Petchey, Philip (January 2005). “Liability of Churches and Religious Organizations for Sexual Abuse
of Children by Ministers of Religion”. Common Law World Review. 34 (1): 39–61. doi:10.1350/clwr. S2CID 144364324.
2. H Laski, ‘Basis of Vicarious Liability’ (1916) 26 Yale Law Journal 105
3. Department of Trade & Industry. Company
Law Review: Attribution of Liability (PDF)
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