Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Outline - Torts - VII - Transition - Vicarious Liability

Torts (2005 Fall)


Liability that one person assumes for the acts of another. The vicar was responsible for the actions of his charges (respondeat superior).

  1. Direct Liability – An employer may be liable for negligence in hiring an errant employee.
  2. Respondeat Superior
    1. General Rule
      1. An employer is responsible for any actions of any employee that are foreseeable given the employment.
      2. Ira Bushey - Drunken sailor returning from bar to ship in dry dock opens valve, causing ship to list; conduct was foreseeable because sailors are renowned for drinking, and this sailor was returning “home” to the ship.
    2. Fellow Servant Rule – Employees of the same employer may not sue the employer for each other’s negligence under respondeat superior.
  3. Independent Contractors [Petrovich v. Share Health]
    1. General Rule
      1. No vicarious liability for actions of independent contractors.
      2. Except when there is implied or apparent authority conferred on the contractor by the employer.
    2. Apparent Authority
      1. Principal held itself out as employer of independent contractor as employee instead of contractor.
      2. Victim justifiably relied on this relationship.
    3. Imlied Authority – Employer retains right to control manner of work.

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