vicarious liability

Vicarious liability is a type of “strict liability” or “secondary liability,” however unlike strict liability, vicarious obligation derives from the principal’s relationship with the wrongdoer, whereas strict liability arises from the wrong itself. It refers to one person’s responsibility for the wrongdoings of another. When it comes to vicarious liability, the usual norm is that everyone is responsible for his or her own wrongdoing. However, in some circumstances, a person may be held accountable for the actions of another. An employer, for example, may be held accountable for the torts committed by his employees. Similarly, a master is responsible for any tort committed by a servant while on the job. Because, unlike contributory infringement, knowledge is not an element of vicarious liability, it can be distinguished from contributory liability, another type of secondary liability founded in the tort theory of business liability.

In general, a person is responsible for his own wrongdoings and is not liable for the wrongdoings of others, but in some instances, he may be held liable for the torts perpetrated by others. This is referred to as ‘vicarious liability,’ or liability incurred on behalf of, or in place of, another. Liability of the principal for the torts of his agent, liability of partners for each other’s torts, and liability of the master for the torts of his servant are all common examples of this type of liability. Vicarious liability refers to situations in which one person is held liable for the actions of another. And the person who is liable must be superior to the other. The wrongdoer must be acting in the course of his or her employment. For vicarious responsibility, the course of employment is critical.

The term “vicarious responsibility” refers to a liability incurred by A to C as a result of B’s actions or conduct. ‘We talk of vicarious liability when the law holds one person liable for the misdeeds of another while he is free from personal blameworthiness or guilt,’ according to the Jowitt Dictionary of English Law. The basic premise was that a person should be held accountable for his own mistakes. Plato, in his rules, also argued that a person should be held accountable for his own sins. However, in England following the Norman Conquest, it was firmly established in the 13th century that a master would be accountable for the torts of his subordinates or slaves only if the master gave an express direction to the servants wrong.

Due to an increase in business activities in the 17th century, this limited kind of liability was proven to be insufficient. As a result, in the case Tuberville v. Stamp in 1697, Sir John Holt concluded that if the master had delivered his implied instruction, the master would be accountable for his servant’s tort.

“Liability for the acts of others” is how the doctrine of “vicarious liability” is commonly referred to. The word “vicious” comes from the Latin word “vice,” which means “in the place of.” This term refers to a person’s accountability for another’s tort in which he had no involvement. It can be based on the common law or a statute.

In the 1880s, English jurist Frederick Pollock is said to have coined the word. “A concept used to impose strict liability on a person who does not have primary liability, that is, who is not at fault,” according to the dictionary. It is not a tort to be held liable for someone else’s actions. It literally indicates that one person is answerable for another’s wrongdoings. The boss is liable for his employee’s wrongdoings.

As a result, vicarious liabilities only apply to situations in which a person is held liable for the actions of another person. It is an exception to the usual rule that a person is only accountable for his own actions.

The notion of vicarious liability is based on two legal maxims: ‘qui facit per se alium facit perse,’ which means ‘He who does an act through another is judged to do it himself in law.’ As a result, anytime a person authorises another person to act on his behalf, if any responsibility emerges as a result of that conduct, the person who granted the authorization will be held vicariously liable because, according to the law, he did that act himself through another person and therefore will be liable. The second maxim is ‘respondeat superior,’ which states that a superior must account for his subordinates’ actions. As a result, anytime a subordinate does an act for another person, the other person, who is his superior, will be held vicariously accountable for the wrongs that result from the act.

Vicarious liability refers to situations in which one person is held liable for the actions of another. And the person who is liable must be superior to the other. The wrongdoer must be acting in the course of his or her employment. For vicarious responsibility, the course of employment is critical. As Salmond points out, “in general, a person is liable only for his own acts, but there are extraordinary instances in which the law imposes vicarious responsibility on him for the acts of others, however blameless he may be.”

Constituents of Vicarious Liability

As a result, the components of vicarious liability are:

  • There must be some form of relationship.
  • The wrongdoing must be connected to the connection in some way.
  • The error occurred during the course of employment.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

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The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

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We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.

We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge

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