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Chapter

Cover Business Law

13. Responsibilities of Employers for the Torts of Employees and Statutory Duties  

This chapter identifies the doctrine of vicarious liability and its potential impact on employers. An employer faces vicarious liability when an individual engaged by it to perform some function for the business commits a tort; if this occurs within the course of employment and the individual engaged has the employment status of an employee, the employer may be jointly liable with the tortfeasor. The doctrine was developed, through the courts, to ensure that injured persons are compensated for losses sustained as a result of a negligent or wrongful act, with the obligation being placed on the employer to compensate and further to prevent any future torts being committed. The chapter considers the liability of those producing, supplying, marketing, and importing goods that contain defects which cause damage or loss.

Chapter

Cover Street on Torts

24. Vicarious liability  

This chapter examines the provisions of tort law on vicarious liability. It discusses the distinction between employees and independent contractors and explains that an employer is liable ordinarily only for the torts of his employees. However, the courts have started to impose vicarious liability with respect to other types of relationship that are ‘akin to employment’. In all cases, the tort should have been committed either in the course of employment or with sufficient connection to the employment. The chapter considers also the breach of non-delegable duty. Finally, it considers various justifications for the imposition of stricter liability in tort law.

Chapter

Cover Lunney & Oliphant's Tort Law

14. Vicarious Liability  

Donal Nolan and Ken Oliphant

The law of vicarious liability traditionally operates so as to impose liability on an employer for the tort of an employee, but several conditions must be satisfied. This chapter discusses the development of and justification for vicarious liability; the relationships that trigger vicarious liability, including the employment relationship and relationships ‘akin to employment’; and the requirement that the tort be committed in the course of employment for vicarious liability to arise. The chapter also considers the primary liability of an employer for the conduct of an employee or independent contractor, arising out of breach of a non-delegable duty of care.

Chapter

Cover Tort Law: Text and Materials

15. Vicarious Liability  

The law of vicarious liability traditionally operates so as to impose liability on an employer for the tort of an employee, but several conditions must be satisfied. This chapter discusses the development of and justification for vicarious liability; the employment relationship and relationships ‘akin to employment’; and the requirement that the tort be committed in the course of employment for vicarious liability to arise. The chapter also considers primary liability of an employer for the conduct of an employee or independent contractor, arising out of breach of a non-delegable duty of care.

Chapter

Cover Casebook on Tort Law

18. Vicarious liability  

Vicarious liability is a system whereby an employer is liable for the torts of his employees committed in the course of employment. The principle of placing liability on the employer as well as upon the individual tortfeasor is mainly justified by the concept of loss distribution; that is, that the employer will usually be better able to distribute the loss, either through insurance or through his customers. This chapter begins with a definition of an employee. It then discusses the liability of the employee; how an employer is liable for the torts of his employee only if the act is committed ‘in the course of his employment‘; and liability for independent contractors.

Chapter

Cover Tort Law Concentrate

9. Employers’ liability and vicarious liability  

This chapter discusses both common law and statute on employers’ liability and vicarious liability. Employers’ liability is concerned with the employer’s personal, non-delegable duty in respect of the physical and psychological safety of his employees. This was established in Wilsons and Clyde Coal v English (1938) and is reinforced by the statutory requirement that employers have compulsory insurance. Vicarious liability involves the employer being liable to a third party for the tort of his employee. This must occur in the course of employment, a concept which was redefined in Lister v Hesley Hall (2002). The employment relationship has been re-examined in the light of institutional child abuse cases.