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Chapter

Cover An Introduction to Tort Law

7. Contribution Between Tortfeasors  

Celebrated for their conceptual clarity, titles in the Clarendon Law Series offer concise, accessible overviews of major fields of law and legal thought. This chapter considers cases involving several torts and severable persons who are liable. It describes ‘joint and several liability’, where several different torts may be contributing to the same harm and several persons are liable for what they have independently done, since in principle, everyone whose tortious conduct has contributed to the occurrence of harm is liable to be sued for the full amount of that harm, provided it is indivisible and not too remote. The chapter also discusses how a tortfeasor who is sued and wishes to claim contribution should bring any other supposed tortfeasor into the victim's suit. Likewise, the victim should sue every plausible tortfeasor, because if he brings a second action in respect of the same damage he risks being penalised in costs, and if he loses against one defendant and succeeds against another, he will get all his costs paid by the latter.

Chapter

Cover Street on Torts

25. Capacity and parties  

This chapter examines the issues of capacity and parties in tort law. It explains that capacity refers to the status of legal persons and their ability to sue or be sued in tort and that a claimant’s injury might be caused by more than one person. Examples are given of the capacity to sue and be sued of companies and children. This chapter discusses also the point that any person successfully sued in tort can seek contribution from other joint or concurrent tortfeasors and this can be done in the course of the original action commenced by the claimant, or in separate proceedings between tortfeasors.

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 Business Law

12. Non-Physical Damage and Liability for Economic Loss  

This chapter continues on from the previous chapter in discussing liability in negligence for physical damage and considers the potential liability that businesses and individuals may face when they provide advice in the nature of their business, when they cause economic losses not associated with physical damage, and where the claimant suffers a psychiatric injury or nervous shock due to the acts of the tortfeasor. Recently, there has been an increase in instances of imposing liability on employers for the stress and associated health problems suffered by their employees. In the absence of physical damage, restrictions are placed on the imposition of liability for pure economic loss, although such loss has been widened to include damages for negligent misstatements. Of crucial importance is that businesses are aware of the implications of providing information in the course of their professional activities that may cause an investor or client loss through negligence.