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Chapter

Cover Card & James' Business Law

16. Vicarious liability  

This chapter examines the doctrine of vicarious liability. It explains that vicarious liability is not a tort in its own right, but is a means whereby a party can be held liable for the tortious acts of another. Vicarious liability can arise through a number of relationships, the most common being that of employer and employee. The traditional requirements for vicarious liability are discussed, namely (i) the existence of an employer–employee relationship; (ii) the employee must have committed a tort; and (iii) the tort must have been committed in the course of the employer’s business. Finally, the chapter looks at defences available to an employer who has been held vicariously liable for the acts of an employee.

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 Card & James' Business Law

15. Business-related torts  

This chapter examines the different types of torts that can affect businesses. A number of these torts (namely product liability, and wrongful interference with goods) aim to protect persons’ usage of goods, whereas other torts (such as nuisance, and the tort in Rylands v Fletcher) are more about protecting persons’ enjoyment of land and property. The tort of occupiers’ liability discusses the duties that are owed by persons who occupy land to those who are present on that land (both lawful visitors and non-lawful visotors). The chapter also discusses the protection of more abstract interests, such as how the law of defamation seeks to protect a person’s reputation. In addition, a number of other torts are discussed, including employers’ liability, and breach of statutory duty.