respondeat superior – the doctrine wherein liability is imposed on an employer for the acts of its employees committed in the course and scope of their employment, or on a principal for acts of their agent(s)

     This page is continued from Civil Law Self-Help Walkthrough >>>> Section 1 – Torts, Breaches of Contract, and Assessing Liability >>>> Liability >>>> Types of Liabilities Associated with Civil Law >>>> Vicarious Liability:

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respondeat superior:
[Law Latin “let the superior make answer”]
(17c)

1. TortsThe doctrine holding an employer or principal liable for the employee’s or agent’s wrongful acts committed within the scope of the employment or agency. — aka master-servant rule.
See SCOPE OF EMPLOYMENT. [1]

1. The doctrine under which amiability is imposed upon an employer for the acts of his employees committed in the course and scope of their employment. 35 Am J1st M & S § 543.

The tort liability of a principal for the act of his agent is based, not on the agency relationship, but on the relation of employer and employee, and is expressed by the maxim “respondeat superior.” 3 Am J2d Agency § 261. [2]

1. Means “let the master respond.”  The doctrine under which liability is imposed upon an employer for the acts of its employees committed in the course and scope of their employment.  Similarly, respondeat superior makes a principal liable for a tort committed by her agent, and a master responsible for the negligence of his servant.
See borrowed servant rule.
See also course of employment; scope of employment. [3]

     Excerpt from W. Page Keeton et al.’s Prosser and Keeton on the Law of Torts § 69, at 500 (5th ed. 1984):

     “Most courts have made little or no effort to explain the result, and have taken refuge in rather empty phrases, such as ‘he who does a thing though another does it himself,’ or the endlessly repeated formula of ‘respondeat superior,’ which in itself means nothing more than to ‘look to the man higher up.’ [4]

References:

Disclaimer: All material throughout this website is compiled in accordance with Fair Use.

[1]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black & Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-62130-6

[2]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary with Pronunciations
Third Edition
 by James A. Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Edited by William S. Anderson.  © 1969 by THE LAWYER’S CO-OPERATIVE PUBLISHING COMPANY.  Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 68-30931

[3]:  Ballantine’s Law Dictionary Legal Assistant Edition
by Jack Ballantine 
(James Arthur 1871-1949).  Doctored by Jack G. Handler, J.D. © 1994 Delmar by Thomson Learning.  ISBN 0-8273-4874-6.

[4]: W. Page Keeton et al.’s Prosser and Keeton on the Law of Torts § 69, at 500 (5th ed. 1984).

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