respondeat superior


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respondeat superior

[respon′dē·at]
Etymology: L, let the master answer
the concept that an employer may be held liable for torts committed by employees acting within the scope of their employment.
A legal doctrine that holds an employer liable for an employee’s wrongful or negligent act

respondeat superior

Latin–let the master answer for the servant Medical malpractice A legal doctrine that holds an employer liable for an employee's wrongful or negligent act. See 'Captain of the ship. ', 'Deepest pockets', Malpractice.

res·pon·de·at su·pe·ri·or

(rē-spon'dē-ăt sŭ-pēr'ē-ŏr)
Legal doctrine that makes an employer responsible for an employee's action; sometimes called 'captain of the ship principle' or law of agency.
[L., let the superior take responsibility]

respondeat superior,

n a legal doctrine that passes the legal responsibility for acts or omissions of an employee to the employer.
References in periodicals archive ?
241) Thus, by holding municipalities responsible for injuries caused by their objective deliberate indifference to the conduct of lower level employees, the Supreme Court has recognized that any theory of organizational liability distinct from respondeat superior is incomplete if it is limited solely to the subjective knowledge and mens rea of the organization's highest authorities.
Perhaps most importantly, the Court's denial of respondeat superior liability precludes consideration of all of the ways that government agencies control and shape actions by their employees separate from official policies or customs.
Last, the court responded to the arguments raised by the dissent that the State can be held liable under respondeat superior for violation of a constitutional tort, and explained that such liability is appropriate because the State can avoid misconduct by adequate training and supervision of its officials and employees.
Chamber Inst, for Legal Reform, Reforming Corporate Criminal Liability to Promote Responsible Corporate Behavior 4-5 (2008) (stating that lower courts have mistakenly interpreted New York Central to require them to apply respondeat superior in the criminal context).
Respondeat superior does not apply generally to the agency relationship; such vicarious liability is reserved for the master-servant relationship.
A primary concern with liability imposed via respondeat superior is that companies will be disincentivized to create strong compliance programs "for fear that the return on such an investment will be only to expose the company to increased liability.
An understanding of the present liability system requires an examination of the historical development of the law to bring to light the tension between the generally sound justifications for holding corporations criminally liable and the defective rationale behind the use of a respondeat superior model.
Under the doctrine of respondeat superior, an employer is responsible for an assault committed by its employee even if the employer was not negligent in hiring or retaining the employee.
On March 5, 2003, plaintiff, as special administrator of Simmons' estate, filed a complaint alleging that defendant was liable under a theory of respondeat superior.
Under agency law, even unauthorized posts can be attributed to the employer through legal doctrines such as respondeat superior (Latin for "let the master answer").
Frequently, this confusion arises from the failure to appreciate and understand the concept of indirect or vicarious liability embodied in the legal theory of respondeat superior.