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).
growth of respondeat superior
accountability for the corporation
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
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