4.3.1 Vicarious Liability - Introduction

Welcome to the third lesson of the fourth topic in this module guide – Vicarious Liability! In certain circumstances it is justified to make an employer liable for the negligent acts of another. The basis for this is that the employer may have control over the employee’s actions, be more capable of rectifying the losses and in any case should bear the risks, as much as the benefits, of his enterprise.

At the end of this section, you should be comfortable identifying the types of relationship and scenario where vicarious liability exists. You should have an appreciation for how this relates to the justification for the imposition of secondary liability in this manner.

The section begins by defining vicarious liability and then moves on to discussion the first of three primary requirements; A relationship of control. Once this has been explored, the section discusses the second requirement of establishing a tortious act. Finally, there is discussion of the requirement that the tortious act must be done in the course of employment. The section concludes with a consideration of employers’ indemnity.

Goals for this section:

  • To understand in which types of scenario vicarious liability should and does arise.

Objectives for this section:

  • To be able to define vicarious liability and the requisite elements to establish it.
  • To understand how the courts have interpreted and defined a relationship of control.
  • To appreciate why the law requires these elements to be established before vicarious liability will be established.

Start the Lecture

We have three lengths of lecture to suit varying study needs. Select one of the options below to get started (if you have already chosen a study level you will see the option highlighted in violet):

Summary Notes Standard Lecture Detailed Lecture

Problem Questions

Each lecture is also accompanied by hands on examples of problem questions for the subject. You can jump directly to the questions below:

Hands on Examples