Under What Circumstances Can an Employer Be Held Vicariously Liable for the Torts of His Employees? and Why Should One Person Be Held Liable for the Torts Committed by Others?

Topics: Employment, Tort law, Strict liability Pages: 4 (1419 words) Published: January 12, 2013
The question asked basically has two parts. In the first part of my essay I will try to shed some light on circumstances where an employer can be held liable for the torts of his/her employees. And after that I will focus on some of the reasons why one person is held liable in certain situations for the torts committed by another person. And then I will finally finish the essay with a conclusion at the end. Vicarious liability is where one person is held liable for the torts of another, even though that person did not commit the act itself. For an employer to be held liable for the tort of her/his employees, three conditions must be fulfilled. First, it should be a tort. Second, the one who committed the tort should be an employee. And third, he/she should be working in the course of his job when the tort was committed. Though it looks easy, in practice it is not easy as we think to determine if these conditions are met. Let us take it one by one. The employers can be held liable if only the action committed by the employee was a tort. A tort is a branch of the civil law (as opposed to criminal law) based on a claim that the defendant has caused injury or loss to the claimant by breaking a relevant obligation imposed by the general law.

Having been decided on this, the next thing which needs to be decided is whether the individual who committed the tort is an employee or not. There have been few tests used over the past to determine whether someone is an employee or not. The First of those is the “control test” which was used in Yewens v Noakes (1880) case. When giving his judgment Lord Justice Bramwell said, "a servant is a person who is subject to the command of his master as to the manner in which he shall do his work." So it is clear that, the employer will have control over his employees and also as to how they should do their work too. Due to some of the limitations of the “control test” a new test, “Integration test”, to be specific, was used...
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