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Understand and Apply the Principles of Liability in Negligence a Business Context - Essay Example

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ABC valuers and surveyors were not independent contractors but rather acted as the agents of the Beach Building Society and ought to be liable for the tort that the agents committed in the course of their duty. …
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Understand and Apply the Principles of Liability in Negligence a Business Context
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A business at a given time is bound to be liable for some acts either it has committed or has been committed by any third party who had the ability, right or duty to control the activities of the business. Example of this relationship is that of employer and employee, or that of a parent and a child. Vicarious liability assigns liability for an injury or loss to a person who did not actually cause the injury but has a special legal relationship to the person who acted negligently (Bermingham and Brennan, 2008, p. 27). As has been noted, a business can at a given time be bound to be liable for some acts, and particularly those committed by another person who has special legal relationship with the business. So, how can a business be vicariously liable? There are different incidences in which a business can be vicariously liable. For example, the owner of a car can be held vicariously liable for negligence that was committed by his driver. In an event that a driver commits a negligent act such as exceeding speed limit and as a results causes an accident, the owner (can be a registered business) of the car may be liable for the loss suffered by the owner of the other car or for the injury suffered by the other person involved in the accident.Vicarious liability in this context is based on the assumption that the owner of the car has provided the car for a particular use, and therefore the operator of the car is acting as the agent of the owner. The same assumption is also applied in circumstances whereby the owner of the car lends a car to a friend. Another example of an incidence where a business can be vicariously liable is that which involves a bank that is performing car repossession from the registered owner because of non-payment; the bank has a duty not to cause peace breach when undertaking the repossession. If its agent do cause then it will be liable for the damages as noted in the case of MBank El Paso v. Sanchez (Giliker, P, 2010, p. 21). Generally, vicarious liability operates within the law of torts. Its general rule is that a person who authorizes a tort will be liable personally for injuries or losses that arise as a result. It should be noted that vicarious liability operates within certain circumstances which requires that a person should be liable only in circumstances where special legal relationship exists with the person who has committed negligent act. Vicarious liability has been said to have some merits. The first one is that it is easier for the claimant to attach blame precisely to a responsible person. The second merit is that it makes the owner of a business to impose caution the persons in control of activities thereby helping it avoid avoidable losses (Henderson, 2002, p. 313). 2. Legal principles relating to the vicarious liability have developed through the case law to create scenarios that vicarious liability operates in the field of employment law. Mainly, it has created five main scenarios as demonstrated in the chart below: Always directly liable; always vicariously liable; may be vicariously liable; not vicariously liable; and is always vicariously liable Vicarious Liability Under the tort of negligence, employers are vicariously liable for the torts committed by their employees in the course of employment. Two main reasons have been cited for the justification of vicariously liability imposition on the employers: since the employees help the employers make profit, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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