Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Does This Clarify The Concept For You?

Today's topic in my business class is the difference between intentional torts and negligence. Thus the question from one of my fellow students "Do you personally believe that a business is always liable for its employees actions?"

To which I replied "One of the legal doctrines I work under is "respondeat superior" (Latin for "Let the superior answer"), in which my employer is legally liable for my actions IF I am acting within the course and scope of my employment (Nolo, n.d., ¶ 2). That is, if I assist in deploying a stent in an artery, and rupture the artery thus killing the patient, my employer is liable. However, if I smother the patient with a pillow before the procedure so I can go home early, my employer should not be liable for my actions, as they were not within the scope and course of my employment. So for most of us, it would appear that strict liability, that is, always being liable, doesn’t apply."

I hope it wasn't overly nuanced.

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