Vicarious Liability

Vicarious Liability

Vicarious Liability


It is said that everyone is responsible for his own acts or his wrong doings. But there are some exceptions in which someone else has to give the liability. In this way, you are innocent but law makes you liable for other’s acts and wrong doings.

Situations of Vicarious Liability

There are three situations in which vicarious liability arises. These are:-

  1. Liability arising out of abetment.
  2. It arising out of special relationship.
  3. Liability arising out of ratification and authorization.

Liability arising out of abetment

It is a situation in which you instigate another person to do an act or any kind of crime. In action of wrongs, those who abet the tortuous acts are equally liable with those who commit the wrong.

Case Law: Poulton V. S.W. Ry 1867 (R2Q6534)

Liability arising out of ratification and authorization

It is an action in which you give the authority to another person to do a legal act but the person misuses your authority and does a wrongful act. In this situation, you own that act, for you have not given the authority, which is ratification.

Here, who authorizes the act, is responsible for that act although you are not the wrong doer. This is on the behalf of the third party that what third party wants. This is a proper authorization but that is not for any wrong doing.

For example:   Export of 60 Articles

40 expensive articles               having insurance

20 inexpensive articles            having no-insurance

Your agent makes insurance of all 60 articles, if you own that it is all right about 60 insurance articles.

An act which is illegal and void is incapable of ratification. Hence a ratification of Tort by a principal will not free the agent from his responsibility to third person.

Liability arising out of special relationship

Master and Servant

In this situation, one renders his services independently whether for wages of not. In this way, one obeys the orders of another person and does the acts under his directions and supervisions.

  1. Master’s liability to third person.
  2. Servant’s liability to third person.
  3. Master’s liability to servant.
  4. Servant’s liability to master.

Master’s liability to third person

A wrongful act which is done by a servant in course of his employment, in this, master is liable for servant’s acts and the master has to give the compensation.

“Let the superior be responsible”.

Master is responsible for his servant’s acts to the third person.

Servant’s liability to third person

A servant is not liable for any wrongful act which is done in course of his employment or any kind of non-feasance to the third party.

Master’s liability to servant

In this situation, master is liable is liable to servant, if any physical and personal wrongful act is done by the servant in course of his employment, then master will have to give the compensation to the third party.

“Work’s man Compensation Act, 1925”

In this act, master is responsible to provide him competent fellow servants, if he does not provide such fellow servants, then master is responsible for any wrongful act by any servant or fellow members.

Servant’s liability to master

A servant is responsible or liable to pay back those damages to his master, which had given by the master as compensation to the third party for the wrongful act done by the servant to the third party.