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Liability For Acts Of Others

Vicarious Liability (Liability for others)

We are not only responsible for our own conduct, but there are situations and relationships that provide liability for the conduct of others.  This liability scheme is known as vicarious liability.  The simple definition is “indirect legal responsibility”.  The most common situations and/or relationships where vicarious liability arises is in the context of minor children, employer/employee relationships and animals.

In the context of an employer being responsible for the actions of an employee, the employer’s liability rests in the sentiment that a business cannot justly disclaim responsibility for acts of employees that are characteristic of the activities of the employer.  In other words, an employer is responsible for the acts of an employee that arise while in the course and scope of the employment relationship.   An obvious example where this liability could arise are auto accidents involving delivery drivers or employees on a mission that is job related or situations created at the workplace wherein customers or other employees could be injured.

In the context of minor children, the father and mother of a minor child are typically liable for the actions of the minor child.  This liability is subject to very few exceptions but among the exceptions for which there would be no liability are the situation of a minor child that has been emancipated by marriage or emancipated by virtue of a judgement of emancipation relieving the parents of liability.

Lastly, the owner of an animal is liable for the damage caused by the animal if the owner knew or should have known that his animal’s dangerous behavior could cause harm to another. This represents a change in the law insofar as there is now a requirement of establishing “knowledge” of the dangerous propensities of the animal.  However in the context of a dog, the owner of a dog is strictly liable for harm caused by the dog which did not result from the provocation of the dog.  Notably, with a dog there is no requirement of establishing “knowledge” of the dangerous propensities of the dog….liability is imposed merely by virtue of ownership of the dog.

Nearly 75 years ago my father, J. Minos Simon, began the family tradition of providing exemplary legal services to the citizens throughout the local communities and the state of Louisiana.  A tradition that I proudly embraced and have tried to fulfill for nearly 30 years.  Simon Law Offices, Cajun Strong, and rebuilding lives throughout Louisiana one client at a time.