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Is it fair that employers should be held liable for the negligence of their employers?

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Introduction

´╗┐Anisimov Dmitry, A Is it fair that employers should be held liable for the negligence of their employers? When an employee commits a tort during the course of the employment, an employer might be held liable for his negligence. This is called the doctrine of vicarious liability, which generally operates in the law of torts. The issue of the employers? liability is debating, because it is a very specific area of law as a person is liable for the torts of another without express authorization. If a master employed a negligent worker, he should pay for his wrongdoings. Firstly, this essay will give an overview of the topic, then will discuss is it fair or not, by analyzing different situations. Finally, all main points will be summarized and the answer will be given. There are several reasons why the doctrine of vicarious liability is convenient. Firstly, employers are mostly wealthier than their employees and usually are insured to protect themselves from such risks and, therefore, they are better able to pay damages. Secondly, there is a concept that employers benefit from employees and, hence, should bear losses resulted by their actions. Thirdly, employers have a chance to choose employees and if they chose a careless one, they should pay damages caused by servant?s carelessness. ...read more.

Middle

Furthermore, the doormen in addition to the desire of revenge tried to protect his employer?s property and, therefore, the club owner is liable.[4] Lister v Hesley Hall Ltd [2001] 2 All ER 769 established a new approach in vicarious liability and overruled previous decision in Trotman v North Yorkshire CC [1998] 1 CLY 2243. According to the held, it is not enough simply to show that the employee unauthorized committed a tortious act, the defendant must prove that his servant acted of his own, without following the course of employment; it is a broader approach of the issue. It has been argued that in Lister v Hesley Hall Ltd [2001] 2 All ER 769 defendant company did not authorize abuse of the claimants and employees acted themselves, the employment only provided opportunity to do so. However, company was liable, because it did not perform its duties carefully as it did not know about abuse and, in addition, the ground for the employer?s liability was merely that they were better able to pay damages to the claimant. Now it might be seen as the law.[5] Slightly different approach is taken for crimes, committed by employees. An employer will not be usually liable for the criminal acts of employees. ...read more.

Conclusion

Word fair itself is a subjective and it is difficult to apply for all the cases. However, some generalization can be made. Firstly, the employer should be liable if he could foresee and encouraged wrong behaviour of the employee or when the servant tried to save master?s property. Secondly, it might be unfair for the employer to be held liable when the employment merely gave an opportunity to do it, but the tort was not authorized by the employer. It is very serious and arguable issue. There is a case law system in the UK and leading case on vicarious liability Lister v Hesley Hall Ltd [2001] 2 All ER 769 indicates what is fair. Maybe in future there will be new precedents, which will change attitudes the question. (1186 words) ________________ [1] Wild C. & Weinstein S. ?English law. Text and Cases. Sixteenth edition? Harlow: Pearson Education Ltd, 2010, p.448 [2] Wild C. & Weinstein S. ?English law. Text and Cases. Sixteenth edition? Harlow: Pearson Education Ltd, 2010, p.448-451 [3] Vicarious Liability. Free Tort Law Study Guide [Internet] Available from: http://www.lawteacher.net/tort-law/vicarious-liability.php [Accessed 19th March 2012] [4] Wild C. & Weinstein S. ?English law. Text and Cases. Sixteenth edition? Harlow: Pearson Education Ltd, 2010, p.848-849 [5] Levinson J., ?Journal of Personal Injury Law? December 2005 [Internet] Available from: http://www.1cor.com/1158/?form_1155.replyids=282 [Accessed 19th March 2012] [6] Introduction to vicarious liability [Internet] Available from: http://www.lawteacher.net/tort-law/lecture-notes/vicarious-liability-lecture.php [Accessed 19th March 2012] ...read more.

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