Explore BrainMass

Respondeat Superior and Third Party Injuries

Share your thoughts on the following ethical question:

If an agent injures a third party during the course of employment, under the doctrine of respondeat superior, the employer may be held liable for the agent's actions even though the employer is innocent, that is, even though the employer did not authorize the action and was not even aware of it. Do you think that it is fair to hold employers liable in such situations? What are the policy reasons that support the doctrine of respondeat superior? Do you think that it would be more equitable to hold that the employee alone should bear the responsibility for his or her tortious (legally wrongful) actions to third parties, even when the actions are committed within the scope of employment?

Solution Preview

It is fair to hold employers liable in situations where respondeat superior applies. Most of the time it only applies when the employee was acting in the scope of employment and not for example if he goes out and starts doing other things that sway far out from his duties. ...