RESPONDEAT SUPERIOR

RESPONDEAT SUPERIOR

respondeat superior (ri-spon-dee-at soo-peer-ee-[schwa]r or s[schwa]-peer-ee-or). [Law Latin ¡°let the superior make answer¡±] Torts. The doctrine holding an employer or principal liable for the employee’s or agent’s wrongful acts committed within the scope of the employment or agency.

¡ª Also termed master¨Cservant rule. See SCOPE OF EMPLOYMENT. [Cases: Master and Servant 300, 315; Principal and Agent 159(2). C.J.S. Agency ¡ì¡ì 379¨C384; Employer¨CEmployee Relationship¡ì¡ì 181¨C184, 188¨C193, 203, 231¨C235, 242, 244¨C246, 248, 251¨C252, 254¨C255.]

¡°Most courts have made little or no effort to explain the result, and have taken refuge in rather empty phrases, such as ¡®he who does a thing through another does it himself,¡¯ or the endlessly repeated formula of ¡®respondeat superior,¡¯ which in itself means nothing more than ¡®look to the man higher up.¡¯ ¡± W. Page Keeton et al., Prosser and Keeton on the Law of Torts ¡ì 69, at 500 (5th ed. 1984).


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