Respondeat Superior

Under Respondeat Superior, wrongful acts of an agent or employee are vicariously imputed to the employer, even if committed in disregard of employer’s instructions.

One must show that the employee’s wrongful acts were committed within the scope and in furtherance of the employer’s business.

The wrongful acts must be closely connected with what the employee was employed to do.

Employers are generally not liable for their employee’s intentional wrongful acts, unless the employer authorized the use of discretionary force or the wrongful act was motivated by and performed to assist or promote business interests of the employer.

When employee’s intentional wrongful acts arise purely from the employee’s personal motivation, the employer is not vicariously liable.

  • Example : A delivery company may be sued when one of its drivers negligently operated a delivery vehicle, striking another vehicle while delivering merchandise, injuring the driver and/or passengers of that second vehicle.
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