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What is an agency relationship?
The law of agency is an area of commercial law dealing with a set of contractual, quasi-contractual and non-contractual fiduciary relationships that involve a person, called the agent, that is authorized to act on behalf of another (called the principal) to create legal relations with a third party.
Agent is liable to 3rd party for his own torts.
Principal may be liable for Agent's torts if they result from:
- Principal's own tort.
- Principal's authorization of tort.
- Agent's unauthorized but fraudulent conduct made within scope of agency.
- Respondeat Superior .
- Applies only to Employer-Employee relationships and not to Employer-Independent Contractor relationships.
- Principal/Employer is vicariously liable for Agent/Employee's negligence if committed within the Agent's "course and scope of employment."
--This is the doctrine of respondeat superior.
Scope of Employment
Employer is liable for:
- E'ee act authorized by employer
- was commonly performed by employees
- act advance employers interests
- did employer have reason to know employee would do the act
-was the act of detour
Employer not liable:
- act infrolic
- based in a serious crime
Agents Intentional Tort
- Principal liable for intentional torts committed within the scope of employment.
-- Employee is liable as a tortfeasor as well.
- Employer is liable for Employee's acts which Employer knew or should have known the Employee had a propensity to commit.
- Applies to Employer-Employee relationships and not to Employer-Independent Contractor relationships.
--Exception: hazardous activities
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