What Is Vicarious Liability? - Definition and Examples


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question 1 of 3

Billy borrowed Tony's car. When Billy showed up to get the keys, he was visibly upset. He was punching trees and yelling loudly. Billy's girlfriend had just broken up with him. Tony knows that Billy has been in trouble with the law before for speeding and reckless driving. Should something happen to Tony's car while in Billy's possession, what did Tony enter into?

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1. Shelly is a bartender at a local golf club. Oftentimes, when players lose, they are rude to the servers. One day, a man asked for a bottle of beer and did not thank her for the service. Fed up, Shelly cracked the bottle over his head. Who is responsible for the damages?

2. The Phillips family purchased a new station wagon. They decided on this car because the family would share in its use. It was big enough to suit everyone's needs. The youngest son, 17-year-old Hernando, decided to take the car out for a spin. Wanting to impress a group of girls, he decided to spin the tires at a stop sign. Only he forgot to press his foot on the brake, sending the car into the intersection and causing a three-car pile-up. What doctrine would be used in this case?

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About This Quiz & Worksheet

Third-party liability is an area of the law that may differ from state to state, however the general principles remain the same. This quiz/worksheet combo will help test your understanding of this legal doctrine. You'll be tested on areas pertaining to vicarious liability through analysis of several potential liability scenarios.

Quiz & Worksheet Goals

The quiz and worksheet will test you on the following features of vicarious liability:

  • The doctrine of respondeat superior
  • The family purpose doctrine
  • Negligent entrustment

Skills Practiced

These assessments will allow students to test their knowledge using the following skills:

  • Making connections - use understanding of the concept of vicarious liability
  • Problem solving - use acquired knowledge to solve fact patterns involving vicarious liability
  • Defining key concepts - ensure that you can accurately define main phrases, such as negligent entrustment and family purpose doctrine
  • Knowledge application - use your knowledge to answer questions about the doctrine of vicarious liability

Additional Learning

To learn more about how someone could be held liable for the actions of others, review the accompanying lesson, 'What is Vicarious Liability?'. This lesson covers the following objectives:

  • Defining vicarious liability and its elements
  • Examining the doctrine of respondeat superior
  • Discussing the family purpose doctrine and negligent entrustment