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11 The Tortious Liabilities of Principal and Agent

From: Agency: Law and Principles (3rd Edition)

Roderick Munday

From: Oxford Legal Research Library (http://olrl.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved.date: 06 July 2022

Creation of agency — Nature of agency — Principal’s liabilities — Third parties

This chapter examines the personal liabilities incurred by both principals and agents for the torts they commit. An agent is personally liable for torts committed in the course of the agency that occasion damage to a third party, irrespective of whether the agent was acting within or outside the principal’s authority. The tortious liability of the principal is more varied. A principal is personally liable for torts which the agent has been authorized to commit. In addition, the principal is also vicariously liable for torts committed by the agent in the course of employment. Finally, as in the case of master and servant, when the principal is liable for the tortious acts of the agent, technically principal and agent are joint tortfeasors and enjoy rights of contribution against one another under the Civil Liability (Contribution) Act 1978. The chapter looks at common forms of tortious liability affecting agency.

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