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Imputed Liability - Chapter 11 - Personal Injury Depositions

Author: John F. Nichols, Sr. and Joe Phillips
Page Count: 26
Last Updated: August 2015
Media Desc: 1 PDF Download
File Size: 655 KB

Originally from: 

Personal Injury Depositions - Looseleaf

Personal Injury Depositions - Digital

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Pers.Inj.11 Imputed Liability


The doctrines of imputed liability and vicarious liability permit the
personal injury plaintiff to hold an ‘innocent’ person liable for the
wrongful conduct of another. The inactive defendant did not commit
any wrongful conduct; rather, her relationship to the active wrongdoer
renders her liable. Control over the wrongdoer is a common element.
Courts and legislatures impose imputed and vicarious liability as a
matter of public policy. Situations include: (1) an employer’s liability
for an employee’s conduct during the course and scope of her
employment, (2) a principle’s responsibility for the conduct of an agent
when carrying out the agency, (3) a parent’s responsibility for his
child’s conduct, and (4) the mutual liability of members of a joint
enterprise or partnership.1


[2]—Tort Action against Parent for Minor Child’s Conduct

Under common law, parents are not liable for a minor child’s torts
simply because of the parent-child relationship.2 Liability will arise in
the following situations:

1. the minor’s negligent acts were committed during the course
and scope of his employment by the parent (imputed liability);

2. the minor’s negligent acts were committed during a joint
enterprise or venture with the parent (imputed liability);

3. the minor’s negligent acts were committed as the parent’s
agent on a mission for the parent’s benefit (imputed liability);

4. the minor negligently drove an automobile that was supplied
by the head of the family (imputed liability);

Author Detail

John F. Nichols, Sr. John F. Nichols, Sr. is a 1964 graduate of Rice University and a 1967 graduate of the University of Houston College of Law. His legal career has been dedicated to trial work and the entirety of his practice is devoted to litigation, with special emphasis on personal injury law, general civil litigation and family law. He holds certifications from the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Personal Injury Law, Civil Trial Law, Civil Law and Family Law.

Mr. Nichols is also certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy in Civil Trial Law and has been honored by several national publications, including the Best Lawyers in America and he has been named him one of Texas’ "Super Lawyers," signifying his standing as among the best in the legal profession. He has published over 100 articles and given more than 150 lectures and seminars on topics relating to torts, juries, trial preparati on, ethics, professional responsibility, fraud, business litigation, family law and more.

Joe Phillips
graduated in 1984 from the University of California-Berkeley’s School of Law (Boalt Hall). He also holds a Master’s Degree from the University of Chicago. His legal practice has focused on litigation and involved complex product liability, class actions, constitutional law, commercial law, insurance bad faith claims, consumer protection law, and maritime/aviation law. He has authored law review and continuing legal education articles and an extensive book chapter on tort liability. Along with John Nichols, he has authored a book on family law depositions.


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