public duty doctrine

noun

Legal Definition of public duty doctrine

: a doctrine in tort law: a government entity (as a state or municipality) cannot be held liable for the injuries of an individual resulting from a public officer's or employee's breach of a duty owed to the public as a whole as distinguished from a duty owed to the particular individual

called also public duty rule

— see also special duty doctrine

Learn More About public duty doctrine

Cite this Entry

“Public duty doctrine.” Merriam-Webster.com Legal Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/legal/public%20duty%20doctrine. Accessed 19 Jun. 2021.

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