respondeat superior

re·​spon·​de·​at superior | \ ri-ˈspän-dē-ət- \

Legal Definition of respondeat superior

: a doctrine in tort law that makes a master liable for the wrong of a servant specifically : the doctrine making an employer or principal liable for the wrong of an employee or agent if it was committed within the scope of employment or agency to recover…upon a theory of respondeat superior, it is incumbent upon plaintiff to prove that the collision occurred while the driver was within the scope of his employment Perdue v. Mitchell, 373 So. 2d 650 (1979) — compare scope of employment, vicarious liability at liability sense 2b

History and Etymology for respondeat superior

Medieval Latin, let the superior give answer

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Cite this Entry

“Respondeat superior.” The Legal Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 6 December 2019.

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very cautious or careful

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