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Texas Vicarious Liability

© Mark Courtois and Diane Davis

Vicarious liability is a judicially created method for enforcing remedies for wrongs committed. See Dutcher v. Owens, 647 S.W.2d 948, 950- 951 (Tex. 1983) citing Newspapers, Inc. v. Love, 380 S.W.2d 582, 588-89 (Tex. 1964). Vicarious liability principles impute liability arising from the conduct of an active tortfeasor to another party based upon a relationship between them. See, e.g., Garza v. Exel Logistics, Inc., 161 S.W.3d 473, 481 (Tex. 2005) (citing Wingfoot Enters., v. Alvarado, 111 S.W.3d 134, 146 (Tex. 2003)); see also St. Joseph Hosp. v. Wolff, 94 S.W.3d 513, 540 (Tex. 2002) (plurality) ("The common law has long recognized that liability for one person's fault may be imputed to another who is himself entirely without fault solely because of the relationship between them."). Vicarious liability can arise under common law principles and by statute. See, e.g., Garza,161 S.W.3d at 481. Examples of vicarious liability claims are respondet superior, agency, and statutory employee.