Vicarious liability is a form of strict, secondary liability that hold a person responsible for the actions of a subordinate. It arises under the common law doctrine of agency – respondeat superior – the responsibility of the superior for the acts of their subordinate, or, in a broader sense, the responsibility of any third party that had the "right, ability or duty to control" the activities of a violator.
For example, an employer can be held liable for the torts committed by an employee. When an employee drives a company vehicle while on duty and gets into an accident, the employer and his insurance policy will be responsible for the damages. If a car owner loans his car to a friend, and the friend get a parking ticket, the car owner will be responsible for paying the fine, and the law will not address whether he can collect the parking fine from the friend.
- H Laski, 'Basis of Vicarious Liability' (1916) 26 Yale Law Journal 105
- Department of Trade & Industry. Company Law Review: Attribution of Liability (PDF)