Tortious Liability Essay

Decent Essays

From a legal standpoint, a tort is a private or civil wrong or injury (other than a breach of contract) for which a court of law may provide a remedy through a lawsuit for damages (compensation). For example, when a person violates his/her duty to others created under general (or statutory) law, a tort has been committed. Tort law relies heavily on the common law, the legal opinions of the Courts, general trends in the community, and legal scholarship to guide its relevance in today’s world.

Simply put, the Encyclopedia Britannica states, “ a tort is an instance of unlawful conduct that either is dangerous to life and limb, causes mental anguish, damages personal reputations, or violates
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However, in Trinidad and Tobago, the issue of tort is dealt with in terms of the industrial relations between employers and trade unions and their membership. This is set out in the TRADE DISPUTES AND PROTECTION OF PROPERTY ACT OF 1943. This act deals significantly with removing tortious liability on the part of Trade Unions in its Industrial Relations practices as its relates to the employer and the workplace on issues such as

1) Picketting 2) Removal of liability for interfering with another person’s business 3) Prohibition of actions of tort against trade unions

The previous information, to some extent dealt, with tortious liability as it relates to Trade Unions. However, present literature demonstrates that employers also must accept tortious liability for the actions of their employees.

Indeed, if an employee commits a wrongful (tortious) act in the course of his duty which causes injury or damage to a third person, the employee will, of course, be personally liable. However, the employer may be vicariously liable to compensate that third party. Two reasons are usually adduced for this principle:

1) The first is that the employer, having initiated or created the situation where the employee has been in a position to cause the harm, should properly bear the loss;
2) The second is the more practical reason that the employee will usually be unable to meet any substantial claim for damages, whereas the
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