InDretVicarious Liability and Liability for the Actions ofOthersIIPablo Salvador CoderchProfessor of LawUniversitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona (Spain)[email protected]Carlos Ignacio Gómez LigüerreAssistant Professor of LawUniversitat Internacional de Catalunya, Barcelona (Spain)[email protected]July 2002
InDret 03/2002Pablo Salvador and Carlos Gómez2Summary1.Vicarious liability or liability for the actions of others as a mean of overcoming theprinciple of individual liability2.Civil and Criminal Rules governing Civil liability for the actions of others2.1. Reasons for the existence of two sets of rules that are almost identical, one insection 1903 of the Civil Code and the other in section 120 of the Criminal Code2.2. Liability due to personal dependency: parents and tutors2.3. Liability stemming from professional dependency: employers and school ownersand teachersa)Relationship of Dependencyb)Performance of their liabilities and servicesc)Reimbursement in favor of the principal3. From Dependency to Control4. Bibliography
InDret 03/2002Pablo Salvador and Carlos Gómez3AbstractThe two traditional branches that regulate civil liability in Spain are the Spanish Civil Code of1889 (sections 1902, 1903 and 1904) and the Spanish Criminal Code of 1995 (section 120), theydetermine the harm caused by actions or omissions that are neither crimes nor misdemeanorsand those deemed to be, respectively.This work analyzes vicarious liability or liability for the actions of others as one of the legalmechanisms anticipated to overcome civil liability once it has been determined that theprinciple of individual liability –due to negligence or strict liability– is impractical given thelimited solvency of the majority of individuals responsible for a damage. In order to deal withthe intrinsic limitation that is found in individual civil liability, the law applies a variety ofmechanisms: to limit liability or increase the number of persons liable for the injury caused.The latter is made easier by the fact that there are usually multiple reasons for an accident,which in turn makes it plausible to place, using legislation, the liability for the consequences on anumber of people.Vicarious liability is only one means of finding a solution to the problems which arise inindividual liability. There are others, such as joint and several liability or vicarious liability, ininstances of crimes or misdemeanors that exist alongside the former. However, the practicalapplication is very similar in all cases: increase the number of people who are potentially liableuntil a solvent organization is found, or the member of employers and unions that are subjectto compulsory insurance.
InDret 03/2002Pablo Salvador and Carlos Gómez41. Vicarious liability or liability for the actions of others as a mean ofovercoming the principle of individual liabilityAccording to the most general principle of the Spanish law of torts, civil liability is derivedfrom an individual’s acts or omissions. This is laid down in section 1902 of the Civil Code,