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There are three common circumstances in which person A may be vicariously liable for the torts of person B: Employee-Employer relationship; for example, A is B's employer. Employers may be held liable for the actions of their employees, if they incur these liabilities in the course of the employer's business, and even the employer is not at fault. Principal-agent relationship. If B is A's agent, A may be liable for B's torts Individuals in a business partnership. In general, partners are liable for the torts of other parties committed in the course of business. 4) Passing Off Passing off means making some false representation likely to induce a person to believe that goods or services are those of another when in actual fact they are not. This common law tort can be used to enforce unregistered trademark rights. The tort of passing offprotects the goodwill of a trader from a misrepresentation that causes damage to goodwill. Goodwill is the reputation the firm enjoys. The tort of passing off prevents one person from misrepresenting his or her goods or services as being the goods and services of the claimant, and also prevents one person from holding out his or her goods or services as having some association or connection with the plaintiff when this is not true. COMMERCIAL LAWKAPLAN HIGHER EDUCATION - CL/V4.7136
LECTURE NOTES: 5) Tort of Confidence The common law tort of breach of confidencedeals with unauthorized use or disclosure of certain types of confidential information and may protect such information on the basis of actual or deemed agreement to keep such information secret. If, for example, an employee comes into confidential or exclusive information during his course of employment, and this employee resigns and uses the information to his advantage, the employer may have a cause of action for breach of confidence. An example of how the courts view confidential information can be seen in L v (1) L and (2) H (A Firm) , where, in the midst of a divorce battle, a wife appropriated and copied her husband's computer's hard drive hoping to preserve confidential and/or financial information that she feared her husband might destroy. Here the husband successfully argued that the information on the hard drive might include confidential information belonging to him and which his wife was not entitled access to (as well as legally privileged information). The court was persuaded that the hard drive contained confidential information which merited the delivery up of the hard drive (and all copies) to the husband. YOUR NOTES: COMMERCIAL LAWKAPLAN HIGHER EDUCATION - CL/V4.7137
LECTURE NOTES: Class Activity Form yourselves into small groups and discuss the following: 1) Komola, a senior lawyer in a local law firm, recently went to an Indian restaurant in Little India with her family. While dining, she found in her vegetables the remains of a half-eaten lizard. She immediately choked on her food and, due to a bad heart condition, suffered a serious stroke that has rendered her paralysed from the neck down. She can no longer practise law, and is bed ridden.