Civil Liability

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial.

Liability, Civil


the liability of a citizen or legal person for violation of obligations arising in a civil law relationship.

Civil liability typically involves property, as in compulsory repossession or recovery of a sum of money. The most common forms of civil liability are compensation for losses and payment of a penalty or fine. Civil liability may also consist of nonproperty sanctions against the violator, such as the requirement that he repudiate prior statements that defamed the honor and dignity of citizens and organizations.

Under Soviet law, the grounds, limits, and types of civil liability are defined by the Basic Principles of Civil Legislation of the USSR and the Union Republics, the civil codes of the Union republics, the Railroad Statute, and other such normative instruments. Civil liability ensues only when injury or damage is inflicted on a victim through the illegal and culpable behavior of a person bound by obligation and where there is a causal relationship between the illegal behavior and the damage. Civil liability ensues upon nonexecution or improper execution of a contract; this constitutes contract liability. Damage caused to one person by the illegal actions of another constitutes noncontract liability.

If there are several creditors or debtors involved in an obligation, that is, if there is a plurality of obliged parties, a distinction is made between several liability, joint liability, and subsidiary liability. For example, under several liability, each of a number of debtors is responsible, but only to a certain defined extent. Under joint liability, the creditor has the right to demand full execution from any of the debtors. A debtor who has singly fulfilled a joint obligation has the right to bring suit against his fellow debtors. Subsidiary liability recognizes the right of a creditor, after bringing suit against the primary debtor, to seek the unfulfilled portion of the obligation from another debtor. Examples of subsidiary liability include the liability of joint debtors to a fellow debtor who has compensated losses jointly caused, the liability of parents or guardians for damage caused by their minor children between the ages of 15 and 18, and the liability of a guarantor under a contract of suretyship.

References in periodicals archive ?
The UAE issued its Federal Law on Nuclear Liability in 2012 to regulate the provisions and determine the scope of civil liability and compensation for the damage that could occur as a result of a nuclear accident.
The proposed draft law is to regulate relations in the field of compulsory insurance of civil liability of the carrier.
As far as the civil liability is concerned the court said we will consider it, now it is in the domain of the court because the government passed the Nuclear Damage Liability Bill.
The Supreme Court of Lithuania has stated that in the cases when the manager of the closed joint-stock company causes damage to the company by acting as its governing body in the "external" relations, civil liability under the civil laws, and not material liability under the labor code, is applicable to him.
The scope of the recommendation is relatively narrow; it only concerns the civil liability of auditors and audit firms in entities admitted to trading on a regulated market in a European Union member state.
Initial issues include articles and stories on such topics as: civil liability for police pursuit driving, grooming and appearance rules for public safety workers, including jewelry, cosmetics and religious headwear, civil liability for prisoner suicide, civil liability for use of police dogs, access to courts and legal information, police liability for excessive force, illegal search and seizure and investigative detention, habeas corpus petitions, liability for prisoner illnesses acquired while incarcerated, use of security housing units, and liability for prison violence.
People who use the services of unlicensed contractors expose themselves to civil liability under their homeowners' policies if contractors or their employees are injured on the job.
The court also ruled that a Puerto Rico statute that shielded government physicians from civil liability for medical malpractice suits was preempted.
Failure to do so could result in civil liability including actual damages.
The law modifies the rules for indoor lobby signs, eliminates subsequent disclosure requirements for automatically renewable time accounts with terms of one month or less, and repeals the civil liability provisions as of September 30, 2001.
By contrast, German law has taken a rather restrictive view of the independent auditor's civil liability.
For years these groups had fought over the state's civil liability laws.