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in law, an obligation of one party to another, usually to compensate financially. It is a fundamental aspect of torttort,
in law, the violation of some duty clearly set by law, not by a specific agreement between two parties, as in breach of contract. When such a duty is breached, the injured party has the right to institute suit for compensatory damages.
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 law, although liability may also arise from duties entered into by special agreement, as in a contractcontract,
in law, a promise, enforceable by law, to perform or to refrain from performing some specified act. In a general sense, all civil obligations fall under tort or contract law.
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 or in the carrying out of a fiduciaryfiduciary
, in law, a person who is obliged to discharge faithfully a responsibility of trust toward another. Among the common fiduciary relationships are guardian to ward, parent to child, lawyer to client, corporate director to corporation, trustee to trust, and business
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 duty. Liability is not always the result of an intentionally damaging act or of some proven fault like negligencenegligence,
in law, especially tort law, the breach of an obligation (duty) to act with care, or the failure to act as a reasonable and prudent person would under similar circumstances.
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. The affixing of liability may once have been simply a peace-preserving alternative to the practice of an injured party taking vengeance. Further, the law's emphasis has long been that one who is able to pay (who, in modern terms, has "deep pockets") should pay one who has lost something through an action of the payer, even if that action was blameless.

Vicarious liability is the duty of a principal, e.g., an employer, to pay for losses occasioned by the acts of an agent, e.g., an employee. Strict liability, under which those engaging in certain undertakings (e.g., such "ultrahazardous" practices as the industrial use of high explosives) are held responsible for injury without inquiry into fault, has been increasingly imposed by courts and by statute in the 19th and 20th cent. One response has been the growth of the liability insurance industry, offering such coverage as physicians' malpracticemalpractice,
failure to provide professional services with the skill usually exhibited by responsible and careful members of the profession, resulting in injury, loss, or damage to the party contracting those services.
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 insurance. An area that has been the focus of much litigation, legislation, and debate in recent decades is product liability, under which heavy strict liability costs have been imposed on makers of such varied items as foods, drugs, cosmetics, and automobiles.

References in periodicals archive ?
Thus, where other agency-type elements exist, these statements may increase the possibility of vicarious liability.
While most fixed-site environmental liability policies are customized to fit the unique circumstances of each transaction, they generally provide coverage for discovery of unknown pre-existing contamination, regulatory reopeners that mandate additional cleanup of already remediated conditions and new pollution events at an insured site.
1) At year-end, all events have occurred establishing the fact of the liability and the amount can be determined with reasonable accuracy;
There is some confusion about the type of liability insurance needed to address fiduciary risks even among insurance professionals.
In closing, it is in the interests of the financial and environmental communities to find a balanced solution to the lender liability issue.
The initiative's success emboldened the liability reform coalition.
Secure a certificate of insurance to confirm your Additional Insured status and determine the limits of liability they carry.
If a taxpayer is willing to increase his exposure to personal liability through the contribution of a valid, unconditional promissory note with full recourse, there is no basis in excess of economic investment.
651 addresses the concerns of public sector lenders directly and provides protection for public sector lenders by excluding them from liability for hazardous substance removal, by extending that immunity to the next purchaser of the property, and by exempting property acquired from CERCLA liens.
Because of the wide variances in liability laws from state to state, "a national reform act would be preferable," Hall said.
Notwithstanding the requirements of paragraph 13, if a plan of involuntary termination requires the employee to render future service in order to receive termination benefits, a liability and expense for the portion of involuntary termination benefits that will be provided only after completion of future service should be recognized ratably over the future service period.
752 and prescribe rules to prevent taxpayers from manipulating the liability rules to create artificial losses when a partnership assumes a partner's obligations.