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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 proved 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.

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References in periodicals archive ?
By contrast, under an automaker enterprise liability system, responsibility for those costs would be placed on the parties in the best position to reduce and insure them: vehicle manufacturers.
One attraction of enterprise liability for Fleming may have been that it could operate as the functional imperative behind existing concepts of the law of negligence.
Sage et al., Enterprise Liability for Medical Malpractice and Health Care Quality Improvement, 20 AM.
could be rebutted through the doctrines of enterprise liability and
First, the principle of enterprise liability justifies a scheme to spread the losses caused by business activities.
To align incentives between health care professionals and institutions, these initiatives might well be paired with enterprise liability or insurance.
No tort reform has more potential to improve the quality of medical care and to reduce the frequency of patient injuries than exclusive hospital enterprise liability. Hospital enterprise liability would make hospitals liable for all patient injuries occurring in the hospital that are the product of provider negligence, regardless of the independent contractor status of the providers.
One proposal to ease this uncertainty is to use an enterprise liability approach to liability in Cybersurgical contexts.
enterprise liability on firms and with the relationship between the
It also covers collective punishment, hostage-taking, belligerent reprisals, liability for the acts of others under international criminal law, joint criminal enterprise liability, criminal organizations, and superior responsibility.
Professor Baxi was invited to deliver a course of lectures by The Hague Academy of Private International Law, now published as Mass Torts, Multinational Enterprise Liability and Private International Law (2000).
My argument begins by sketching an argument that strict liability in its modern form (usually known as "enterprise liability") is more fair than negligence liability.

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