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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 ?
Judge Traynor's opinion in Escola presents several theories supporting strict liability for injuries caused by defective products.
Comparative negligence is a defense to strict liability claims if based on grounds other than the failure of the user to discover the defect or to guard against the possibility of its existence.
The Requirement of Mens Rea According to Type of Offence Full Mens Rea Strict Liability Absolute Liability proof of a guilty --prima facie proof --commission of art committed of commission offence proved with full intention of the offence --mens rea assumed; beyond a --due diligence defence no defence on reasonable doubt basis of lack of intention CRIMINAL CODE WIDE RANGE OF REGULATORY OFFENCES CRIMES
4) In my view, a number of developments subsequent to the Court's judgment make it particularly appropriate at this time, twenty years afterwards, to return to the issue of the constitutionality of strict liability offences that are punishable by imprisonment.
18) Strict liability offenses, however, come from a different mold.
It's premature, and if the court rules that strict liability is inappropriate here, there's almost no chance of a future codified law making Monsanto liable for contamination of non-GMO crops.
While "this is a reasonable concern that should not be taken lightly," Gill said, "it is important to also encourage thorough pre-shift examinations and I believe to place strict liability in this situation would have the opposite effect.
Associated Newspapers and News Group Newspapers argued there was no strict liability breach, and the risk of prejudice was "insubstantial".
The principle of strict liability therefore applies which means that a doping violation occurs whether or not the athlete intentionally or unintentionally used a prohibited substance or was otherwise negligent or otherwise at fault.