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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 ?
Stier said: "Whilst the appeal board's judgement does not challenge the principle of strict liability, it has shown there is an issue with the way the rules of racing are currently written.
The irony is at least twice in the last decade the SFA tried and failed to implement a form of strict liability that would have held clubs more accountable for misbehaviour.
Strict liability for product defects grew out of dissatisfaction with warranty and negligence theories of recovery for product injuries.
The contract is to provide comprehensive services in the institute strict liability covers the design, build, deploy, test and delivery system for controlling and evidence of compliance with the rules of the road technical means the Police Force within the Institute of strict liability to the function (the system) and operation and support for the system after its delivery to the proper operation.
strict liability, uniform safety standards) to be exogenously given.
When strict liability and negligence claims are tried together, to clarify differences between them it may be necessary to add language to the strict liability instructions to the effect that a product is defective if unreasonably dangerous even though the seller has exercised all possible care in the preparation and sale of the product.
If legally you have a claim, there's virtually no defense because it's a strict liability statute," he said.
Thus, even with accurate consumer perceptions, the various liability rules are no longer equally efficient (in particular, strict liability no longer leads to efficient purchase decisions).
As currently applied, Pennsylvania law represents a departure from generally accepted principles of strict liability, relying on poorly instructed juries to solve the safe product puzzle without engaging in the risk/utility balancing at the heart of every design defect claim.
Strict liability is not about negligence or fault, but about a social policy that shifts to the manufacturer the cost of compensating the injured consumer.
As a procedural matter, strict liability offenses make charges
This legislation is unnecessary and does nothing more than divert attention from the very real problem of the unacceptable societal costs of the strict liability standard placed on contractors by Section 240 of New York's Labour Law.