What is vicarious liability in the context of medical malpractice?

Ontario, Canada


The following excerpt is from Straus v. Decaire, 2011 ONSC 1157 (CanLII):

Vicarious liability is not in itself a tort. Rather, it describes a theory whereby one person may be held legally responsible for the actions of another because of the nature of the relationship between them. The liability is strict, and does not require misconduct on the part of the person subject to it. For example, in the context of employment, vicarious liability does not require misconduct in the hiring or supervising of the tortfeaser. The crux of vicarious liability, then, is the classification of the relationship between: (i) the party sought to be held vicariously liable; and (ii) the wrongdoer – see for example, the discussion in Thiessen v. Mutual Life [2002] B.C.C.A., 501, an agency case offering a fulsome discussion of the law.

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