Master-Servant Rule Law and Legal Definition

According to the master servant rule, the master is vicariously liable for the torts of his servants. An employer or master is liable for any wrongful acts committed within the scope of the employment or agency. This is also known as the principle of respondeat superior.

The following is an example of a state statute (Louisiana) on master-servant rule:

In Louisiana, the master servant rule is codified at La. C.C. Art. 2320. It reads as follows:

Art. 2320. Acts of servants, students or apprentices

Masters and employers are answerable for the damage occasioned by their servants and overseers, in the exercise of the functions in which they are employed.

Teachers and artisans are answerable for the damage caused by their scholars or apprentices, while under their superintendence.

In the above cases, responsibility only attaches, when the masters or employers, teachers and artisans, might have prevented the act which caused the damage, and have not done it.

The master is answerable for the offenses and quasi-offenses committed by his servants, according to the rules which are explained under the title: Of quasi-contracts, and of offenses and quasi-offenses.