The concept of vicarious liability–being liable for the acts of others–applies to both of this week’s topics, crime and torts. Often, when a large corporation is found guilty of tortious activity, the tort is clear, but who’s responsible within the corporation is not. Thus, when a plaintiff wins a large financial judgment against a corporation in a tort case, this judgment is often passed through to shareholders in the form of lower dividends or lower share prices, or to consumers through increased prices. Rarely is a top leader of the corporation held accountable. In fact, to attract good managers, corporations must offer them liability protection from shareholder suits.
Are there any solutions to this dilemma?