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Vicarious Liability - Independent Contractor

An employer is usually not liable for the actions of an independent contractor, however, much like many areas of the law there are exceptions. These exceptions generally stem from the nondelegable duty doctrine. A nondelegable duty will be arise when the independent contractor is performing inherently dangerous work for the employer. In this situation, the employer can be held liable for the independent contractor’s negligent actions.

Inherently dangerous work is any sort of work that creates a peculiar risk of harm to others. The inherently dangerous situation applies when the activity is not a normal matter, rather a danger that is unique that calls for certain precautions. For example an employer that hires guards or bouncers would reasonably foresee that an individual would be injured by an inappropriate use of force if certain precautions are not taken.

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