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Principalansvaret och dess gränser ur ett rättsekonomiskt perspektiv

Hansson, Björn LU (2015) JURM01 20151
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
De svenska reglerna om principalansvar trädde i kraft 1972, när en ny skadeståndslag antogs av Riksdagen. Innan denna tidpunkt hade regler om principalansvar utvecklats i rättspraxis, men omfattningen av detta ansvar hade varit väldigt begränsad. I de flesta fall hade en arbetsgivare inte kunnat hållas ansvarig för de skador som hans anställda vållat i tjänsten.

När regler om principalansvar intogs i den nya skadeståndslagen förändrades situationen. Arbetsgivarnas ansvar utökades kraftigt, och arbetstagarnas personliga ansvar minskade. Skälen bakom dessa förändringar var av såväl ekonomisk som social natur, och den nuvarande regleringen bör förstås i ljuset av både ekonomiska, pliktetiska och sociala hänsynstaganden.

I min uppsats... (More)
De svenska reglerna om principalansvar trädde i kraft 1972, när en ny skadeståndslag antogs av Riksdagen. Innan denna tidpunkt hade regler om principalansvar utvecklats i rättspraxis, men omfattningen av detta ansvar hade varit väldigt begränsad. I de flesta fall hade en arbetsgivare inte kunnat hållas ansvarig för de skador som hans anställda vållat i tjänsten.

När regler om principalansvar intogs i den nya skadeståndslagen förändrades situationen. Arbetsgivarnas ansvar utökades kraftigt, och arbetstagarnas personliga ansvar minskade. Skälen bakom dessa förändringar var av såväl ekonomisk som social natur, och den nuvarande regleringen bör förstås i ljuset av både ekonomiska, pliktetiska och sociala hänsynstaganden.

I min uppsats diskuterar jag begreppet principalansvar och dess begränsningar. Jag beskriver bland annat innebörden av begreppen arbetstagare och ”i tjänsten”. I ljuset av rättspraxis beskriver jag också hur Högsta domstolen har avgjort fall där principalansvarsfrågor har aktualiserats.

Utöver att beskriva den svenska regleringen av principalansvar undersöker jag huruvida denna reglering är ekonomiskt effektiv.

Enligt skadeståndslagen bär en arbetsgivare ansvar för i stort sett alla skador som hans anställda vållat i tjänsten, med undantag för abnormhandlingar och flertalet motortrafikskador. I dessa avseenden är principalansvarsregleringen ekonomiskt effektiv: den ger arbetsgivaren incitament att bedriva sin verksamhet med omsorg, samtidigt som handlingar vilka ligger bortom hans kontroll eller inte är direkt relaterade till hans verksamhet utesluts.

I vissa fall utsträcks principalansvaret till att omfatta mer än vad som är motiverat ur ett strikt ekonomiskt eller preventivt perspektiv. I de fall där den skadelidande står i kontraktsförhållande med skadevållarens principal, blir principalen ansvarig även för självständiga medhjälpares vållande, trots att han inte utövar någon kontroll över dem. Denna kontraktsrättsliga utvidgning av principalansvaret kan möjligtvis förklaras av pliktetiska skäl som hänför sig till tanken om avtalets helgd.

Arbetstagares personliga skadeståndsansvar är kraftigt begränsat under de nuvarande reglerna. Ekonomiskt sett är denna begränsning potentiellt ineffektiv. Den förklaras bättre som ett utslag av tanken om social hänsyn till arbetstagarna. (Less)
Abstract
The Swedish regulation of vicarious liability entered into force in 1972, when a new Liability for Damages Act was passed by the parliament.
Prior to this point in time, a concept of vicarious liability had developed in Swedish case law, but the scope of such liability had been very limited.
In most cases, an employer would not have been held responsible for tortious acts caused by his employees in the course of their employment.

With the inclusion of vicarious liability in the new Liability for Damages Act the situation was changed. The employers’ responsibilities were greatly extended, and the personal responsibilities of the employees were reduced. The reasons behind the changes were of economic as well as social nature, and the... (More)
The Swedish regulation of vicarious liability entered into force in 1972, when a new Liability for Damages Act was passed by the parliament.
Prior to this point in time, a concept of vicarious liability had developed in Swedish case law, but the scope of such liability had been very limited.
In most cases, an employer would not have been held responsible for tortious acts caused by his employees in the course of their employment.

With the inclusion of vicarious liability in the new Liability for Damages Act the situation was changed. The employers’ responsibilities were greatly extended, and the personal responsibilities of the employees were reduced. The reasons behind the changes were of economic as well as social nature, and the current rules can be understood in the light of economic, deontological and social considerations.

In my thesis I expound on the legal concept vicarious liability and its limits. Among other things, I describe the content of the legal concepts employee, and “in the course of employment”. In the light of case law I also describe how the Supreme Court has ruled in cases where issues concerning vicarious liability have been at hand.

In addition to describing the Swedish regulation of vicarious liability, I investigate whether or not the regulation is economically efficient.

According to the Liability for Damages Act, an employer is responsible for almost all tortious acts committed by his employees in the course of their employment, with the exception of highly unforeseeable acts and most cases of motor traffic accidents. In this respect, the regulation of vicarious liability is economically efficient: It provides the employer with incentives to conduct his business with due care, while excluding acts that are beyond the control of the employer or not immediately related to his business.

In some cases, however, the scope of vicarious liability can be greater than what would be considered optimal from an economic or preventive point of view. In cases where the sufferer of a tortious act is in contractual relationship with the person vicariously responsible, the responsibility of the latter is expanded. In such cases, vicarious responsibility includes the acts of independent assistants, over whom the principal exerts no control. This expansion of liability can possibly be explained by deontological reasons, relating to the idea of the sanctity of contract.

The personal responsibility of an employee accidently causing damage is very limited under the current Swedish regulations. Potentially being economically inefficient, this limitation is better understood in the light of social considerations. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Hansson, Björn LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Vicarious liability and its limits from an economic perspective
course
JURM01 20151
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
civilrätt, private law, principalansvar, vicarious liability, respondeat superior, rättsekonomi, law and economics, economics
language
Swedish
id
7363083
date added to LUP
2015-06-17 12:57:56
date last changed
2015-06-18 14:04:28
@misc{7363083,
  abstract     = {The Swedish regulation of vicarious liability entered into force in 1972, when a new Liability for Damages Act was passed by the parliament.
Prior to this point in time, a concept of vicarious liability had developed in Swedish case law, but the scope of such liability had been very limited.
In most cases, an employer would not have been held responsible for tortious acts caused by his employees in the course of their employment.

With the inclusion of vicarious liability in the new Liability for Damages Act the situation was changed. The employers’ responsibilities were greatly extended, and the personal responsibilities of the employees were reduced. The reasons behind the changes were of economic as well as social nature, and the current rules can be understood in the light of economic, deontological and social considerations.

In my thesis I expound on the legal concept vicarious liability and its limits. Among other things, I describe the content of the legal concepts employee, and “in the course of employment”. In the light of case law I also describe how the Supreme Court has ruled in cases where issues concerning vicarious liability have been at hand.

In addition to describing the Swedish regulation of vicarious liability, I investigate whether or not the regulation is economically efficient.

According to the Liability for Damages Act, an employer is responsible for almost all tortious acts committed by his employees in the course of their employment, with the exception of highly unforeseeable acts and most cases of motor traffic accidents. In this respect, the regulation of vicarious liability is economically efficient: It provides the employer with incentives to conduct his business with due care, while excluding acts that are beyond the control of the employer or not immediately related to his business.

In some cases, however, the scope of vicarious liability can be greater than what would be considered optimal from an economic or preventive point of view. In cases where the sufferer of a tortious act is in contractual relationship with the person vicariously responsible, the responsibility of the latter is expanded. In such cases, vicarious responsibility includes the acts of independent assistants, over whom the principal exerts no control. This expansion of liability can possibly be explained by deontological reasons, relating to the idea of the sanctity of contract.

The personal responsibility of an employee accidently causing damage is very limited under the current Swedish regulations. Potentially being economically inefficient, this limitation is better understood in the light of social considerations.},
  author       = {Hansson, Björn},
  keyword      = {civilrätt,private law,principalansvar,vicarious liability,respondeat superior,rättsekonomi,law and economics,economics},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Principalansvaret och dess gränser ur ett rättsekonomiskt perspektiv},
  year         = {2015},
}