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March 9, 1957


Author Affiliations

Austin, Texas

Attorney for the Texas Medical Society.

JAMA. 1957;163(10):847-852. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.82970450004013

The rule of respondeat superior today has wide application. Therefore, for the purpose of this article, the discussion of its effect will be confined to the area of professional liability of physicians resulting from the acts of partners, assistants, technicians, and employees.

The Meaning and Development of "Respondeat Superior" in the Law  Possibly the best way to approach a subject such as this would be to inform the reader of the meaning of the term respondeat superior, the reasoning involved in it, and its development, all of which play an important role in the practice of medicine. Just what does the term respondeat superior mean? It might briefly be explained in a short phrase that is often used—let the master answer. This maxim means that a master is liable in certain cases for the wrongful acts of his servant and a principal for those of his agent.1An understanding