Tuesday, August 23, 2022
A Proposal for Vicarious Liability for Sexual Violence
Jennifer Brobst, Vicarious Liability for Risks of Sexual Violence in the United States: Not a Modest Proposal, 99 U. Detroit Mercy L. Rev. 233 (2022)
The author considers the intractability of legal remedies to the public health crisis of sexual violence in the United States, including the criminal justice system and federal anti-discrimination laws. She proposes, instead, as a systemic solution to a systemic problem, continued support for common law agency and tort theories of vicarious liability for businesses, municipalities, and the many leaders who create the spaces where sexual violence persists. Analysis includes a focus on the heightened duty of protection placed on common carriers, such as taxis and trains, and recent litigation in several states challenging the economically-motivated statutory exemptions for rideshare companies, despite the risk of sexual violence inherent in this mode of transportation.