li·a·bil·i·ty /ˌlī-ə-'bi-lə-tē/ n pl -ties
1: the quality or state of being liable
2: something for which one is liable: as
a: a financial obligation: debt
tax liability
the bonds are liabilities compare asset
contingent liability: an amount that may or may not be owed depending on the outcome of a contingency (as a cosigner's default on a loan)
fixed liability: a liability (as a bond or mortgage) that does not mature for at least one year from the date incurred or from a given date
b: accountability and responsibility to another enforceable by civil remedies or criminal sanctions
liability for injuries caused by their product
absolute liability: strict liability in this entry
alternative liability: joint liability imposed on multiple tortfeasors when there are simultaneous tortious acts (as defective manufacture of parts of a wheel by different manufacturers) and uncertainty as to which act was the proximate cause of an injury compare concert of action 1
civil liability: liability imposed under civil laws and civil process as distinguished from criminal laws; also: the state of being subject to civil sanctions (as restitution or damages)
the acquittal does not relieve the corporation of civil liability for its fraud see also tort
◇ Civil liability is created by a legal theory or principle that places a duty or obligation (as to use due care) on the defendant.
corporate liability: liability of a corporation that is enforced by sanctions imposed against the corporation itself see also pierce
criminal liability: liability imposed under criminal laws and by means of criminal prosecution; also: the state of being subject to criminal sanctions
the criminal liability of an accomplice
enterprise liability: liability imposed on a business enterprise esp. for on-the-job injuries to employees; specif: liability imposed on defendants who are all members of an industry that has produced a defective product when the specific manufacturer cannot be identified
joint and several liability: joint liability imposed on joint tortfeasors that allows enforcement of the entire judgment against any one of the tortfeasors
◇ In some jurisdictions, joint and several liability remains despite adoption of comparative fault, and in others it has been eliminated by comparative fault.
joint liability: liability that is shared (as by co-owners); specif: liability for a tort that is imposed on joint tortfeasors when they have acted in concert, owe the same duty to the plaintiff, have a legal relationship, or otherwise together have caused an injury to the plaintiff and that allows contribution or indemnity between the joint tortfeasors
liability in sol·i·do: solidary liability in this entry
liability without fault: strict liability in this entry
personal liability: liability imposed against an individual esp. for injuries that occur on the individual's property or as a result of the individual's activities
premises liability: liability arising from injuries or losses occurring on one's premises
primary liability: liability imposed directly on a person because of his or her own negligence, default, or legal undertaking
prod·ucts liability: liability imposed on a manufacturer or seller for a defective and unreasonably dangerous product; specif: strict liability for a defective product that does not require the plaintiff to have privity of contract with the seller or manufacturer – called also product liability;
◇ A plaintiff usu. must show that a defective product was the proximate cause of injuries, was defective at the time of purchase, and was used for its intended purpose in order to establish a products liability claim.
secondary liability
1: vicarious liability in this entry
2: liability (as of a guarantor) that arises from a legal obligation owed to an injured party to pay damages for another's failure to perform or negligent act
several liability: liability assumed or imposed on an individual separate from others
solidary liability in the civil law of Louisiana: liability that is shared by obligors and that makes any one obligor liable for the entire obligation to the obligee but also apportions the liability among the obligors so that contribution is allowed; specif: such liability for a tort that is imposed on joint tortfeasors see also solidary obligation at obligation
strict liability: liability that is imposed without a finding of fault (as negligence or intent)
vicarious liability: liability that is imposed for another's acts because of imputed or constructive fault (as negligence) see also respondeat superior

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

I noun accountability, accountableness, amenability, amenableness, answerability, aptness, bounden duty, burden, contract obligation, debit, debt, disadvantage, drawback, due, duty, duty to pay, encumbrance, handicap, hindrance, indebtedness, legal obligation, legal responsibility, obligation, onus, proclivity, proneness, responsibility, unliquidated claim, vulnerability associated concepts: absolute liability, admission of liability, civil liability, contingent liability, criminal liability, denial of liability, existing liability, fixed liability, incurring a liability, joint liability, known liability, legal liability, liability imposed by law, liability insurance, liability without fault, limited liability, manufacturer's liability, original liability, pecuniary liability, potential liability, primary liability, secondary liability, several liability, statutory liability, strict liability, tort liability foreign phrases:
- Quando de una et eadem re duo onerabiles existunt, unus pro insufficientia aiterius, de integro, onerabitur. — When two persons are chargeable with one and the same thing, one of them is chargeable with the whole thing, upon the failure of the other
II index arrears, attornment, blame (responsibility), burden, chance (possibility), characteristic, charge (lien), cloud (incumbrance), debit, debt, delinquency (shortage), detriment, disadvantage, drawback, due, duty (obligation), encumbrance, excise, fault (responsibility), fine, impairment (drawback), impeachability, incumbrance (lien), lien, penalty, probability, responsibility (accountability), weight (burden)

Burton's Legal Thesaurus. . 2006

The condition of being responsible for something; something for which someone is responsible; an obligation or duty to do something or pay a sum of money; a possible claim against a person or business.

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.

1) In law, the state of being liable — that is, legally accountable for an act or omission.
2) In business, money owed by a business to others, such as payroll taxes, a court judgment, an account payable, or a loan debt.
Category: Accidents & Injuries
Category: Business, LLCs & Corporations → LLCs, Corporations, Partnerships, etc.
Category: If, When & Where to File a Lawsuit
Category: Mediation, Arbitration & Collaborative Law
Category: Small Claims Court & Lawsuits

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.

1 A legally enforceable obligation.
2 More generally, a debt or other legal obligation to pay an assessed amount (for example, taxes).
@ joint and several liability
Liability that is jointly payable by multiple parties, but that may (or must, depending on jurisdiction) be paid in full by one or more of them if the others are not to be found or are incapable of paying their share.
n. Responsibility for a loss that is borne both individually and collectively by a group of defendants.
@ joint liability
Liability that is jointly payable by multiple parties, of which none may be required to pay more than his or her share.
=>> liability.
@ primary liability
Liability for which one is directly responsible, without the claimant being obligated to resort to any other source for payment.
=>> liability.
@ secondary liability
Liability that one is not obligated to pay unless the party with primary liability fails to make payment.
=>> liability.
@ strict liability
In tort law, a financial responsibility to compensate a harm in the absence of any negligence; an absolute responsibility to ensure the safe functioning of a dangerous instrumentality.
=>> liability.
@ vicarious liability
The liability of an employer or supervisor for the acts of an employee, based on the employer-employee or supervisory relationship.

Webster's New World Law Dictionary. . 2000.

A comprehensive legal term that describes the condition of being actually or potentially subject to a legal obligation.

Dictionary from West's Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005.

A comprehensive legal term that describes the condition of being actually or potentially subject to a legal obligation.

Short Dictionary of (mostly American) Legal Terms and Abbreviations.

   one of the most significant words in the field of law, liability means legal responsibility for one's acts or omissions. Failure of a person or entity to meet that responsibility leaves him/her/it open to a lawsuit for any resulting damages or a court order to perform (as in a breach of contract or violation of statute). In order to win a lawsuit the suing party (plaintiff) must prove the legal liability of the defendant if the plaintiff's allegations are shown to be true. This requires evidence of the duty to act, the failure to fulfill that duty and the connection (proximate cause) of that failure to some injury or harm to the plaintiff. Liability also applies to alleged criminal acts in which the defendant may be responsible for his/her acts which constitute a crime, thus making him/her subject to conviction and punishment. Example: Jack Jumpstart runs a stop sign in his car and hits Sarah Stepforth as she is crossing in the cross-walk. Jack has a duty of care to Sarah (and the public) which he breaches by his negligence, and therefore has liability for Sarah's injuries, giving her the right to bring a lawsuit against him. However, Jack's father owns the automobile and he, too, may have liability to Sarah based on a statute which makes a car owner liable for any damages caused by the vehicle he owns. The father's responsibility is based on "statutory liability" even though he personally breached no duty. A signer of a promissory note has liability for money due if it is not paid and so would a co-signer who guarantees it. A contractor who has agreed to complete a building has liability to the owner if he fails to complete on time.

Law dictionary. . 2013.

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