What is Liability?

Legal Definition
A legally enforceable claim on the assets of a business or property of an individual. In business, liability results from a breach of duty or obligation by act or failure to act. Liability also refers to the debt or obligation of a business in contrast to its assets.
See also
  • Asset
  • Obligation
Legal Definition
Responsibility; the state of one who is bound in law and justice to do sometbing which may be enforced by action. This liability may arise from contracts either express or implied, or in consequence of torts committed.

2. The liabilities of one man are not in general transferred to his representative's further than to reach the estate in his hands. For example, an executor is not responsible for the liabilities of his testator further than the estate of the testator which has come to his hands. See Hamm. on Pait. 169, 170.

3. The husband is liable for his wife's contracts made dum sola, and for those made during coverture for necessaries, and for torts committed either while she was sole or since her marriage with him; but this liability continues only during the coverture; as to her torts, or even her contracts made before marriage; for the latter, however, she may be sued as her executor or administiator, when she assumes that character.

4. A master is liable for the acts of his servant while in his employ, performed in the usual course of his business, upon the presumption that they have been authorized by him; but he is responiible only in a civil point of view and not criminally, unless the acts have been actually authorized by him. See Bouv. Inst. Index, h. t.; Driver; Quasi Offence; Servant.
-- Bouviers Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
The state of being bound or obliged in law or justice to do, pay or make good something; legal responsibility. Wood v. Currey, 57 Cal. 209; McElfresh v. Kirkendall, 36 Iowa, 225; Benge v. Bowling, 106 Ky. 575, 51 S. W. 151; Joslin v. New Jersey Car-Spring Co., 36 N. J. Law, 145.
-- Black's Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
The condition of one after he has breached his contract or violated any obligation resting upon him. See 95 Cal. 317, 29 Am. St. Rep. 115, 30 Pac. 545.
-- Ballentine's Law Dictionary