At common law any person who wrongfully injures another, intentionally or negligently, is liable to compensate such other person for his damages if the injured person is himself free from contributory fault. If the tortfeasor is a servant, acting within the scope of his employment, his employer (or master) is also liable to answer for the wrong under the long-established doctrine of respondeat superior,with certain exceptions in which immunity is granted to the state, or subdivisions thereof, and to charitable institutions. The trend in modern times has been to narrow, or to entirely abolish, such immunity. By the Federal Tort Claims Act, for example, the United States has waived its governmental immunity and there has been an increasing demand for the adoption of similar statutes by the several States.
J. W. Smithers,
Third Party Actions under Workmen's Compensation Act,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/lawreview/vol1/iss5/5