I have a course question that involves an employer whose employee is injured by a third person. Knowing that some businesses can suffer great losses with the injury or death of an employee, I Google searched (excuse me, I have not taken a legal research course yet) for cases in which employers sought recovery for the loss of an employee. I found the latin phrase from common law "Actio per quod servitium amisit" which means something like "whereby he lost the service" (of a servant, for example), but this does not appear to be used in U.S. law. There are some casemine cases that reference it, but they are a bit too much for me to pick apart right now.

My question is whether or not there is a current action similar to this one or whether, in general or under what circumstances, an employer can recover for the loss of an employee, under U.S. law.

1 Answer 1


Recovery for loss of employee: Actio per quod servitium amisit?

That theory is obsolete in U.S. law. See National Roofing Inc., v Alstate Steel, 366 P.3d 276, 280 (2015):

the action was based on the outdated social concept that domestic servants were the property of their masters, id., and the assertion of such claims has long since been abandoned.

The court in National also suggests that the remedy for a plaintiff-employer's losses (akin to the ones you mention) would be available rather through a theory of tortious interference with business relation:

Plaintiff has made no allegation that Defendants intentionally and improperly interfered with these contractual relations

Anderson Plasterers v Meinecke, 543 N.W.2d 612 (1996) reaches a similar conclusion, further reflecting that recovery under [plaintiff's] theory [of per quod servitium amisit] has been almost universally denied.

I have not taken a legal research course yet

From personal experience, I can tell you that you need no such course.

For other cases regarding actions per quod servitium amisit, see the results this query (leagle.com is a free and very useful resource for legal research).

  • It is interesting that some frustrated user out there keeps downvoting without articulating why, and even an answer and its sources are very easily verifiable. Feb 6, 2019 at 22:55
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    I suspect that the downvote may have been prompted by your second last paragraph
    – Dale M
    Feb 7, 2019 at 1:28
  • @DaleM Thanks for the hint. If so, then that's an inept pretext to reject an entire answer. Moreover, I spoke candidly: One need not enroll and pay tuition to develop expertise in legal research, whence anyone disagreeing with my remark implicitly underestimates the OP's ability to develop the skill on his own as well. Feb 7, 2019 at 12:09
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    voters vote how they vote - democracy does not require ballots to be cast for good cause.
    – Dale M
    Feb 7, 2019 at 19:38
  • @DaleM "democracy does not require ballots to be cast for good cause". Here it certainly requires good cause. StackExchange expects a higher quality of "community moderation" than what resentful voters are capable of doing in the anonymity. Were that not the case, StackExchange would not care about vote fraud or serial voting. Feb 7, 2019 at 20:02

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