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impute

v. 1) to attach to a person responsibility (and therefore financial liability) for acts or injuries to another, because of a particular relationship, such as mother to child, guardian to ward, employer to employee or business associates. Example: a 16-year-old boy drives his father's car without a license and runs someone down. The child's negligence may be imputed to the parent, or, in the reverse, a mother drives her car and collides with a truck driven over the speed limit, and her baby in the front seat of the car is badly injured, in part due to not being put in a safety seat with a seat belt. The mother's negligence can be imputed to the child in any claim on behalf of the child against the truck driver. 2) to attribute knowledge and/or notice to a person only because of his/her relationship to the one actually possessing the information. Example: if a partner in a business is informed of something, that knowledge is imputed to his/her partner, and the partner is expected to have the information also.

See also: vicarious liability 

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The People's Law Dictionary by Gerald and Kathleen Hill Publisher Fine Communications

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