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public duty doctrine n
a doctrine in tort law: a government entity (as a state or municipality) cannot be held liable for the injuries of an individual resulting from a public officer's or employee's breach of a duty owed to the public as a whole as distinguished from a duty owed to the particular individual called also public duty rule see also special duty doctrine
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.