ABANDONMENT for torts, a term used in the civil law. By the Roman law, when
the master was sued for the tort of his slave, or the owner for a trespass
committed by his animal, he might abandon them to the person injured, and
thereby save himself from further responsibility.
2. Similar provisions have been adopted in Louisiana. It is enacted by the civil code that the master shall be answerable for all the damages occasioned by an offence or quasi offence committed by his slave. He may, however, discharge himself from such responsibility by abandoning the slave to the person injured; in which case such person shall sell such slave at public auction in the usual form; to obtain payment of the damages and costs; and the balance, if any, shall be returned to the master of the slave, who shall be completely discharged, although the price of the slave should not be sufficient to pay the whole amount of the damages and costs; provided that the master shall make abandonment within three days after the judgment awarding such damages, shall have been rendered; provided also that it shall not be proved that the crime or offence was committed by his order, for in such cases the master shall be answerable for all damages resulting therefrom, whatever be the amount, without being admitted to the benefit of abandonment. Art. 180, 181.
3. The owner of an animal is answerable for the damages he has caused; but if the animal had been lost, or had strayed more than a day, he may discharge himself from this responsibility, by abandoning him to the person who has sustained the injury, except where the master has turned loose a dangerous or noxious animal, for then he must pay for all the harm he has done, without being allowed, to make the abandonment. Ib. art. 2301.