Joint & Several Liability

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KD35
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Joint & Several Liability

Postby KD35 » Mon Oct 14, 2013 2:24 pm

Anyone know any good resources that explains J/S liability and comparative fault well? Went over it in torts and how the professor tried to explain it hasn't clicked well with me on it.

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SemperLegal
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Re: Joint & Several Liability

Postby SemperLegal » Mon Oct 14, 2013 2:33 pm

KD35 wrote:Anyone know any good resources that explains J/S liability and comparative fault well? Went over it in torts and how the professor tried to explain it hasn't clicked well with me on it.


Joint and several liability means that a plaintiff can collect the amount from any defendant to whatever extent. Example, if the town runs a boat rental place, a worker there, Adam, drops a canoe on me, and the court finds Adam and the town joint and severally liable for 10k in damages, I can collect from either the Town, Adam, or both. If I get try to collect the whole 10k from the Town, its no defense that Adam gets off scott-free (although they may be able to later sue him directly for indemnification, etc.) Some states alter this doctrine and limit each party to their degree of fault (and therefore are severally, but not jointly, liable for damages)

Comparative fault reduces a Plaintiff's award by the amount of "wrong" he was. Therefore, if I, without looking both ways, step out into the road and are hit by a speeding car, the jury can find that although i was 10% at fault for not looking both ways, the driver was 90% at fault for speeding and being drunk. Therefore, if there are 100k in damages awarded, I can only collect 90K of it (and that 90k might be collectable from the insurer if its joint and severally liable). Some states say that the plaintiff cannot collect any money if his level of fault is above 50%, while other states will allow P to collect 1% of a giant award if the P is mostly responsible.

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KD35
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Re: Joint & Several Liability

Postby KD35 » Mon Oct 14, 2013 2:35 pm

SemperLegal wrote:
KD35 wrote:Anyone know any good resources that explains J/S liability and comparative fault well? Went over it in torts and how the professor tried to explain it hasn't clicked well with me on it.


Joint and several liability means that a plaintiff can collect the amount from any defendant to whatever extent. Example, if the town runs a boat rental place, a worker there, Adam, drops a canoe on me, and the court finds Adam and the town joint and severally liable for 10k in damages, I can collect from either the Town, Adam, or both. If I get try to collect the whole 10k from the Town, its no defense that Adam gets off scott-free (although they may be able to later sue him directly for indemnification, etc.) Some states alter this doctrine and limit each party to their degree of fault (and therefore are severally, but not jointly, liable for damages)

Comparative fault reduces a Plaintiff's award by the amount of "wrong" he was. Therefore, if I, without looking both ways, step out into the road and are hit by a speeding car, the jury can find that although i was 10% at fault for not looking both ways, the driver was 90% at fault for speeding and being drunk. Therefore, if there are 100k in damages awarded, I can only collect 90K of it (and that 90k might be collectable from the insurer if its joint and severally liable). Some states say that the plaintiff cannot collect any money if his level of fault is above 50%, while other states will allow P to collect 1% of a giant award if the P is mostly responsible.


Awesome. That's exactly what I was looking for! Thank you!




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