joint tortfeasors


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joint tortfeasors

n. two or more persons whose negligence in a single accident or event causes damages to another person. In many cases the joint tortfeasors are jointly and severally liable for the damages, meaning that any of them can be responsible to pay the entire amount, no matter how unequal the negligence of each party was. Example: Harry Hotrod is doing 90 miles an hour along a two-lane road in the early evening, Adele Aimster has stopped her car to study a map with her car sticking out into the lane by six inches. Hotrod swings out a couple of feet to miss Aimster's vehicle, never touches the brake, and hits Victor Victim, driving from the other direction, killing him. While Hotrod is grossly negligent for the high speed and failure to slow down, Aimster is also negligent for her car's slight intrusion into the lane. As a joint tortfeasor she may have to pay all the damages, particularly if Hotrod has no money or insurance. However, comparative negligence rules by statute or case law in most jurisdictions will apportion the liability by percentages of negligence among the tortfeasors (wrongdoers) and the injured party's. (See: negligence, comparative negligence)

joint tortfeasors

two or more persons responsible for a tort. Courts have power to allocate responsibility among the joint tortfeasors, but each is wholly and severally liable to the victim.
References in periodicals archive ?
At the time, the judge said: "Given the strength and quality of the evidence, I have determined that both defendants were involved in assisting the preparation, planting and detonation of the bomb in circumstances where those involved in assisting those acts would be joint tortfeasors [individuals who committed a wrongful act injuring another person].
The judge said at the time: "I have determined that both defendants were involved in assisting the preparation, planting and detonation of the bomb in circumstances where those involved in assisting those acts would be joint tortfeasors [individuals who committed a wrongful act injuring another person].
The court held, inter alia, that although the Contribution Act gives a settling tortfeasor a right of contribution against other joint tortfeasors, that right is limited to situations where there are two or more joint tortfeasors wherein a recovery against any one of them even though judgment has not been entered against all or any one of them.
Even if two seemingly independent tortious acts do not "precisely coincide in time," the actors can reasonably be considered to be joint tortfeasors if the sequence of their tortious acts produces a single injury.
11) He observed that, while the two hunters were neither joint tortfeasors nor several concurrent tortfeasors, the prevailing apportionment legislation in the provinces would come to the plaintiff's aid.
The "major" joint tortfeasors may still be required to pay judgments in full, subject to the payor's continuing right of contribution.
The Restatement of Torts describes the common law as providing that the liability of joint tortfeasors (PRPs) should be apportioned where there is a "reasonable basis" for determining the contribution of each cause to a "single harm.
The trial court's ruling implicitly suggested that there was no dispute concerning whether the defendants were subsequent tortfeasors, rather than joint tortfeasors.
Under this system of several-only liability, plaintiffs, not defendants, bear the risk of insolvent joint tortfeasors," the court said.
While maintaining the plaintiffs right to collect all of his damages from any one defendant, contribution gave joint tortfeasors a right of action against each other on the basis of their respective degrees of fault.
The court found that even it were true that the physician negligently treated the patient, the patient's cause of action against Geritom arose before her admission to North Memorial, and North Memorial physicians and Geritom could not be joint tortfeasors.

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