joint and several liability

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Joint and Several Liability

A designation of liability by which members of a group are either individually or mutually responsible to a party in whose favor a judgment has been awarded.

Joint and several liability is a form of liability that is used in civil cases where two or more people are found liable for damages. The winning plaintiff in such a case may collect the entire judgment from any one of the parties, or from any and all of the parties in various amounts until the judgment is paid in full. In other words, if any of the defendants do not have enough money or assets to pay an equal share of the award, the other defendants must make up the difference.

Defendants in a civil suit can be held jointly and severally liable only if their concurrent acts brought about the harm to the plaintiff. The acts of the defendants do not have to be simultaneous: they must simply contribute to the same event. For example, assume that an electrician negligently installs an electrical line. Years later, another electrician inspects the line and approves it. When the plaintiff is subsequently injured by a short circuit in the line, the plaintiff may sue both electricians and hold them jointly and severally liable.

Joint and several liability can also arise where a Husband and Wife or members of an organization owe the government income taxes. In such cases, the revenue agency may collect on the debt from any and all of the debtors. In a contractual situation, where two or more persons are responsible for the same performance and default on their obligations, a nondefaulting party may hold any and all parties liable for damages resulting from the breach of performance.

A small number of states do not strictly follow the doctrine of joint and several liability. In such jurisdictions, called comparative Negligence jurisdictions, liability is prorated according to the percentage of the total damages attributable to each defendant's conduct.

joint and several liability

noun absolute, abstruse, across-the-board, aggregate, all-embracing, all inclusive, all-out, bewildering, chaotic, circuitous, clear, collective, combined, complete, complicated, composite, confused, convoluted, difficult, downright, elaborated, enigmatic, entangled, entire, exhaustive, explicit, express, extended, extensive, flexuous, full, gradely, gross, impenetrable, implicated, inclusive, in-depth, individually and collectively liable, individually and mutually liable, inextricable, inscrutable, integral, interlaced, interwoven, intricate, involuted, involved, jumbled, kaleidoscopic, knotted, labyrinthine, muddied, multiplex, obscure, out-and-out, outright, perplexing, plenary, radical, rank, recondite, sheer, sinuous, snarled, straight-out, sweeping, tangled, teetotal, thorough, together or separate, tortuous, unambiguous, unarranged, unclassified, unconditional, undecipherable, unequivocal, unfathomable, universal, unmitigated, unorganized, unqualified, unreserved, utter, varied, whole, widespread
Associated concepts: ostensible principal

joint and several liability

liability where a person can be sued jointly with others or individually for the whole sum, leaving it to the person sued to recover from the others with whom he is jointly liable. For example, every partner is jointly liable with his co-partners and also severally liable for everything for which the firm becomes liable while he is a partner.
References in periodicals archive ?
They are jointly and severally liable for the full purchase price under the Consumer Credit Act.
If the item is over PS100 and was paid for by credit card then the purchaser may have extra rights under the Consumer Credit Act as the credit card provider may be jointly and severally liable, this means not only will the purchaser have a claim against the trader but they may also have a claim against the credit card company too.
Labor Commissioner Su repeatedly has stated that prime contractors are jointly and severally liable for their subcontractors who fail to follow California's labor law.
Because she signed a lease, and the lease contains a clause stating that the tenants are joint and severally liable for any debts arising from the lease.
If there is any joint debt, both account holders are jointly and severally liable, so the survivor would be liable to clear this.
The plaintiffs, represented by the Capell & Howard firm of Montgomery, are arguing that Stroud and Tuberville are jointly and severally liable for the money invested by the eight plaintiffs--in part because they failed to actually incorporate some of their business entities as limited liability companies, despite using LLC in the names.
Net Contribution Clause - this is a form of limitation clause that pierces the principle that all "players" in a construction project are joint and severally liable for the employers should things go wrong.
However, as a legal owner you would be jointly and severally liable for mortgage payments.
If the landlord or appointed managing agent fails to comply with this provision, they will become jointly and severally liable for the invoices for water usage at the rented property.
If three of you are purchasing jointly then you should own the property jointly as Tenants in Common, with each of you having a one-third share in the equity as, of course, all three will be jointly and severally liable under the mortgage.
Additionally it would hold anyone knowingly advising an employer or person to misclassify employees jointly and severally liable lor any fines and penalties.