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.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

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.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006
References in periodicals archive ?
shall be jointly and severally liable with MWSS for the same amount and period.
"For the reasons stated herein, this Court finds Defendants jointly and severally liable as Guarantors to BOA for $5,022,003.67 as of April 30, 2018, plus interest at BOA's prime rate plus four (4%) percent interest per annum, as determined by the Connecticut Superior Court in Bank of America, N.A.
Vouk's president, Christopher Blakley, signed the document, making him "jointly and severally liable for all amounts due under the Note, " according to the complaint.
Buying with others also means you're jointly and severally liable for the mortgage debt.
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.
It also lowered by 20% the fine imposed on Agroexpansion and reduced AOI's fine, arguing that it could not be held jointly and severally liable for the infringement before 18 November 1997 (date of acquisition of Agroexpansion by Intabex).
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 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.
The court found ABB defendants jointly and severally liable for $13.4 million, lost by the plans because of the failure to monitor recordkeeping fees and negotiate for rebates, and $21.8 million, lost by the plans due to the mapping of the Vanguard Wellington Fund to the Fidelity Freedom Funds.
The judge found the defaulting defendants jointly and severally liable as participants in a conspiracy under New York common law.
- Siemens Transmission & Distribution SA (SEHV) and Magrini are jointly and severally liable with Schneider Electric SA for the amount of 8,100,000
The DRC decided Kakuta must pay compensation of pounds 682,000, for which Chelsea are "jointly and severally liable".