Joint And Several Liability


Where two or more persons are liable in respect of the same liability, in most common law legal systems they may either be…

Joint And Several Liability

What is ‘Joint And Several Liability ‘

Joint and several liability is when multiple parties can be held liable for the same event or act and be responsible for all restitution required. In cases of joint and several liability, a person who was harmed or wronged by several parties could be awarded damages and collect from any one, several, or all of the liable parties. The liable parties would be required to pay the entire damage award, which could be split among multiple parties or could come from just one party. Each party would be liable for part of the damages, or up to as much as all of the damages.

Explaining ‘Joint And Several Liability ‘

Joint and several liability favors the plaintiff suing for damages because it enables him or her to seek payment from the party or parties with the deepest pockets.

Joint and several liability differs from comparative fault, where the multiple parties would be assigned responsibility for a portion of the damages in relation to the percentage of fault that they bore for the harm.

In comparative fault, if the greatest percentage of harm comes from the least financially solvent liable party, this might leave the plaintiff in the position of seeking damages from an insolvent party.

Further Reading

  • Indivisible toxic torts: the economics of joint and several liability – [PDF]
  • Joint and several liability – [PDF]
  • An analysis of the economic consequences of the proportionate liability rule – [PDF]
  • Economic analysis of joint and several liability – [PDF]
  • Financial reporting and auditing under alternative damage apportionment rules – [PDF]
  • The Case for Reform: An Economic Analysis of Joint and Several Liability After Comparative Negligence – [PDF]
  • The Effect of Joint and Several Liability on the Settlement Rate–Mathematical Symmetries and Metaissues about Rational Litigant Behavior: Comment on Kornhauser … – [PDF]
  • The effect of joint and several liability under superfund on brownfields – [PDF]
  • The Innocent Spouse Problem: Joint and Several Liability for Income Taxes Should Be Repealed – [PDF]
  • Poland's introduction of joint and several liability for a proxy filing a taxpayer's VAT registration form – [PDF]