Joint and Several Liability Reform: HB 571 (1997)
Retains the current system of modified joint and several liability,
Retains the current system of modified joint and several liability, where joint liability does not apply to defendants found to be less than 50% at fault. Revises the comparative negligence statute to permit the allocation of a percentage of liability to defendants who settle or are released from liability by the plaintiff. Allows those defendants to intervene in the action to defend against claims affirmatively asserted. Provides that joint liability shall apply in actions arising from an act or omission that violates a state environmental law relating to hazardous or deleterious substances.
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A Washington controlled by Democrats would be a bonanza for the trial bar, writes W.J. Kennedy for Legal Newsline.