Joint and Several Liability Reform: Medical Liability: S. 83 (2005).


Specifies that if there are multiple defendants in a civil

Specifies that if there are multiple defendants in a civil action, joint and several liability does not apply to any defendant 50 percent or less responsible for the damages.  Furthermore, specified that comparative fault is included in the calculation of total fault in the case.  If the plaintiff is found to be greater than 50 percent responsible for the total fault, then the plaintiff is completely barred from recovering damages.  A defendant found to be less than 50 percent responsible is only responsible for its proportional share of damages based on its percentage of liability.  Retained the right of the “empty chair” defense where a defendant retains the right to assert that another potential tortfeasor, whether or not a party,  contributed to the alleged damages and may be liable for any or all damages alleged by another party.

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More Work Remains on Tort Reform

This letter-to-the-editor was originally published by The Herald-Dispatch in Huntington, WV. West Virginia was a mainstay on the American Tort Reform Foundation’s “Judicial Hellholes®” list for nearly 20 years, finally […]