Joint and Several Liability

Definition - What does Joint and Several Liability mean?

Joint and several liability refers to a situation in a civil lawsuit, in which two or more parties are found liable for damages individually and together. In such circumstances, the plaintiff is usually free to choose which party they would like to collect damages from; it can be one or all parties involved.

Justipedia explains Joint and Several Liability

Joint and several liability situations often occur when it is not just one party that is responsible for causing a loss.

For example, imagine that a roof repair company accidentally destroyed a roof and then a property inspector declared the roof safe. If the roof then collapsed, then both the roof repair company and the property inspector could be held liable for the losses.

In such a situation, the plaintiff may have the ability to choose which party to collect damages from, or to collect damages from both parties.

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