Joint And Several Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Joint And Several, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Joint And Several?

It normally pertains to the liability occurred due to negligence which has been awarded in favour of the plaintiff who will then have a right to decide from whom his debts are to be recovered , out of the defendants. Normally court distributes the amount among the defendants to repay, but if court does not, the plaintiff can claim from any one defendant, the whole amount, which the defendant in turn mutually settles amonst themselves afterwards.

History and Meaning of Joint And Several

Joint and several is a legal term that refers to the liability of two or more parties to fulfill a single obligation. It means that each of the parties can be held responsible for the entire obligation or for a fraction of it.

In the case of legal disputes, joint and several liability can occur when multiple defendants are held responsible for the same harm or damage, and each one is equally liable for the full amount of damages. This means that the plaintiff can choose to recover the entire amount of damages from any one of the defendants, or from all of them jointly.

Examples of Joint And Several

Here are some examples of how joint and several liability is used in different contexts:

  • In a car accident, if two or more drivers are found to be at fault, they may be held jointly and severally liable for any damages caused to the other driver or their property.
  • In a partnership, each partner is jointly and severally liable for the debts and obligations of the partnership, which means they can be held personally responsible for any debts incurred by the partnership.
  • In a mortgage, if multiple borrowers are listed on the loan, they are typically held jointly and severally liable for the entire amount owed, meaning that any one of them can be held responsible for the full amount of the debt if the others are unable to pay.
  • In a construction project, if multiple contractors are involved and one of them causes damage to the property, all of the contractors may be held jointly and severally liable for any resulting damages or costs.

Legal Terms Similar to Joint And Several

Here are some related legal terms that are often used in conjunction with joint and several liability:

  • Several liability: This means that each defendant is only responsible for their own percentage of fault or liability, rather than being held jointly and severally liable for the entire amount.
  • Proportional liability: This is a form of several liability where each party is only responsible for their percentage of fault or contribution to the damages.
  • Contributory negligence: This occurs when the plaintiff is found to have contributed to their own harm or damages, which can limit or eliminate their ability to recover damages from other parties.
  • Comparative negligence: This is a legal standard that allows damages to be apportioned between the parties based on their degree of fault, rather than holding them jointly and severally liable.