Update on Minnesota's Joint and Several Liability Law

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Update on Minnesota's Joint and Several Liability Law

The Minnesota Supreme Court recently held that, when a jury attributes 50% of the negligence to the sole defendant in a lawsuit and 50% to someone who is not a party in the lawsuit, the defendant needs only to contribute 50% of the award.  This is a different interpretation of the Minnesota Joint and Several Liability Statute which previously made that sole defendant responsible for the entire award.  Staab v. Diocese of St. Cloud, 2012 WL 1317768

In view of this decision by the Minnesota Supreme Court, failure to join all potential tortfeasors in a lawsuit gives the defendant the chance to put blame on non-parties and avoid responsibility for the entire award.

 

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