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Case Law Update: Joint and Several Liability

Sakellariadis v. Campbell, No. 1-07-2845 (5-29-09) involved a plaintiff who sued two drivers for injuries sustained in separate accidents 3 months apart. The jury apportioned fault at 50% for each defendant. One defendant settled prior to verdict, and the trial court properly entered judgment for 50% against remaining defendant, rather than the entire verdict less the amount of settlement. The appellate court found that joint and several liability was inapplicable and the contribution Act is a remedy only where defendant has paid more than it’s pro rata share. This is Illinois case will have an impact on personal injury cases.