Effective April 2006, the Florida Legislature scrapped the theory of joint and several liability, joining the majority of jurisdictions that have abolished these legal principles. It was a move heavily lobbied by big businesses, and now, per Florida Statute 768.81, victims in cases where several parties may be responsible for injuries are unable to compel a single defendant to pay for a penny more than his or her percentage of fault.
Our Fort Myers injury lawyers know that what this means, essentially, is that many injured parties are no longer made whole. Joint and several liability allowed victims to fully recover damages for injuries in cases where a full recovery from all defendants might not be possible. That is no longer an option, and it can include cases where other individuals are not even named as defendants.
Similar statutes have been passed in Minnesota, where the Minnesota Supreme Court recently weighed the case of Staab v. Diocese of St. Cloud, a premises liability lawsuit stemming from a fall due to uneven flooring that was unmarked as such. The issue of joint and several liability was the key point of contention in the appeal.