SEC. 85-5-7. Limitation of joint and several liability for damages caused by two or more persons; contribution between joint tortfeasors; determination of percentage of fault; liability of medical defendants for economic and noneconomic damages.
(1) As used in this section, "fault" means an act or omission of a person which is a proximate cause of injury or death to another person or persons, damages to property, tangible or intangible, or economic injury, including, but not limited to, negligence, malpractice, strict liability, absolute liability or failure to warn. "Fault" shall not include any tort which results from an act or omission committed with a specific wrongful intent.
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(2) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (4) of this section, in any civil action based on fault, the liability for damages caused by two (2) or more persons shall be several only, and not joint and several and a joint tort-feasor shall be liable only for the amount of damages allocated to him in direct proportion to his percentage of fault. In assessing percentages of fault an employer and the employer's employee or a principal and the principal's agent shall be considered as one (1) defendant when the liability of such employer or principal has been caused by the wrongful or negligent act or omission of the employee or agent.
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(3) Nothing in this section shall eliminate or diminish any defenses or immunities which currently exist, except as expressly noted herein.
(4) Joint and several liability shall be imposed on all who consciously and deliberately pursue a common plan or design to commit a tortious act, or actively take part in it. Any person held jointly and severally liable under this section shall have a right of contribution from his fellow defendants acting in concert.
(5) In actions involving joint tort-feasors, the trier of fact shall determine the percentage of fault for each party alleged to be at fault without regard to whether the joint tort-feasor is immune from damages. Fault allocated under this subsection to an immune tort-feasor or a tort-feasor whose liability is limited by law shall not be reallocated to any other tort-feasor.
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(6) Nothing in this section shall be construed to create a cause of action. Nothing in this section shall be construed, in any way, to alter the immunity of any person.
SOURCES: Laws, 1989, ch. 311, Sec. 1; Laws, 2002, 3rd Ex. Sess., ch. 2, § 4, HB 2, eff from and after January 1, 2003; Laws 2002, 3rd Ex. Sess., ch. 4, § 3, HB 19; Laws, 2004, 1st Ex Sess, ch. 1, § 6, HB 15, eff from and after September 1, 2004, and applicable to all causes of action filed on or after September 1, 2004.
PREVIOUS VERSIONS: Pre-2004
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