Georgia tort reform — proportional liability replaces joint & several liability
In the spasm of tort reform (SB 3) that passed with scant discussion of details, Georgia has replaced the ancient rule of joint and several liability with a new rule of proportional liability. Applying to cases arising after Gov. Perdue signed it on 2/16/05, the new law (text below) provides that a jury is required to apportion fault not only among parties but also among non-parties, known and unknown, as to which a defendant gives notice. We anticipate many complications in litigation, all to the benefit of defendants and insurance companies and probably none benefiting innocent injury victims. Combined with the Daubert rule on expert testimony and offers of judgment, this represents a radical change in the nuts and bolts of tort law practice in Georgia.
In future posts we will explore some of the issues implicit in the new proportional liability rule, and some of the unintended (?) consequences. See the text below.
Ken Shigley represents plaintiffs in wrongful death and catastrophic injury cases statewide in Georgia, and in other states subject to the multijurisdictional practice and pro hac vice rules in each state. Ken Shigley was designated as a “Super Lawyer” in Atlanta Magazine and one of the “Legal Elite” in Georgia Trend Magazine. He is President-Elect of the State Bar of Georgia (2011-12), a Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy, Chair of the Southeastern Motor Carrier Liability Institute and former chair of the Georgia Insurance Law Institute. He particularly focuses on cases arising from truck wrecks and accidents (tractor trailers truck wrecks, semi truck wrecks,18 wheeler truck wrecks, big rig truck wrecks, log truck wrecks, dump truck wrecks). He and Sally have been married since 1983, and are the proud parnts of two young adults, Anne Shigley and Ken Shigley, Jr.