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Business Law Definition

In business and partnership law, contribution may refer to a capital contribution, which is an amount of money or assets given to a business or partnership by one of the owners or partners. The capital contribution increases the owner or partner's equity interest in the entity. Capital contributions are not considered business income unless given in the form of a loan.

Contribution may also refer to a charitable contribution, which is an amount of money or assets given to a corporation organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, literary, or educational purposes. Charitable contributions are tax deductible for up to one half of an individual's adjusted gross income, and up to ten percent of a corporation's taxable income.

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Injury Law Definition

After a plaintiff collects from a jointly and severally liable defendant, that defendant may force co-defendants to pay her contribution proportional to their blameworthiness.

For example, suppose that A and B negligently injure V. Suppose further that V successfully sues A and B for $100,000, and that the jury finds A 10% responsible for V's injuries, and B 90% responsible. Because A and B are jointly and severally liable, V may collect the full $100,000 from A. A may then demand that B pay his share of the judgment - here, $90,000. If, however, B cannot afford to pay his full share, A is stuck paying both his share and B's share. See, e.g., Walt Disney World Co. v. Wood, 489 So. 2d 61 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1986).

See Tort; Joint and Several Liability.