joint tortfeasors

Primary tabs

Also sometimes written as “joint-tortfeasor,” these are two or more persons whose collective negligence in a single accident or event causes damages to another person. Joint tortfeasors may be held jointly and severally liable for damages, meaning that any of them can be responsible to pay the entire amount, no matter what proportion of responsibility each has. The American Law Review, in an article defined joint tortfeasors “as two or more persons jointly or severally liable in tort for the same injury to person or property, whether or not judgment has been recovered against all or some of them.” For example, in Cadran v. Fanni, a New York state case, the Court found that, in a counterclaim alleging that plaintiff negligently drove and caused defendant damage in an accident, that the allegedly negligent plaintiff-driver  and the absent owner of the car plaintiff was driving were joint tortfeasors.

[Last updated in December of 2020 by the Wex Definitions Team]