An important aspect of Georgia’s Tort Reform Act of 2005 addressed the apportionment of fault among the responsible parties. Georgia law traditionally recognized joint and severally liability among parties liable for a plaintiff’s injuries—any defendant found liable could be required to pay 100 percent of the damages awarded. The Tort Reform Act of 2005 did away with some aspects of joint and several liability. But, how much really changed? In Alston & Bird, LLP v. Hatcher Management Holdings, LLC, Case No. S20G1419 (decided August 10, 2021), the Georgia Supreme Court limited the changes made by the Tort Reform Act. The… Read more
Tag: apportionment of liability
Interesting Cert Grants From The Georgia Supreme Court
On February 1, 2021, the Georgia Supreme Court granted certiorari in two cases that may have wide significance to attorneys practicing in Georgia. In Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. v. McCall, Case No. S20G1368, Georgia Supreme Court will examine whether Georgia courts can exercise general personal jurisdiction over non-Georgia corporations that have registered to do business in Georgia. In the early 1990s, the Georgia Supreme Court held that Georgia law allowed a Georgia court to exercise general jurisdiction over a non-Georgia corporation that had registered to do business in Georgia. Under general personal jurisdiction, a company can be sued in… Read more
When Can You Apportion Liability For A Group Action?
How do you apportion liability among parties equally responsible for a decision? Short answer: Sometimes, you don’t. That was the answer reached by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation v. Loudermilk, Case No. 16-17315 (decided July 22, 2019). The case involved the failed Buckhead Community Bank. After the bank failed, the FDIC, as receiver, sought to hold the directors who served on the loan approval committee liable for allegedly negligently having approved certain risky loans. Eventually, a jury held the committee members liable for approving four loans and awarded the FDIC… Read more
The Georgia Supreme Court Again Looks at the Apportionment of Fault Among Tortfeasors
Since the Georgia Legislature adopted a statute that abolished joint and several liability among tortfeasors and required juries to apportion fault among responsible parties, including nonparties, the Georgia Supreme Court on several occasions has wrestled with the issue of who could be a party at fault and, therefore, someone to who a jury could attribute a share of responsibility. In Zaldivar v. Prickett, Case No. S14G1778 (decided July 6, 2015), the Georgia Supreme Court interpreted very broadly the definition of who could be a party at fault. That has implications for a wide variety of cases. The Zaldivar case arose… Read more