'Fair Share Act' Brings Proportional Fault to Pennsylvania, Dramatically Altering the Law of Joint and Several Liability


Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett signed Senate Bill No. 1131 (known as the "Fair Share Act") into law Tuesday, June 28, dramatically limiting defendants' exposure to joint and several liability in negligence cases.

Prior to enactment of the Fair Share Act,* Pennsylvania law allowed a plaintiff in a negligence case involving multiple defendants to recover 100 percent of its damages from a single defendant, no matter that defendant's proportional liability. In other words, a defendant found to be 10 percent liable for causing plaintiff's harm nonetheless could be 100 percent responsible for plaintiff's damages. The single defendant, then, bore responsibility for seeking contribution from the other defendants in proportion to their liability. Aside from the obvious inequity of piling wildly disproportionate financial responsibility on a marginal defendant (particularly when the other more responsible defendants turned out to be judgment-proof), this regime also tended to create complex webs of litigation insofar as a defendant's claims for contribution would proceed apart from the plaintiff's lawsuit.

Please see full alert below for more information.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Reed Smith | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


Reed Smith on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.

Already signed up? Log in here

*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.