Several Liability Law and Legal Definition

Several liability refers to the responsibility of one party to pay the entire debt or judgment when the party has joined with others in agreeing to pay an obligation, or is ordered responsible to pay a judgment jointly with other parties. A person who pays the entire amount under several liability may sue the other joint debtors for contribution toward the payment if the others fail to pay their share.

Defense attorneys often request the judge or jury to break down the amount of negligence of each defendant and the plaintiff if there is contributory negligence. Often the court will refuse to do so, allowing the plaintiff to collect from whichever defendant has the most money, and letting the defendant who pays demand contributions from the other defendants.Several liability often arises when people enter into an obligation such as a guarantee together, wich means that the lender or creditor can recover the whole indebtedness from any one of them. They are then left to sort out their respective contributions between themselves. Many states have passed laws, which vary by state, abolishing or limiting several liability.