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Unformatted text preview: ** Bierczynski v. Rogers Supreme Court of Delaware, 1968 Accident victims (P) v. Drag racers (D) FACT SUMMARY: Race (D) and Bierczynski (D) were drag racing on a public highway and during the fact hit a car in which C. and S. Rogers (P) were riding. RULE OF LAW Individuals who are party to a motor vehicle race on a highway are tortfeasors acting in concert and each participant is liable for harm to a third person arising from tortious conduct because he has engaged in and induced the wrong. FACTS: Race (D) and Bierczynski (D) were participants in a drag race on a highway. As the two cars involved in the race were coming over a hill, the Rogers' (P) car came into sight. Race (D) attempted to swing his car back into the proper lane but he lost control of the car and it hit the Rogers' (P) car at about 70 miles per hour . Procedural History: The trial court awarded substantial damages in favor of the Rogers (P), holding both Race (D) and Bierczynski (D) jointly liable. Bierczynski's (D) car never actually hit the Rogers' (P) vehicle; thus, he appealed claiming he was not liable for any of the damage. ISSUE: Is a defendant who participates in a motor race on a public highway wherein the car of the other participant strikes the car of the plaintiff, liable for the damages inflicted upon that third party? HOLDING AND DECISION: (Herrmann, J.) Yes. A defendant who engages in a motor vehicle race on a public street is liable for the injury caused by the other participant to the plaintiff. In this instance even though Bierczynski (D) never came in contact with the Rogers' (P) car, he was engaged in the race and thus acted in concert to cause the injury to the Rogers (P). The reason for the rule is that it would be unfair to hold only one party liable if both caused the accident , for presumably the defendant who actually contacted the plaintiff might be insolvent. Further, it seems unfair to the defendant who actually collided to make him bear the entire brunt of the damages when the other individual was also responsible for the injuries. Affirmed. ** Coney v. J.L.G. Industries, Inc. Supreme Court of Illinois, 1983 Decedent's administrator (P) v. Manufacturing company (D) FACT SUMMARY: J.L.G. Industries (D) contended that joint and several liability no longer was applicable in a comparative negligence situation. 1 RULE OF LAW The adoption of comparative negligence does not require the abolition of joint and several liability. FACTS: Jasper was killed while using a producthydraulic platform--made by J.L.G. Industries (D ). J.L.G. (D) contended that Jasper's employer was partially negligent, and that since Illinois had adopted comparative negligence, the doctrine of joint and several liability had also been abolished , and any judgment against it should be reduced by the percentage of fault attributable to the employer. This issue was certified for decision by the state supreme court....
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- Spring '11