Morton Foods Inc 603 SW2d 805 807 Tex 1980 No Contribution In vicarious

Morton foods inc 603 sw2d 805 807 tex 1980 no

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Knutson v. Morton Foods, Inc. , 603 S.W.2d 805, 807 (Tex. 1980)] No Contribution In vicarious liability cases, the vicariously liable party and the primary tortfeasor have no right of contribution against each other, since each of these parties is responsible along with the other for 100 percent of the damages allocated to the primary tortfeasor. [Restatement (Third) of Torts: Apportionment Liab. §§ 22(a)(2), 23(c)] Vicariously Liable Party’s Right of Indemnification The vicariously liable party has a right of indemnification against the primary tortfeasor. What this means is that the vicariously liable party may sue the primary tortfeasor for 100 percent reimbursement of any damages that the vicariously liable party might pay to the plaintiff on account of being held vicariously liable. [Restatement (Third) of Torts: Apportionment Liab. §§ 22(a)(2), 23(c)] Example : A delivery driver is an employee of a local pizzeria. The delivery driver’s negligence in the course of delivering pizzas combines with the negligence of a trucker to cause an indivisible injury to a plaintiff. The plaintiff sues the delivery driver, the pizzeria, and the trucker for her injuries. The plaintiff seeks to hold the delivery driver and the trucker directly liable as primary tortfeasors. The plaintiff seeks to hold the pizzeria, as the delivery driver’s employer, vicariously liable. At trial, the fact finder rules that the delivery driver and the trucker are each 50 percent responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries. The fact finder also determines that the pizzeria is vicariously liable for the delivery driver’s negligence. Total damages are $100,000. The jurisdiction adopts a system of pure comparative fault and of joint and several liability, with contribution. The plaintiff will be able to recover up to $100,000 from the delivery driver, the trucker, the pizzeria, or some combination of the
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three. Since the jurisdiction has adopted a joint and several liability system, the delivery driver and the trucker are both on the hook for 100 percent of the damages as primary tortfeasors. The pizzeria is vicariously liable for the delivery driver’s negligence, which means that the pizzeria is liable to the same extent as the delivery driver. Hence, the pizzeria is also on the hook for 100 percent of the damages, because the delivery driver is on the hook for 100 percent of the damages. The jurisdiction has a right of contribution among joint tortfeasors. Therefore, if the trucker pays the full $100,000 damages, then the trucker will be able to sue the delivery driver and the pizzeria for contribution of up to $50,000—the amount that the trucker paid in excess of his 50 percent share of the damages. The trucker will be able to collect this amount from the delivery driver (as primary tortfeasor), the pizzeria (as vicariously liable party), or both. If the delivery driver pays the full $100,000 damages, then he will be able to sue the trucker for contribution in the amount of $50,000—the amount the delivery driver paid in excess of his 50 percent share of the damages. The delivery driver will not be able to recover anything from the
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