The Pennsylvania Legislature has now passed SB 1131, the Fair Share Act. This bill reforms joint and several liability in Pennsylvania. The hallmarks of the new law are as follows:
- liability will continue to be assessed among defendants;
- liability shall be several and not joint except where:
- the claim seeks damages for intentional misrepresentation;
- the claim seeks damages for an intentional tort;
- where liability of the individual defendant is 60 percent or greater;
- the claim seeks damages for the release or threatened release of a hazardous substance under the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act
- the claim seeks damages for violations of §497 of the Liquor Code
As such, except in the specific types of cases noted above, a defendant found liable for less than 60 percent of the damage, shall only be responsible for that percentage. The 1% Rule in Pennsylvania has been eliminated.
The new law has been forwarded to Governor Corbett who has promised to sign the legislation into law. The act shall take effect immediately. It shall apply to causes of action which occur after the effective date. Thus, it will not apply to pending actions. Please contact Christine Flynn (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a copy of the bill.