SB 637 - Joint Tort-Feasors - comparative negligence

First Reader Summary

A bill to amend Article 2 of Chapter 12 of Title 51 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to joint tort-feasors, so as to provide for comparative negligence; to provide that damages, if any, shall be apportioned among defendants according to the fault of each defendant; to provide for applicability; to provide an effective date.

Langford, Steve E (29th)
Status Summary HC: SC: Judy LA: 02/16/98 S - Read 1st time
Page Numbers - 1/ 2/ 3
Code Sections - 51-12-31/ 51-12-33
Senate Action House
2/16/98 Read 1st time

SB 637                                             LC 22 3043 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                        A BILL TO BE ENTITLED 
                               AN ACT 
 
 
  1- 1  To amend Article 2 of Chapter 12 of Title 51 of the Official 
  1- 2  Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to joint tort-feasors, 
  1- 3  so as to provide for comparative negligence; to provide that 
  1- 4  damages, if any, shall be apportioned among defendants 
  1- 5  according to the fault of each defendant; to provide for 
  1- 6  applicability; to provide an effective date; to repeal 
  1- 7  conflicting laws; and for other purposes. 
 
  1- 8       BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA: 
 
  1- 9                           SECTION 1. 
 
  1-10  Article 2 of Chapter 12 of Title 51 of the Official Code of 
  1-11  Georgia Annotated, relating to joint tort-feasors, is 
  1-12  amended by striking in its entirety Code Section 51-12-31, 
  1-13  relating to recovery against joint trespassers, and 
  1-14  inserting in its place the following: 
 
  1-15    "51-12-31. 
 
  1-16    (a) This subsection shall apply to causes of action 
  1-17    arising before July 1, 1998. Except as provided in Code 
  1-18    Section 51-12-33, where an action is brought jointly 
  1-19    against several trespassers, the plaintiff may recover 
  1-20    damages for the greatest injury done by any of the 
  1-21    defendants against all of them. In its verdict, the jury 
  1-22    may specify the particular damages to be recovered of each 
  1-23    defendant. Judgment in such a case must be entered 
  1-24    severally. 
 
  1-25    (b) In causes of action arising on or after July 1, 1998, 
  1-26    a plaintiff bringing an action jointly against several 
  1-27    trespassers shall recover from each defendant damages, if 
  1-28    any, in proportion to the fault of that defendant only. 
  1-29    In its verdict, the jury shall specify the particular 
  1-30    damages to be recovered against each defendant. Judgment 
  1-31    in such a case shall be entered severally, shall not be a 
  1-32    joint liability among the persons liable, and shall not be 
  1-33    subject to any right of contribution." 
 
 
 
                                 -1- 
 
 
 
  2- 1                           SECTION 2. 
 
  2- 2  Said article is further amended by striking in its entirety 
  2- 3  Code Section 51-12-33, relating to apportionment of award 
  2- 4  according to degree of fault, and inserting in its place the 
  2- 5  following: 
 
  2- 6    "51-12-33. 
 
  2- 7    (a) Where an action is brought against more than one 
  2- 8    person for injury to person or property and the plaintiff 
  2- 9    is himself or herself to some degree responsible for the 
  2-10    injury or damages claimed, the trier of fact, in its 
  2-11    determination of the total amount of damages to be 
  2-12    awarded, if any, may apportion its award of damages among 
  2-13    the persons who are liable and whose degree of fault is 
  2-14    greater than that of the injured party according to the 
  2-15    degree of fault of each person.  Damages, if apportioned 
  2-16    by the trier of fact as provided in this Code section, 
  2-17    shall be the liability of each person against whom they 
  2-18    are awarded, shall not be a joint liability among the 
  2-19    persons liable, and shall not be subject to any right of 
  2-20    contribution. 
 
  2-21    (b) Subsection (a) of this Code section shall not affect 
  2-22    venue provisions regarding joint actions. 
 
  2-23    (c) This Code section shall apply only to causes of action 
  2-24    arising on or after July 1, 1987, and before July 1, 1998. 
 
  2-25    51-12-34. 
 
  2-26    (a) Where an action is brought against more than one 
  2-27    person for injury to person or property and the plaintiff 
  2-28    is himself or herself to some degree responsible for the 
  2-29    injury or damages claimed, the trier of fact, in its 
  2-30    determination of the total amount of damages to be 
  2-31    awarded, if any, shall apportion its award of damages 
  2-32    among the persons who are liable and whose degree of fault 
  2-33    is greater than that of the injured party according to the 
  2-34    degree of fault of each person.  Damages, when apportioned 
  2-35    by the trier of fact as provided in this subsection, shall 
  2-36    be the liability of each person against whom they are 
  2-37    awarded, shall not be a joint liability among the persons 
  2-38    liable, and shall not be subject to any right of 
  2-39    contribution. 
 
  2-40    (b) Subsection (a) of this Code section shall not affect 
  2-41    venue provisions regarding joint actions. 
 
 
 
                                 -2- 
 
 
 
  3- 1    (c) This Code section shall apply only to causes of action 
  3- 2    arising on or after July 1, 1998." 
 
  3- 3                           SECTION 3. 
 
  3- 4  This Act shall become effective on July 1, 1998. 
 
  3- 5                           SECTION 4. 
 
  3- 6  All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are 
  3- 7  repealed. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                 -3- 

Clerk of the House
Robert E. Rivers, Jr., Clerk
Last Updated on 04/20/98

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