Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2341740
 


 



Apportioning Liability in Maryland Tort Cases: Time to End Contributory Negligence and Joint and Several Liability


Donald G. Gifford


University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law

Christopher J. Robinette


Widener University - School of Law

2014

Maryland Law Review, Vol. 73, 2014, p. 701-
U of Maryland Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2013-61
Widener Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 13-76

Abstract:     
The Article presents a comprehensive proposal for assigning liability in tort cases according to the parties’ respective degrees of fault. The authors criticize the Court of Appeals of Maryland’s recent decision in Coleman v. Soccer Association of Columbia declining to abrogate contributory negligence, particularly the court’s notion that it should not act because of the legislature’s repeated failure to do so. The Article provides a comprehensive analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of comparative fault, including its effect on administrative costs, claims frequency, claims severity, insurance premiums, and economic performance. The authors propose the legislative enactment of comparative fault and debate the respective advantages of its pure and modified forms. The Article then provides a comprehensive roadmap for the implementation of a comparative fault system and addresses the handling of multiple and absent tortfeasors and how the implementation of comparative fault should affect the law governing last clear chance, assumption of risk, and intentional wrongdoing. Because the authors’ approach is one of apportioning liability according to fault, they then recommend abrogating other Maryland doctrines that refuse to apportion liability, including joint and several liability and the state’s statute that declares evidence of seat belt nonuse inadmissible.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 70

Keywords: contributory negligence, comparative negligence, comparative fault, precedent, stare decisis, common law, overruling, legislative inaction, joint and several liability, proportionate liability, several liability, reallocation, contribution, seat belt nonuse, multiple tortfeasors, absent tortfeasors

Accepted Paper Series


Download This Paper

Date posted: October 20, 2013 ; Last revised: April 29, 2014

Suggested Citation

Gifford, Donald G. and Robinette, Christopher J., Apportioning Liability in Maryland Tort Cases: Time to End Contributory Negligence and Joint and Several Liability (2014). Maryland Law Review, Vol. 73, 2014, p. 701-; U of Maryland Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2013-61; Widener Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 13-76. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2341740

Contact Information

Donald G. Gifford (Contact Author)
University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law ( email )
500 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201-1786
United States
Christopher J. Robinette
Widener University - School of Law ( email )
3800 Vartan Way
P.O. Box 69382
Harrisburg, PA 17106-9382
United States
717-541-3993 (Phone)
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 340
Downloads: 81
Download Rank: 179,927

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo3 in 0.578 seconds