A negligence claim requires two types of causation. It must be shown that the defendant’s conduct was the cause in fact and proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injury. For the defendant’s conduct to be the cause in fact of the plaintiff’s injury, it must directly contribute to the plaintiff’s injury. A simple way to answer this is whether the plaintiff’s injury would have occurred “but for” the defendant’s action.
What happens when two individuals conduct actions that lead to an injury, but neither action alone would have been sufficient to produce the injury? Due to the jointly and severally liable doctrine there is a direct answer to this question. When the tortious acts of two or more tortfeasors contributes to the outcome of an indivisible injury, all of the tortfeasors will be held jointly and severally liable for the entire damages. As such, the injuried party may proceed against any one of the tortfeasors separately or all in one cause of action.
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