Civil Liability Act 1961

Judgments to be several.

14

14. (1) Where judgment is given against concurrent wrongdoers who are sued together, the court may give judgment against the defendants together or against the defendants separately and, if the judgment is given against the defendants together, it shall take effect as if it were given against them separately.

(2) Subject to subsections (3) and (6) of this section and to sections 38 and 46, each of the said judgments shall be for the full amount of the plaintiff’s damages in respect of which the defendants are concurrent wrongdoers, together with any further damages in respect of which the particular defendant against whom judgment is given is individually liable and, if the same jury has in its verdict apportioned damages between the defendants on the basis that the total of the damages awarded is meant to be equivalent to the plaintiff’s loss resulting from the concurrent wrongs, the plaintiff shall be entitled to judgment against the defendants for the aggregate of such damages.

(3) The plaintiff may agree to accept an apportionment of his damages among the defendants according to their degrees of fault and, in this event, the following provisions shall take effect—

( a) satisfaction of one judgment shall not operate as satisfaction of the others;

( b) the defendants shall have no right of contribution among themselves;

( c) the plaintiff, at any time within the period limited by law for the enforcement of judgments and upon proof that, after taking reasonable steps, he has failed to obtain satisfaction of any judgment in whole or in part, shall have liberty to apply for secondary judgments having the effect of distributing the deficiency among the other defendants in such proportions as may be just and equitable.

(4) Where the court would be prepared to award punitive damages against one of concurrent tortfeasors, punitive damages shall not be awarded against another of such tortfeasors merely because he is a concurrent tortfeasor, but a judgment for an additional sum by way of punitive damages may be given against the first-mentioned tortfeasor.

(5) The judgment mentioned in subsection (4) of this section may specify that such additional sum is awarded by way of punitive damages, and no contribution shall be payable in respect thereof by a tortfeasor against whom such judgment could not properly have been given.

(6) Where, in F7 [ a defamation action under the Defamation Act 2009 ], one of concurrent tortfeasors would have been entitled to a mitigation of the damages payable by him had he been a single tortfeasor, but another of the said tortfeasors would not have been so entitled, the first-mentioned tortfeasor shall be entitled to the said mitigation of damages and shall not be compellable to make contribution except in respect of the amount of damages payable by him; and the judgment against him may be given accordingly.

Annotations:

Amendments:

F7

Substituted (1.01.2010) by Defamation Act 2009 (31/2009), s. 7(2)(b), S.I. No. 517 of 2009.