National Medical Consultants represents a panel of over 1900 distinguished specialists in all areas of medicine including podiatry expert witnesses. In Medical malpractice liability reform-no easy task experts at National Medical Consultants write:
Joint and several liability
A third strategy that states frequently employ to reform their medical liability system is to modify another legal doctrine, joint and several liability, which is common to cases in which more than one person caused the harm. The joint and several liability doctrine permits holding a single defendant responsible for the entire damage versus being held responsible for the percentage of the damages that can be reasonably attributed to them.A number of states have modified this doctrine by separating joint liability from several liability, thus establishing a mechanism of proportionately assigning harm among the defendants.
Only 13 states still use the combined form of the joint and several liability doctrine for medical malpractice cases. Many states that have modified the doctrine will enforce joint and several liability, however, when the health care provider is found to have acted “in concert with others” or with “intentional malice” or when the health care provider’s acts attributed to more than 50% of the harm. Additionally, states such as California and Ohio apply joint and several liability to only the economic portion of the damages and not to the noneconomic portion.