Personal Injury Newsletters
When a plaintiff is injured by two or more defendants' tortious acts that join to cause the injury, each defendant is "jointly and severally liable" for that injury. This means that the plaintiff may recover the entire amount of damages from any of the defendants. The defendants, in turn, may seek contribution or indemnity from each other.
Under the family car doctrine (or family purpose doctrine), the owner of a car is liable for a plaintiff's personal injuries if the injuries were caused by one of the owner's family members while driving the car. The doctrine applies only to cases in which the car is owned for family purposes and the owner's family members had his or her express or implied permission to drive the car.
The federal Volunteer Protection Act (VPA) grants civil immunity to a volunteer who harms a person while performing services for a nonprofit organization or governmental entity. However, the VPA does not grant immunity to the nonprofit organization or governmental entity. Therefore, the VPA does not prohibit the person who has been harmed by the volunteer from filing a lawsuit against the organization or entity.
Most airports are owned by state governmental units or state political subdivisions, such as cities, counties, or airport districts. Governmental units or political subdivisions are generally not liable for torts that result from the performance of a governmental function. Governmental units or political subdivisions are only liable for torts that result from the performance of a proprietary function.
In 1920, the United States Congress enacted the Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA). Originally, the purpose of DOHSA was to help the widows of seamen who died in accidents at sea. Under DOHSA, a widow could file a wrongful death action against the seaman's employer or the owner of the vessel on which the seaman was working at the time of his death. The scope of the DOHSA has been greatly expanded since its enactment.