Joinder: How to Sue Multiple Parties

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Joinder: How to Sue Multiple Parties

Often there is only one defendant (person being sued) at a time.  For example, if you have an employment contract and it is breached you sue your employer and that is it. However, there are other instances where multiple parties may be responsible for the harm, requiring the joinder of many individuals and entities to the lawsuit.

Common Examples Where Joinder Is Appropriate 

If a doctor’s negligence causes you harm while you are in the hospital you can join the doctor, hospital, and hospital staff all into one lawsuit through joinder.

Or, if you are harmed by a mass-manufactured product and file a products liability claim, joinder may also be appropriate. You can join the manufacturer who created the product and the retailer who sold the defective product all in one lawsuit.

Can Joinder Be Used for Two Separate Occurrences?

Yes, you can join multiple claims and parties into one lawsuit through joinder. For example, if one person breaches a contract with you and assaults you when you sue them for breach of contract you can join the claims of breach of contract and assault into one lawsuit against the individual.

Can I Recover Twice the Full Amount from Both Parties and Get Double Damages?

No, you cannot recover more than you are entitled to. You may sue both parties, but you will only get the amount you as a plaintiff are entitled to.  If you received more than you were entitled to you would be unjustly enriched.

How Hard Is It to Join Parties and Claims into One Lawsuit?

Joinder is not always granted by the court and the party requesting joinder needs to show a similar question of law and fact exists. There are times when it is quite easy to determine when a similar question of law and fact exists, but other times it is quite difficult. Therefore, whether joinder is granted is a case by case basis.

What Happens If I Don’t Join Necessary Parties to a Lawsuit?

You may be barred from suing another responsible party if you don’t join them to your initial lawsuit.  This is not always the case; you may simply have to file another lawsuit which can be a lot of time and hassle.

How Do Defendant’s Split the Money If They Are Both Liable

If multiple defendants are named in the lawsuit and they share responsibility the plaintiff will be paid the full amount and the remaining defendants will engage in indemnification or contribution. These laws allow the plaintiff to recover for the harm they suffered and have the defendant’s fight over their proportional share later.

Should I Get a Lawyer to Help With Joinder

Joinder can be very complicated and making sure the proper party is sued is very important. A qualified lawyer can guide you through the complex issue of joinder and ensure your rights are protected.

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Last Modified: 08-04-2015 09:44 AM PDT

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