Pursuant to s 1 Civil Liability (Contribution) Act 1978, the third defendant sought either a 100% indemnity from the second defendant, or in the alternative a contribution of 50%, on the basis that the third defendant had not been personally negligent, that the second defendant was insured and was jointly and severally liable for 100% of the damage caused to the claimant and that, although the third defendant was not an employer of the second defendant, a contribution claim made by an employer who has not been personally negligent could be for 100%.
The court held that the third defendant's personal responsibility to the claimant could not be passed on entirely to another just because there is an insurance company standing behind the other party.
Following Downs v Chappel, the judge looked at the comparative degree of fault and contribution made to the injury by the second defendant and found that the second defendant was 1/3 responsible and therefore ordered that the second defendant should therefore contribute 1/3 to the third defendant’s liabilities to the claimant in respect of both damages and costs.
A very helpful case which will no doubt be useful is cases involving multiple defendants.
Joseph Carr & Amy Wedgwood, Anthony Gold