Suppose you are a passenger in an auto accident intersection collision and suffer catastrophic injuries.
You are wheelchair-bound for life.
A friend of yours who is driving the car you are in has a $15,000 car insurance policy. That is the state minimum in Pennsylvania.
He is hit in the intersection by a tractor trailer truck which has $10 million dollars in insurance coverage.
The jury decides they are 50-50 at fault and awards $10 million dollars.
Under the old law the trucking company was responsible for the WHOLE jury verdict of $10 million.
But because of the Fair Share Act they are now only responsible for $5 million which is 50% of the verdict.
So you the victim has lost $5 million under the Fair Share Act.
The only way you can get the full $10 million dollars is if the jury finds the trucking company was over 60% at fault.
What do you think about this Act?
Incidentally there was an article in the Legal Intelligencer printed below which talks about whether the Fair Share Act applies to strict liability cases.
I am not sure where all this leads to but I sure will keep you posted.
Your attorney friend
Bernie Tully Esq.
Parties Face Off Over Reach of Fair Share Act- The Legal Intelligencer
April 26, 2017
Does the Fair Share Act require juries in strict liability cases to determine the portion of liability to be imposed against each defendant, or can a judge simply apportion liability equally?
The issue is a question of law trial courts have struggled with across Pennsylvania, and one that was squarely before the state Superior Court when it heard arguments Tuesday in Roverano v. John Crane Inc.
Last year, a jury awarded $6.3 million to William Roverano, a former PECO Energy employee, and his wife, over claims that he was exposed to asbestos-containing products that led him to develop lung cancer. The verdict sheet listed eight defendants, but the jury did not determine how much each should have to contribute to the award.
According to the Duane Morris attorney who represented Brand Insulation, a defendant in the case, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Victor DiNubile, who presided over the case, should have allowed the jury to do just that.
“There’s no other way to read the text of the statute,” the attorney said.
Before Act 17 of 2011, often referred to as the Fair Share Act, was enacted, any defendant found liable for any percentage of an incident could be made to pay the entire verdict award. The act changed the law so defendants are only responsible to pay for the percent for which they are found liable, and can only be made to pay the full award if they are found more than 60 percent responsible.