- Law concerns position when more than 1 person is liable and focuses on the relationship between them
2 vital distinctions
- between single injury and separate injury
- you have more than 1 liable, joint or several concurrent tortfeasors
- Where a single injury is caused by 2 or more tortfeasors, they are 'several concurrent tortfeasors' unless the relationship falls into one of the following categories
(a) where one person is vicariously responsible for the tort of another
Rahman v Arearose - employer was vicariously liable for the tort of the employee
(b) where one person instigates another to commit a tort
Pitts v Hunt - passenger on a motorcycle was encouraged to drive negligently causing an accident. Both were held liable, faciliation of a tort doesn't join to the title of a joint tortfeasor.
Mere facilitation of a tort does not make a person responsible as a joint tortfeasor
CBS Songs v Amstrad Consumer Electronics - D made hi-fi systems including recording from pre-recorded cassettes, faciliating breaches of copyright. Faciliation without encouragement was no sufficient.
Fish & Fish v Sea Shepherd UK - Fish farm, tuna, environment activist. Question was whether D was party to the common design of taking direct action, if acted in furtherance. Held statements on website and money was sent to do the ramming.
(c) where there is a breach of a duty imposed jointly on 2 or more persons
- Eg joint occupiers - jointly owning a house, duty is imposed on both of them
(d) where persons take 'concerted action to a common end' and in executing that joint purpose, anyone commits a tort, all are liable as joint tortfeasors
Brooke v Bool - Landlord authorised lodger to strike the match, joint enterprise of both in pursuance of a concerted purpose. They were held to be joint tortfeasors.
- Consequences of the distinction between concurrent tortfeasors and tortfeasors causing different damage: application of principles of contribution
Concurrent tortfeasors - each tortfeasor is liable for the whole damages, found in civil liability contribution act 1978 - each is liable for the whole amount - what is just and equitable in all the circumstances
- Consequences of the distinction between joint tortfeasors and several concurrent tortfeasors: effectively none