Nolo's Plain-English Law Dictionary
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- Joint And Several
- Refers to a debt or a judgment for negligence against two or more defendants, in which each debtor (person who owes) or defendant is responsible for the entire amount of the debt or judgment, regardless of each individual's precise share of responsibility. For example, a promissory note for a debt often states that if there is more than one debtor, the debt is joint and several. This means the creditor can collect the entire amount from any of the signers of the note. Or, if a party injured in an accident sues several parties for causing damages, the court may find that several people were jointly negligent. The entire judgment may then be collected from any of the defendants found responsible, unless the court finds that different amounts of negligence of each defendant contributed to the injury.