In Zaldivar v. Prickett (July 6, 2015), the Georgia Supreme Court held that the Georgia apportionment statute, O.C.G.A. § 51-12-33(c), requires a trier of fact to consider the fault of all persons or entities who contributed to the alleged injury or damages.  Liable persons included all persons or entities who have breached a legal duty in tort that is owed to the plaintiff, the breach of which is a proximate cause of the injury sustained by the plaintiff, regardless of whether such tortfeasor would have actual liability to the plaintiff.  The Court then went on to discuss situations where an entity may be at fault, but may be immune from liability, such as an employer in a worker’s compensation claim or the State.

The Zaldivar decision is extremely helpful in making clear that the apportionment statute applies to any entity at fault, even if the plaintiff cannot sue that entity.

By: Richard Tisinger, Jr.