The Extrapolation of Defendants Liabilities Under CPLR Article 16 Where the Plaintiff is Contributorily Negligent: An Update Toward Resolving a Perceived Ambiguity of CPLR 1601
Typically, co-tortfeasors are jointly and severally liable; a judgment against both may be enforced in full against either. C.P.L.R. Article 16, on the other hand, provides protection for a co-tortfeasor who is found to be 50% or less at fault, thus limiting the co-tortfeasor’s liability to her proportionate share and insolating her from joint and several liability. Article 16, however, does not address the situation where a plaintiff is found contributorily negligent. This article addresses the judicial use of "extrapolation," whereby a court will deduct the plaintiff’s share of liability and readjust the co-tortfeasors’ proportionate fault, thus permitting joint and several liability when such remedy was not previously available to the plaintiff.