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McDonald v. Robinson

    Brief Fact Summary.

    Robinson and Padzensky were each driving in their own cars when they collided and got into a car accident. Due to the collision, Padzensky’s car began to slide of course and hit Plaintiff. Padzensky’s car stuck plaintiff, causing her to sustain serious injuries. Plaintiff brought suit, and prevailed in the trial court. Robinson appealed on the grounds that he was improperly joined with Padzensky.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    When there is combined, current negligence of two or more defendants that cause the injury to the plaintiff, the plaintiff may bring suit and recover from the defendants jointly or severally. 

    Facts.

    F.W. Robinson and Max Padzensky were both driving in separate cars when they struck. The collision resulted in the cars becoming interlocked with one another and to slide off course. As the cars slid off course, Padzensky’s car collided with Rose McDonald, Plaintiff, a pedestrian. Thereafter, Plaintiff was dragged beneath Padzensky’s car for about 50 feet, causing her to sustain serious injuries. Plaintiff brought a single suit against both Robinson and Padzensky contending that each was negligent and that their concurrent negligence caused her injuries. Plaintiff prevailed in the trial court, and Robinson appealed on the ground that himself and Padzensky were misjoined as defendants.

    Issue.

    Whether a plaintiff may bring suit and recover from defendants jointly or severally when there is combined, current negligence of two or more defendants that cause the injury to the plaintiff.

    Held.

    Yes, a plaintiff may bring suit and recover from defendants jointly or severally when there is combined, current negligence of two or more defendants that cause the injury to the plaintiff.

    Discussion.

    Plaintiff is entitled to bring suit against both Robinson and Padzensky jointly or severally and, at the same time, to recover from one or both. To be deemed joint tortfeasors, the defendants do not need to share conspiratorial intent or design, but the defendants only need to contribute to the injury by acting concurrently negligent. Following, due to both defendants’ concurrent negligence, the Plaintiff’s injury would not have resulted. In this case, Plaintiff’s injury would not have occurred without the concurrent negligence of both Robinson and Padzensky. Thus, Plaintiff properly treated Padzensky and Robbinson as joint tortfeasors.


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