Legal Memorandum: Tortfeasors seeking contribution from other torfeasors

Issue: Under Illinois law, can intentional tortfeasors seek contribution from other tortfeasors?

Area of Law: Litigation Practice & Procedure, Litigation Practice and Procedure, Torts
Keywords: ; Tortfesor; Intentional; Contribution; Contribution Act; Liability
Jurisdiction: Illinois
Cited Cases: 918 F.Supp. 252
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 01/01/2016

Intentional tortfeasors cannot seek contribution from other alleged tortfeasors. Ziarko, 161 Ill.2d at 272; Gerill Corp. v. Jack L. Hargrove Builders, Inc., 128 Ill.2d 179, 206 (1989). And there is no dispute that an allegedly negligent tortfeasor can seek contribution from an allegedly intentional tortfeasor. See Long Beach Mortgage Co. v. White, 918 F.Supp. 252, 254 n.3 (N.D. Ill. 1996) ("it would be totally bizarre to preclude a tortfeasor who is even less at fault (negligent rather than wilful and wanton) from obtaining contribution from a tortfeasor who is even more at fault (an intentional rather than merely negligent wrongdoer)"). But the salient point is that any claims for contribution against a settling tortfeasor, regardless of their nature, do not survive a good-faith finding. The language of section 2(d) of the Contribution Act is clear and unambiguous: "The tortfeasor who settles with a claimant pursuant to paragraph (c) is discharged from all liability for any contribution to any other tortfeasor." (Emphasis added.) [statref]740 ILCS 100/2(d) (West 2010)[/statref].

Adgooroo, LLC v. Hechtman, 2016.IL.142531-U (Ill. App. Dist. 1 2016) (not precedential).

Date: January 1, 2016

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