Christiana Care Health Services, Inc. v. Connor, et al., (Del. Ch., Aug. 4, 2008), read opinion here, and Encite LLC v. Soni, (Del. Ch., Aug. 1, 2008), read opinion here, are recent opinions of the Delaware Supreme Court and Delaware Chancery Court, respectively, that deal with procedural and substantive aspects of imposing liability on joint defendants.
In Christina Care, Delaware’s High Court interpreted Section 2301(d) of Title 6 of the Delaware Code that relates to pre-judgment interest when a settlement demand is made in an amount less than the amount of damages awarded in a judgment. In this Supreme Court case, a pre-trial settlement offer was made to each defendant in the amount of $1.25 million each (which was not accepted) but the jury award was $2 million jointly for both defendants. Consistent with its recent ruling in Cahall v. Thomas (see summary here), regarding Rule 68 and pre-trial offers of judgment, the Supreme Court reasoned that because the $2 million judgment was a common liability of both defendants which the plaintiff could collect in full from either one, regardless of how the jury apportioned the fault, the entitlement to pre-judgment interest would apply.
In the Encite LLC case, the Chancery Court addressed the right to contribution between joint tortfeasors, and at footnote 76 refers to cases that confirmed the right to contribution as being governed by the Contribution Among Tortfeasors Law that has as an inherent requirement that the parties are jointly or severally liable in tort for the same injury to person or property. See Section 6301 of Title 10 of the Delaware Code.