Insurance terminology explained in simple terms
Liability (Joint and Several)
Liability in the legal sense means “being held responsible” for the fact that one has caused damage (personal, property or financial loss) to someone else. Liability can arise from a contract (contractual liability) or from the law (statutory liability).
Joint and several liability means that several natural or legal persons are each individually and collectively responsible for the same damage. Joint and several liability is common,
for example, for shareholders of a GesbR or the managing directors (organs) of a corporation. The joint and several liability of organs has several effects:
- The overall responsibility principle (according to the motto “all for one”), i.e. the overall responsibility principle also applies to the supervisory functions (control failure).
- Departmental responsibilities are not significant.
- The obligee can claim the performance in full or in part from each debtor.
Example of joint and several liability: People A, B and C join forces to form a GesbR in the IT sector. A and B are not well off financially and have no reserves. Person C inherits 100.000 euros. Person A caused a loss of 25.000 euros due to a programming error. The injured party demands compensation from the GesbR, which is jointly and severally liable. Since A and B have no reserves, the injured party claims damages of 25.000 euros from C, who has to pay for it alone.
Term: Liability (Joint and Several)
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