In its landmark case of Li v. Yellow Cab Co., the California Supreme Court judicially adopted the doctrine of comparative negligence in an action involving a plaintiff and a single defendant. The court in Li specifically avoided making any decision concerning the numerous issues which would be involved in a multi-party action: the relationship of multiple defendants with one another, the right of one defendant to join others for the purpose of sharing payment of the judgment, the respective responsibilities of such parties for the judgment (including those insolvent, partially solvent or possessing an immunity), and the procedure for the settlement of cases. In addition to resolving these important substantive issues in the American Motorcycle decision, the court adopted a philosophical ranking of values which will inevitably effect and guide resolution of the numerous problems in the context of comparative negligence which have not yet been litigated.
Erwin E. Adler
Allocation of Responsibility After American Motorcycle Association v. Superior Court,
6 Pepp. L. Rev.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.pepperdine.edu/plr/vol6/iss1/3