Chapter 3
The appropriate liability system for multiple defendants


3.1Having outlined the principal features of joint and several and proportionate liability, and the key differences between them, in this chapter we recommend the system we consider is best for New Zealand. This requires further analysis of the key attributes of each system. Essential to this analysis is an acceptance that each system prioritises different objectives. The starkness of the central distinction means the choice must, to some extent, be between maximising plaintiff recoveries and minimising defendant risks. The result will inevitably favour one group. However, in later chapters we consider what can be done to make the chosen system fairer to both parties.