Kentucky Court of Appeals

The Kentucky Court of Appeals recently published two cases dealing with apportionment involving third-party defendants that are of interest.

 

In the case of Memorial Sports Complex, LLC vs. McCormick, et al, the Court was required to determine whether the dismissal, but subsequent allowance of apportionment, of the third-party defendants was appropriate.  Memorial was sued after a minor (Mowery) suffered personal injury running into one of its fences during a baseball game.  Memorial filed a third-party complaint, seeking contribution, indemnity, and apportionment against McCormick, (Mowery’s Coach), Mowery’s father (Dale), and Geddes Fence Company (Geddes).

The trial court granted McCormick’s and Dale’s respective motions and dismissed Memorial’s third-party claims against them with prejudice in identical judgments, stating “Due to the applicability of apportionment of fault, as required in [Kentucky Revised Statutes] KRS 411.182, there is no right to contribution” and “indemnity is not appropriate as the kind of fault alleged by Plaintiff Mowery against Memorial Sports Complex, LLC is that it created and/or maintained the hazard that was the alleged cause of Mr. Mowery’s claimed injuries.”  The final judgments contained language that; “This dismissal will not prevent Third-Party Plaintiff [Memorial] from seeking an apportionment instruction relevant to the claims against it to the extent that any fault can be proved against the now
dismissed Third-Party Defendant[s][.]”  Geddes moved for summary judgment which was granted by the trial court, dismissing Memorial’s claims “with prejudice, as a matter of law, subject to apportionment in Plaintiff’s [Mowery’s] claim against Memorial.”  Memorial appealed both rulings.

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