NM Supreme Court: Traditional indemnity unavailable in comparative fault cases

Today the New Mexico Supreme Court issued a decision in Safeway, Inc. v. Rooter 2000 Plumbing and Drain SSS, holding that traditional indemnification is not available when a jury has imposed liability on an actively-liable tortfeasor under comparative fault principles. Under this decision, traditional indemnification is only available in tort cases when the defendant seeking indemnity is only passively liable, as where the defendant’s liability is based solely on respondeat superior.

The opinion, by Justice Maes, attempts to clarify New Mexico’s sometimes-confusing relationship between traditional indemnification, proportional indemnification, contribution, and comparative fault.

This opinions should be required reading for all New Mexico litigators!

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