Can husband and wife be joint plaintiffs in case with defense not being able to split? 7 Answers as of October 18, 2013

Husband and wife both injured at the same time, regarding a premises liability case. My understanding is traditionally each would file a separate suit against the property owner. Can (not should) they be joint plaintiffs, in a single suit, each with their own count of premises liability damages and each with a count of loss of consortium? Would the defense have any way to split the cases in two? Again, same incident.

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Pete Leehey Law Firm, P.C.
Pete Leehey Law Firm, P.C. | Pete Leehey
Claims for husband and wife arising out of the same incident are almost always brought and tried together. The policy of judicial efficiency is best served by this practice. There are times when it may be in the best interest of husband or wife to have their case tried separately, but that is the exception to the rule. In my experience, the defense does not typically try to split the cases into two. This would be inefficient financially for the defense to essentially try the same case two times.
Answer Applies to: Iowa
Replied: 10/18/2013
Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
You can each have separate Counts within the same suit; you are each entitled to separate damages, because your injuries may be separate, and the impact of those injuries on your lives were separate. Have you ever heard of a Class Action lawsuit? This is an extreme example of your case.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 10/18/2013
Law Offices of John W. Merting, P.A.
Law Offices of John W. Merting, P.A. | John W. Merting
I would think the court would insist on a joint trial since so many of the same witnesses would be called in each case- it is called judicial economy- very few judges would want to try the same case twice.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 10/18/2013
Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
I don't know where you get your "understanding" of what is "traditional". You can certainly file a joint lawsuit and off the top of my head, I do not see any grounds on which a defendant's attorney could bring a motion to sever, nor do I know why they would want to. In cases where there is limited insurance coverage and serious injuries, there could be a conflict of interest if each party wants more than half of the available policy limits. Theoretically, there could also be a potential conflict as lawsuits drag on for years and could outlast the marriage.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 10/18/2013
The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC
The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC | Stephen R. Chesley
If the injury came from same incident they can be included in same lawsuit with separate causes of action.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 10/17/2013
    Chen Kasher, Esq.
    Chen Kasher, Esq. | Chen Kasher
    Yes, they can and should be co-plaintiffs. You're also obligated to bring all claims that flow from the same occurrence or transaction. Defendants may file a motion to sever the complaints, but I would be shocked if it was successful. Judicial economy militates in favor of joiner of plaintiffs. Premises liability claims are difficult to win, though, and a defense strategy may be to divide and conquer, by letting you make inconsistent remarks about what occurred.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 10/17/2013
    WEISSMAN LAW FIRM
    WEISSMAN LAW FIRM | I.Donald Weissman
    More than one person can be named as plaintiff in a single lawsuit. Each has his or her own case against the defendant. The defendant will "split" the case only as it relates to damages for each plaintiff. The courts rarely separate cases where more than one person is injured in the same accident. The court wants the testimony about "what happened" to be heard once and not waste resources having the same witnesses tell the same story to different juries.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/17/2013
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