Markvicka v. Brodhead-Garrett Co.
76 F.R.D. 205 (D. Neb. 1977)
- Markvicka was injured using a
machine in woodworking class. Markvicka sued Brodhead-Garrett, the
manufacturer of the machine.
- Brodhead-Garrett used a Rule
14 motion to implead
the school where the accident occurred (Ralston).
- Brodhead-Garrett argued that
the accident was not fault of their machine but due to Ralston's poor
maintenance and inadequate supervision.
- Brodhead-Garrett was looking
to indemnify Ralston. Basically
that means that, if the Court awards recovery to Markvicka, then Ralston
has to pay, and Brodhead-Garrett doesn't.
- Ralston appealed the Rule
- The Appellate Court affirmed
the Rule 14 motion and added
Ralston as a co-defendant.
- The Appellate Court found
that Rule 14(a) permits the
joinder of a party who is or may be liable to the defending party for all
or part of the plaintiff's claim.
complaint shows that Ralston "may be liable," therefore the Rule
14 motion is proper.
- The Court noted
that Brodhead-Garrett should make a claim for contribution, not indemnification.
- Contribution means that there are two defendants, both of
whom have some liability. Indemnification allows one defendant to shift the entire
burden of liability onto another.
- The Court found
that indemnification is not
available when both parties are negligent to a certain degree.
- Brodhead-Garrett was
permitted to amend its complaint to allege contribution as opposed to indemnification.