Nebraska Revised Statute 25-21,185.11

Chapter 25 Section 21,185.11

25-21,185.11.

Civil actions to which contributory negligence is a defense; release, covenant not to sue, or similar agreement; effect.

(1) A release, covenant not to sue, or similar agreement entered into by a claimant and a person liable shall discharge that person from all liability to the claimant but shall not discharge any other persons liable upon the same claim unless it so provides. The claim of the claimant against other persons shall be reduced by the amount of the released person's share of the obligation as determined by the trier of fact.

(2) A release, covenant not to sue, or similar agreement entered into by a claimant and a person liable shall preclude that person from being made a party or, if an action is pending, shall be a basis for that person's dismissal, but the person's negligence, if any, shall be considered in accordance with section 25-21,185.09.

Source

  • Laws 1992, LB 262, § 5.

Annotations

  • An employer covered by workers' compensation is not a "released person" within the meaning of this section. Unless the employer's negligence is the sole cause of the accident, or when combined with the plaintiff's negligence is the sole cause of the accident, the defendant may not argue the negligence of an immune employer. Downey v. Western Comm. College Area, 282 Neb. 970, 808 N.W.2d 839 (2012).

  • The element of specific identification is only met when the reference in the release is so particular that a stranger can readily identify the released party and his or her identity is not in doubt. Podraza v. New Century Physicians of Neb., 280 Neb. 678, 789 N.W.2d 260 (2010).

  • There is a rebuttable presumption that a release benefits only those specifically designated; the unnamed party claiming under the release has the burden to show an actual intent to benefit him or her. Podraza v. New Century Physicians of Neb., 280 Neb. 678, 789 N.W.2d 260 (2010).

  • Under the intent rule, general releases which fail to specifically designate who is discharged either by name or by some other specific identifying terminology are inherently ambiguous, and the actual intent of the parties will govern. Podraza v. New Century Physicians of Neb., 280 Neb. 678, 789 N.W.2d 260 (2010).

  • When a claimant settles with a joint tort-feasor, the claimant forfeits joint and several liability for economic damages and cannot recover from a nonsettling joint tort-feasor more than that tort-feasor's proportionate share of liability. Tadros v. City of Omaha, 273 Neb. 935, 735 N.W.2d 377 (2007).