25-331. Third-party action; procedure.

(1) At any time after commencement of the action, a defending party, as a third-party plaintiff, may cause a summons and complaint to be served upon a person not a party to the action who is or may be liable to the third-party plaintiff for all or part of the plaintiff's claim against the third-party plaintiff. The third-party plaintiff need not obtain leave to make the service if the third-party plaintiff files the third-party complaint not later than ten days after filing the original answer. Otherwise the third-party plaintiff must obtain leave of the trial court on motion upon notice to all parties to the action. The person served with the summons and third-party complaint, hereinafter called the third-party defendant, shall have all the rights of a defendant including the rights authorized by this section. The third-party defendant may assert against the plaintiff any defenses which the third-party plaintiff has to the plaintiff's claim. The third-party defendant may also assert any claim against the plaintiff arising out of the transaction or occurrence that is the subject matter of the plaintiff's claim against the third-party plaintiff. The plaintiff may assert any claim against the third-party defendant arising out of the transaction or occurrence that is the subject matter of the plaintiff's claim against the third-party plaintiff. The third-party defendant shall have all the rights of a defendant including the rights authorized by this section. The court on its own motion, or motion of any party, may move to strike the third-party claim, or for its severance or separate trial if the third-party claim should delay trial, might tend to confuse a jury, or in any way jeopardize the rights of the plaintiff. A third-party defendant or subsequent defendants may proceed under this section.

(2) When a counterclaim is asserted against a plaintiff, the plaintiff may cause a third party to be brought in under circumstances which under this section would entitle a defendant to do so.

Source:Laws 1967, c. 144, § 1, p. 441; Laws 2002, LB 876, § 11.

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