2021 Georgia Code
Title 51 - Torts
Chapter 12 - Damages
Article 2 - Joint Tort-Feasors
§ 51-12-32. Right of Contribution Among Joint Trespassers; Effect of Settlement

Universal Citation: GA Code § 51-12-32 (2021)
  1. Except as provided in Code Section 51-12-33, where a tortious act does not involve moral turpitude, contribution among several trespassers may be enforced just as if an action had been brought against them jointly. Without the necessity of being charged by action or judgment, the right of a joint trespasser to contribution from another or others shall continue unabated and shall not be lost or prejudiced by compromise and settlement of a claim or claims for injury to person or property or for wrongful death and release therefrom.
  2. If judgment is entered jointly against several trespassers and is paid off by one of them, the others shall be liable to him for contribution.
  3. Without the necessity of being charged by an action or judgment, the right of indemnity, express or implied, from another or others shall continue unabated and shall not be lost or prejudiced by compromise and settlement of a claim or claims for injury to person or property or for wrongful death and release therefrom.

(Orig. Code 1863, § 3008; Code 1868, § 3021; Code 1873, § 3076; Code 1882, § 3076; Civil Code 1895, § 3916; Civil Code 1910, § 4513; Code 1933, § 105-2012; Ga. L. 1966, p. 433, § 1; Ga. L. 1972, p. 132, § 1; Ga. L. 1972, p. 134, § 1; Ga. L. 1987, p. 915, § 8.)

Cross references.

- Third party practice, § 9-11-14

Control of education after payment by joint debtor, § 9-13-78.

Law reviews.

- For annual survey of local government law, see 57 Mercer L. Rev. 289 (2005). For annual survey of trial practice and procedure, see 57 Mercer L. Rev. 381 (2005). For annual survey on trial practice and procedure, see 65 Mercer L. Rev. 277 (2013). For note discussing tort-feasor's ability to sue for contribution from joint tort-feasor absent any judgment compelling either to pay damages, see 5 Ga. St. B. J. 358 (1969). For note, "Contribution Among Joint Tortfeasors," see 12 Ga. L. Rev. 553 (1978). For note, "The Effect (Or Noneffect) of the 2004 Amendments to O.C.G.A. §§ 51-12-31 and51-12-33 on Joint Liability in Georgia," see 44 Ga. L. Rev. 215 (2009). For comment discussing Georgia law as to a defendant's right to bring in any party responsible to him for damages sought by the plaintiff, and comparing the approach of Dole v. Dow Chem. Co., 30 N.Y. 2d 143, 282 N.E.2d 288, 331 N.Y.S. 2d 382 (1972), see 24 Mercer L. Rev. 697 (1973).



  • General Consideration
  • Application to Corporations
  • Application to Employment Situations
  • Pleading and Practice
  • Jury


Am. Jur. 2d.

- 41 Am. Jur. 2d, Indemnity, § 21. 74 Am. Jur. 2d, Torts, §§ 64 et seq.

7A Am. Jur. Pleading and Practice Forms, Contribution, § 2.


- 17 C.J.S., Contracts, § 119. 86 C.J.S., Torts, § 39 et seq.


- Compensation from other source as precluding or reducing recovery against one responsible for personal injury or death, 18 A.L.R. 678; 95 A.L.R. 575.

Right of indemnitor of one joint tort-feasor to contribution by or indemnity against other joint tort-feasor or indemnitor of the latter, 75 A.L.R. 1486; 171 A.L.R. 271.

Right of defendant in action for personal injury or death to bring in a joint tort-feasor not made a party by plaintiff, 78 A.L.R. 580; 132 A.L.R. 1424.

Availability as setoff or counterclaim of claim in favor of one alone of several defendants, 81 A.L.R. 781.

Constitutionality, construction, and effect of statutes relating to exceptions to rule denying contribution or indemnity between joint tort-feasors, 85 A.L.R. 1091; 122 A.L.R. 520; 141 A.L.R. 1207.

Negligence of third person, other than physician or surgeon, in caring for injured person or in failing to follow instructions in that regard as affecting damages recoverable against person causing injury, 101 A.L.R. 559.

Amount paid by one alleged joint tort-feasor in consideration of covenant not to sue (or a release not effectively a full release of the other joint tort-feasor), as pro tanto satisfaction of damages recoverable against other joint tort-feasor, 104 A.L.R. 931.

Rights of coparties against whom judgment has been rendered to contribution or indemnity as affected by statute providing that under certain conditions judgment shall remain in effect for benefit of party who pays it, or more than his share thereof, 114 A.L.R. 178.

Provision in judgment in action against one or more joint tort-feasors to effect that it shall be without prejudice to plaintiff's claim against another joint tort-feasor, or otherwise reserving rights against him, as affecting question of release of latter, 135 A.L.R. 1498.

Contribution or indemnity between joint tort-feasors where injury to third person results from violation of a duty which one tort-feasor owes to other, 140 A.L.R. 1306.

Statute providing for contribution between joint tort-feasors as applicable where liability of respective tort-feasors rests upon different legal foundations, 156 A.L.R. 931.

Payment of, or proceeding to collect, judgment against one tort-feasor as release of others, 166 A.L.R. 1099.

Contribution between joint tort-feasors as affected by settlement with one or both by person injured or damaged, 8 A.L.R.2d 196.

Right of defendant in action for personal injury or death to bring in joint tort-feasor for purpose of asserting right of contribution, 11 A.L.R.2d 228.

Right of tort-feasor to contribution where judgment creditor is spouse, parent, child, etc., of other tort-feasor against whom contribution is sought, 19 A.L.R.2d 1003.

Rights of one entitled to contribution to recover interest, 27 A.L.R.2d 1268.

Uniform Contribution Among Tortfeasors Act, 34 A.L.R.2d 1107.

Collision insurance: insured's release of tort-feasor before settlement by insurer as releasing insurer from liability, 38 A.L.R.2d 1095.

Right of motor vehicle owner liable to injured third person because of negligence of one permitted to drive, to indemnity from the latter or the latter's employer to whom vehicle was bailed, 43 A.L.R.2d 879.

Contribution between negligent tort-feasors at common law, 60 A.L.R.2d 1366.

Measure of contribution between tort-feasors against whom judgments in different amounts have been rendered, 72 A.L.R.2d 1298.

Right of tort-feasor guilty of only ordinary negligence to be indemnified by one guilty of intentional wrongdoing, wanton misconduct, or gross negligence, 88 A.L.R.2d 1355.

Claim for contribution or indemnification from another tort-feasor as within provisions of statute or ordinance requiring notice of claim against municipality, 93 A.L.R.2d 1385.

What law governs right to contribution or indemnity between tort-feasors, 95 A.L.R.2d 1096.

Liability insurance policy as covering insured's obligation to indemnify, or make contributions to, cotort-feasor, 4 A.L.R.3d 620.

Right of tort-feasor initially causing injury to recover indemnity or contribution from medical attendant causing new injury or aggravating injury in course of treatment, 8 A.L.R.3d 639.

Financial worth of one or more of several joint defendants as proper matter for consideration in fixing punitive damages, 9 A.L.R.3d 692.

Right of railroad, charged with liability for injury to or death of employee under Federal Employers' Liability Act, to claim indemnity or contribution from other tort-feasors, 19 A.L.R.3d 928.

Judgment in action against codefendants for injury or death of person, or for damage to property, as res judicata in subsequent action between codefendants as to their liability inter se, 24 A.L.R.3d 318.

Automobiles: right of third person to recover contribution from host driver for injuries or death of guest, where host is not liable to guest under guest statute, 26 A.L.R.3d 1283.

Products liability: right of manufacturer or seller to contribution or indemnity from user of product causing injury or damage to third person, and vice versa, 28 A.L.R.3d 943.

Tort-feasor's general release of cotort-feasor as affecting former's right to contribution against cotort-feasor, 34 A.L.R.3d 1374.

Voluntary payment into court of judgment against one joint tort-feasor as release of others, 40 A.L.R.3d 1181.

Contribution or indemnity between joint tort-feasors on basis of relative fault, 53 A.L.R.3d 184.

Validity and effect of "loan receipt" agreement between injured party and one tort-feasor, for loan repayable to extent of injured party's recovery from a cotort-feasor, 62 A.L.R.3d 1111.

Liability of subcontractor upon bond or other agreement indemnifying general contractor against liability for damage to person or property, 68 A.L.R.3d 7.

Modern status of effect of state workmen's compensation act on right of third-person tort-feasor to contribution or indemnity from employer of injured or killed workman, 100 A.L.R.3d 350.

Tenant's agreement to indemnify landlord against all claims as including losses resulting from landlord's negligence, 4 A.L.R.4th 798.

Right of tort-feasor to contribution from joint tort-feasor who is spouse or otherwise in close familial relationship to injured party, 25 A.L.R.4th 1120.

Liability for killing or injuring, by motor vehicle, livestock or fowl on highway, 55 A.L.R.4th 822.

Right of tortfeasor initially causing injury to recover indemnity or contribution from medical attendant aggravating injury or causing new injury in course of treatment, 72 A.L.R.4th 231.

Products liability: seller's right to indemnity from manufacturer, 79 A.L.R.4th 278.

Release of one joint tortfeasor as discharging liability of others under Uniform Contribution Among Tortfeasors Act and other statutes expressly governing effect of release, 6 A.L.R.5th 883.

Validity and effect of "Mary Carter" or similar agreement setting maximum liability of one cotortfeasor and providing for reduction or extinguishment thereof relative to recovery against nonagreeing cotortfeasor, 22 A.L.R.5th 483.

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