Bendraskolio pareigos atlyginti žalą apimtis taikant deliktinę atsakomybę: solidarioji ar dalinė atsakomybė?
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Among the most complicated issues in the law of delict, in the case of multiple debtors, is to determine the scope of each co-debtor’s liability. The rule of proportional liability clearly favours debtors more than the aggrieved party. And, on the contrary, the solidary liability best suits the interests of the aggrieved party as the risk of co-debtor’s insolvency is transferred to the debtors. Furthermore, in the latter case, the debtors who attempt to allocate the scope of their liability among themselves and fail to reach an agreement have to undergo two legal procedures: the first concerning the compensation to the creditor, and the second concerning the determination of the scope of their liability among themselves. Adequate balancing of the interests of the two parties (the debtor and the creditor) lies among the major tasks of tort law. Therefore, the law should seek specific rules instrumental in determining the scope of the co-debtor’s liability in the case of multiple debtors. The application of the rule of solidary liability is based on the assumption that individuals whose joint actions inflicted damage must compensate it together. However, it raises the question of how the joint actions should be perceived—whether as a subjective participation in the damage infliction process or more generally? Is it right to apply the rule of proportional liability in regard to the aggrieved party when the damage was caused as a result of unlawful actions by all individual debtors who had no agreement concerning either these unlawfully actions or the infliction of damage, or in certain cases did not even know about the illegal actions of the others? What answer could be given in case when all defendants acted in a risky way and each one of them could have caused the damage, but it is clear that only one of them (or some) in fact did cause it, but due to the lack of evidence it remains unclear whose actions were in fact damaging? It is not easy to provide answers to these and other questions that occur in cases of multiple debtors when trying to define the scope of their liability. However, the cases of multiple debtors can be classified by reasonably justifying the application of a particular rule for deciding the scope of liability to compensate the damage in regard to each of these groups. By referring to the doctrine and practice of other countries as well as the analysis of the positive law and court practice in Lithuania, this article aims to provide advice on the legal instruments to be used in order to justify the application of proportional or solidary liability in cases of multiple debtors. Systemic, teleological and comparative legal methods have been used in the article.
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