2011 ORS § 31.800¹
Right of contribution among joint tortfeasors
  • limitations
  • subrogation of insurer
  • effect on indemnity right

(1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, where two or more persons become jointly or severally liable in tort for the same injury to person or property or for the same wrongful death, there is a right of contribution among them even though judgment has not been recovered against all or any of them. There is no right of contribution from a person who is not liable in tort to the claimant.

(2) The right of contribution exists only in favor of a tortfeasor who has paid more than a proportional share of the common liability, and the total recovery of the tortfeasor is limited to the amount paid by the tortfeasor in excess of the proportional share. No tortfeasor is compelled to make contribution beyond the proportional share of the tortfeasor of the entire liability.

(3) A tortfeasor who enters into a settlement with a claimant is not entitled to recover contribution from another tortfeasor whose liability for the injury or wrongful death is not extinguished by the settlement nor in respect to any amount paid in a settlement which is in excess of what is reasonable.

(4) A liability insurer, who by payment has discharged in full or in part the liability of a tortfeasor and has thereby discharged in full its obligation as insurer, is subrogated to the tortfeasors right of contribution to the extent of the amount it has paid in excess of the tortfeasors proportional share of the common liability. This subsection does not limit or impair any right of subrogation arising from any other relationship.

(5) This section does not impair any right of indemnity under existing law. Where one tortfeasor is entitled to indemnity from another, the right of the indemnity obligee is for indemnity and not contribution, and the indemnity obligor is not entitled to contribution from the obligee for any portion of the indemnity obligation.

(6) This section shall not apply to breaches of trust or of other fiduciary obligation. [Formerly 18.440]