- Did the Court of Appeals correctly construe OCGA § 51-12-33 to require a trier of fact to apportion an award of damages among multiple defendants when the plaintiff is not at fault?
- Did the Court of Appeals correctly find that McReynolds’s insurer made a counteroffer in response to Krebs’s settlement demand?
"Accordingly, we hold that in applying § 51-12-33, the trier of fact must 'apportion its award of damages among the persons who are liable according to the percentage of fault of each person' even if the plaintiff is not at fault for the injury or damages claimed.
"In light of this holding, there was no error in the dismissal of McReynolds' cross-claims for contribution and set-off against GM."
As to the counteroffer issue, the Court noted that Krebs' offer made no mention of liens, nor did it contemplate any particular resolution of the hospital lien or any other liens as a condition of settlement.
"As we explained in Frickey, while a 'mere request for confirmation that no liens exist' will not transform a purported acceptance into a counteroffer, an added condition involving the 'resolution of... actual and potential liens of the health care providers' will," Nahmias wrote.
"Thus, like the trial court and the Court of Appeals, we construe the response by McReynolds' insurer to Krebs' settlement offer, proposing to resolve the hospital and other liens 'as part of this settlement,' as a counteroffer rather than an unconditional and unequivocal acceptance. Accordingly, no binding settlement agreement was formed."