(a) Except as otherwise provided in this Article, 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.
(b) The right of contribution exists only in favor of a tort-feasor who has paid more than his pro rata share of the common liability, and his total recovery is limited to the amount paid by him in excess of his pro rata share. No tort-feasor is compelled to make contribution beyond his own pro rata share of the entire liability.
(c) There is no right of contribution in favor of any tort-feasor who has intentionally caused or contributed to the injury or wrongful death.
(d) A tort-feasor who enters into a settlement with a claimant is not entitled to recover contribution from another tort-feasor whose liability for the injury or wrongful death has not been extinguished nor in respect to any amount paid in a settlement which is in excess of what was reasonable.
(e) A liability insurer, who by payment has discharged in full or in part the liability of a tort-feasor and has thereby discharged in full its obligation as insurer, succeeds to the tort-feasor's right of contribution to the extent of the amount it has paid in excess of the tort-feasor's pro rata share of the common liability. This provision does not limit or impair any right of subrogation arising from any other relationship.
(f) This Article does not impair any right of indemnity under existing law. Where one tort-feasor 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 his indemnity obligation.
(g) This Article shall not apply to breaches of trust or of other fiduciary obligation.
(h) The provisions of this Article shall apply to tort claims against the State. However, in such cases, the same rules governing liability and the limits of liability shall apply to the State and its agencies as in cases heard before the Industrial Commission. The State's share in such cases shall not exceed the pro rata share based upon the maximum amount of liability under the Tort Claims Act.
(i) The provisions of this Article shall apply to the injury or death of an employee of any common carrier by rail which is subject to the provisions of Chapter 2 of Title 45 of the United States Code (45 U.S.C. 51 et seq.) or G.S. 62-242 where such injury or death is caused by the joint or concurring negligence of such common carrier by rail and any other person or persons. In any such instance, the following will apply:
(1) Where liability is imposed or sought to be imposed only on such common carrier by rail, the railroad is entitled to contribution from any other such person or persons;
(2) Where liability is imposed or sought to be imposed only on a person or persons other than a common carrier by rail, such other person or persons are entitled to contribution from the railroad;
(3) Where liability is imposed or sought to be imposed on both a common carrier by rail and any other person or persons, damages shall be determined as provided in Chapter 2 of Title 45 of the United States Code (45 U.S.C. 51 et seq.) or G.S. 62-242 whichever controls the claim. (1967, c. 847, s. 1; 1975, c. 587, s. 2; 1979, c. 620.)
Last modified: March 23, 2014