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What Is an Impleader?

There are instances when a defendant may wish to bring before the court another party whom he or she believes to be liable, in part or in whole, for the actions that have been brought against him or her by the plaintiff. In order to this, the defendant must make use of a procedural device referred to as an impleader.

The basic principle behind an impleader is that an equally guilty third party may be involved in an ongoing court trial, and must also be brought before a court of law to be held accountable for whatever responsibility he or she may have. Thus, this instance provides 2 cases or 2 suits in a series that usually involve the same plaintiff and same claim. Federal Rules of Procedure provide for the circumstances and method in which an impleader may be used. Rule 14 particularly addresses the issue of impleader. Rule 14 provides a basis for a motion to be filed to implead a third party into a current lawsuit.

For example, a person may have experienced a car accident wherein the person was not able to stop in time due to the faulty brakes the person’s car is subject to. Thus, the victim of the car accident may file a lawsuit against the person, and the person may file a motion to implead the car mechanic or manufacturer responsible for the faulty brakes. Therefore, the lawsuit will involve 2 cases with 2 defendants, the person driving the car with faulty brakes, and the car manufacturer or mechanic.

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