Washington Law Review


Courts and commentators disagree as to the propriety of Mary Carter agreements, pseudo-settlement devices used in multiparty litigation that unite the interests of a plaintiff and a cooperating defendant, and maintain that defendant's presence at trial. Most courts tolerate these arrangements provided that they are disclosed, while a distinct minority render them void. Washington courts have not espoused a definite position, although recent decisions suggest a tolerant stance. This Comment argues that the use of Mary Carters is inconsistent with Washington tort law, and that Washington courts should therefore prohibit them entirely. This may be accomplished by treating all Mary Carters as final settlements of a plaintiff's claim against an agreeing defendant and requiring dismissal of that defendant, an approach suggested by the nature of the agreements themselves.

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