Normally, only parties that can have responsibility traced back to them are liable for breach of contract. However, in contracts that specify joint and several liability, all parties will be bound by the same level of liability. In other words, each party bound by joint and several liability can be held liable for their own breaches as well as the breaches of every other party. In this way, parties that may not have had any involvement in the breach may still be held liable for their partner’s breaches. The suing party can collect from any and all of the opposing parties until he has been reimbursed for the total amount of the breach.
Joint and several liability is one of many different types of remedies that can be contracted into by the parties. It is always better to have a lawyer review any contracts that you are thinking of signing to ensure you understand your obligations in the event that one of the other parties breaches.
If you have any questions about contract law in Japan, please contact our office to set up a legal consultation.