Karin Nyrop


This note argues that the correct resolution of the tension between the employer’s immunity and the third party’s right of contribution requires balancing the interests of all parties. The employer has an interest in retaining the workers’ compensation law’s exclusive no-fault recovery system; the third party tortfeasor seeks to avoid shouldering the entire liability of another at-fault tortfeasor capable of contribution. At the same time, the employee has a right to full and speedy compensation, and the state has an interest in maintaining the financial stability of its accident fund. This note explores the policies and legal arguments supporting the majority view of no contribution and the minority views of full and partial contribution and concludes that, contrary to the opinion of many courts, these interests can be balanced and the tort and workers’ compensation systems reconciled by allowing a limited form of contribution.