Howell v. Luckey
In Howell v. Luckey, 205 W.Va. 445, 518 S.E.2d 873 (1999), the Court addressed whether the failure of a tortfeasor to implead a third party 7 for purposes of asserting a claim of contribution foreclosed a separate suit following judgment in the primary suit.
In Howell, the tortfeasor argued that the permissive nature of Rule 14(a) joinder required that he be permitted post judgment to bring a separate action to seek contribution from a third party not named by the plaintiff.
After clarifying that "'the right of contribution established in Haynes is not mandatory but must be asserted by the defendant by filing a third-party claim,'" the Court reviewed the objectives sought to be accomplished by allowing joinder of tortfeasors in the initial lawsuit brought by the injured party. Howell, 205 W.Va. at 448, 518 S.E.2d at 876.