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Mary Carter Agreement
mary carter agreement n
[from Booth v. Mary Carter Paint Co., 202 So. 2d 8 (1967), Florida appeals court case that popularized the agreement]
: a secret agreement between a plaintiff and one or more but not all codefendants which limits the liability of the defendants by giving them an interest in the recovery awarded to the plaintiff NOTE: In a Mary Carter agreement, the participating defendants agree to remain as parties to the lawsuit and guarantee payment to the plaintiff of a settled amount if no recovery is awarded against the other defendants. The plaintiff agrees to offset their liability by, or sometimes even to pay them from, a recovery awarded from the other defendants. Some states allow the admission of Mary Carter agreements into evidence. In other states they are illegal.
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.