joint and several liability: liability of more than one person for which each person has a duty to fully perform and may be sued for the entire amount of damages done by all
"The owner and the manager were held to have joint and severally liability for the entire amount of damages claimed."
have joint and several liability: If two parties have joint liability, they are each liable for the full amount of the debt. However, if the creditor sues only one party and not the other, and the party he sues cannot pay, he cannot sue the second party.
severally liable: If the parties are severally liable, each party is only liable for a portion of the debt, and the creditor must sue all of them to recover the full amount.
jointly and severally liable: However, if the parties are jointly and severally liable, the creditor need only sue one party (although he can sue all of them if he wishes). He can recover from any or all of the parties, and it is up to the parties with joint and several liability to sort out who is to pay what amount; in other words, the creditor receives payment and can walk away, while the parties with joint and several liability remain to decide how much each of them was obligated to contribute to the payment to the creditor.