If a plaintiff(p1) brings a civil action against defendant(d1) can a different plaintiff(p2) with a claim arising out of the same transaction or occurrence and raising the same question of law agains a different defendant(d2) join with p1?

For example let’s say p1 hires d1 to remodel p1s house. D1 subcontracts with electrician d2. D2 is negligent and as a result p2 is injured. D1 sues p1 for the bad job of the subcontractor and p2 sues d2 for negligent injury. Can p1 and p2 jointly bring the case?

Under the U tied States rules of federal procedure.

  • 1
    I assume you mean P1 sues D1? Also, this is an international site, so you'll get the best answer if you ask for a jurisdiction (or ask for multiple jurisdictions, if you want to see how the answer varies around the world).
    – sharur
    Commented Dec 9, 2022 at 7:03
  • Thank you, noted and edited accordingly. I was up late cramming for a final today and this was a last ditch effort to get some extra clarification. Commented Dec 9, 2022 at 14:01

2 Answers 2


It isn't uncommon for plaintiffs with related but distinct claims to commence a single civil action together. But, once a civil is has been begun, it would be more common to consolidate proceedings in separate cases pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 42 (at pdf page 86) than it would be to join parties to a single case.


Can p1 and p2 jointly bring the case?

They can, although the convenience of that approach is very uncertain because it depends on the factual details, the terms of the contract between P1 and S1, those of the contract between D1 and D2, whether the plaintiffs would be represented by the same attorney, the attorney's (or attorneys') competence, and --being realistic-- oftentimes the attorney's connections with the judge who would preside the case(s).

Furthermore, under the principle of judicial economy, procedural law gives courts discretion to separate suits that multiple plaintiffs filed jointly or to consolidate cases that had been filed separately.

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