I need to preserve a defendant in a case where I am settling with two of the defendants.Do you have some release language to do that?
Answer:You just need to sign a release naming the defendants you mean to settle with and dismiss with prejudice as to those defendants only. This will keep your claim open as to other, unnamed defendants or tort-feasors. Moss v. City of Oklahoma City,1966 OK 2, 410 P.2d 52, holds that unnamed tort-feasors are not released, even if the release says something like "and all other persons." You also need to be careful you don't release someone principally liable, meaning to keep open your claim as to someone secondarily liable, such as releasing an agent and then trying to pursue the principal (Barsh v. Mullins, 1959 OK 2, 338 P.2d 845;Mid-Continent Pipeline Co. v. Crauthers, 1954 OK 61, 267 P.2d 568) or release the primary tort-feasor and try to pursue someone statutorily jointly and severally liable (Burke v. Webb Boats, Inc., and Arrowhead, 2001 OK 83, 37 P.3d 811).