A brief explanation of when a person has been able to file a suit against oneself.
Is it possible to sue oneself?
Suing oneself has been seen by courts with different outcomes depending on the circumstances of each case. For instance, in Bagley vs. Bagley, 344 P.3d 655 (Utah 2015), Barbara Bagley had driven negligently, and had caused the car driven by her to flip, killing her husband, Brad Von Baur. Brad’s heir was Barbara, and thus she was able to file a wrongful death suit on her husband’s behalf against herself. Barbara had intended for the insurance company to pay money out to the estate that would go to her as her husband’s heir. However, the insurance company then filed a motion to dismiss the case on the grounds that the wrongful death law can only apply to a death that has been caused by “another,” and by definition, she was not “another.” The trial court agreed with this and dismissed the case.
However, on appeal, the appellate court reversed the decision of the trial court. The appellate court found that due to Barbara suing on behalf of Brad Von Baur’s estate and not herself, she was in effect to be considered as “another.” The fact that the money would go to Barbara was irrelevant.
There have also been other cases that were successful in filing such a lawsuit, such as with Robert Rubin successfully suing himself for $8 million (NBC News, 2006). There have been others that were not as successful, such as Robert Lee Brock’s case, an inmate claiming he violated his own civil rights.
Bagley vs. Bagley, 344 P.3d 655 (Utah 2015)